Aug 16, 2013
How to Sink a Career in Six Easy Steps: A Tribute to the Films of Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham (part 2 of 8)
Stunts galore, Sally Field and more: Hooper (1978)
With the success of Smokey and the Bandit, it was only natural for Reynolds and Needham to team up again. This time, the movie would be a loving tribute to stunt performers. It’s an interesting blend of outrageous stunts and human comedy, and while it wasn’t as big of a success as the previous film, it’s definitely worth a look.
Burt plays ace stuntman Sonny Hooper, who feels time catching up with him. The film basically is a slice of his life and his relationships with girlfriend Sally Field, an egotistical director played by Robert Klein, a rival stuntman played by Jan-Michael Vincent, and other assorted supporting players. In other words, it’s what the ideal Burt Reynolds movie was before he got stuck doing crappy car chase movies.
One of the reasons the film works is that while it’s a comedy with a ton of stunts in it, it doesn’t make the mistake of thinking that the stunts themselves are funny on their own. You know, like the next four films Reynolds would do with Hal Needham.