The Greats of our Time

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The Greats Of Our Time Directory

Burt Reynolds

1936 – 2018

Who doesn’t or didn’t know of the great actor Burt Reynolds who sadly died earlier this month? I became aware of him from the film Deliverance when he starred alongside Jon Voight and Ned Beatty  and started to follow his works after that.

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Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director and producer. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971).

His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).

After a few box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997)

Burt Reynolds

Deliverance 1972

Four city-dwelling friends (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) decide to get away from their jobs, wives and kids for a week of canoeing in rural Georgia. When the men arrive, they are not welcomed by the backwoods locals, who stalk the vacationers and savagely attack them in the woods. Reeling from the ambush, the friends attempt to return home but are surrounded by dangerous rapids and pursued by a madman. Soon, their canoe trip turns into a fight for survival.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask 1972

Inspired by the book written by Dr. David Reuben, director Woody Allen tackles seven questions about sex by connecting seven not-so-connected stories. From aphrodisiacs to sexual perversion to the mystery of the male orgasm, characters like a court jester (Woody Allen), a doctor (Gene Wilder), a queen (Lynn Redgrave) and a journalist (Heather MacRae) adventure through lab experiments and game shows, all seeking answers to common questions that many would never ask.

White Lightning 1973

Easygoing Arkansas good ol’ boy Gator McKlusky (Burt Reynolds) is serving his second federal prison sentence for running moonshine when he learns his straight-arrow college graduate brother and his girlfriend have been murdered. Eager to take down corrupt county sheriff J.C. Connors (Ned Beatty), whom he suspects is behind his brother’s death, Gator agrees to a federal attorney’s deal that releases him from prison to infiltrate Connors’ underground booze-running business.

Shamus 1973

When jewelry baron E.J. Hume (Ron Weyand) is robbed of a shipment of uncut diamonds, he hires former pool player and New York City private investigator Shamus McCoy (Burt Reynolds) to track down the thieves. Shamus makes the rounds of his his usual contacts and soon discovers that the case also involves a gun-smuggling ring, an ex-football player named Felix Montaigne (Alex Wilson) and Felix’s sister, Alexis (Dyan Cannon), whom the detective is helpless to resist.

The Longest Yard 1974

An ex-football star doing time is forced by the warden to organize a team of inmates to play against his own line-up of guards. The warden tries to blackmail him into throwing the game, but the convicts have their own ideas and see the game as an opportunity to repay some of the brutality they have endured.

Hustle 1975

The body of teenager Gloria Hollinger (Sharon Kelly) is found dead on a Los Angeles beach, and Lt. Phil Gaines (Burt Reynolds) is in charge of the investigation. Gaines learns that the girl, a stripper and prostitute, committed suicide, but he ignores the connection between her and a powerful mob lawyer, Leo Sellers (Eddie Albert). Hollinger’s father (Ben Johnson), however, is not satisfied with Gaines’s results, and attempts to investigate the case on his own.

Gator 1976

After his release from prison, notorious ex-con and moonshine distiller Gator McKlusky (Burt Reynolds) moves in with his father in a cabin in the Okefenokee Swamp. His bootlegging plans are cut short, however, when a federal agent tells McKlusky that he will lose custody of his 9-year-old daughter unless he helps bring down local crime lord Bama McCall. McKlusky enlists the help of reporter Aggie Maybank (Lauren Hutton) and a few local eccentrics to bring down McCall’s empire.

Smokey and the Bandit 1977

Big Enos (Pat McCormick) wants to drink Coors at a truck show, but in 1977 it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit. Truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) agrees to pick up the beer in Texas and drive it to Georgia within 28 hours. When Bo picks up hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), he attracts the attention of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Angry that Carrie will not marry his son, Justice embarks on a high-speed chase after Bandit.

Semi Tough 1977

Billy Clyde Puckett (Burt Reynolds) and Marvin “Shake” Tiller (Kris Kristofferson) are professional football players who share a lush Miami apartment with Barbara Jane Bookman (Jill Clayburgh), the pretty young daughter of their team’s owner (Robert Preston). When Barbara develops feelings for Shake and the two begin a relationship, he insists that she join him at B.E.A.T., a New Age training program run by the shady Friedrich Bismark (Bert Convy).

Hooper 1978

Sonny Hooper (Burt Reynolds) is getting too banged up to remain Hollywood’s top stuntman, but he signs up as the stunt coordinator for a big-budget action movie with a pushy director (Robert Klein) and a clueless star (Adam West). Ready to retire from the physical abuse, Hooper is gearing up to make the film’s climactic stunt his biggest ever, but cocky young stuntman Ski Chinski (Jan-Michael Vincent) aims to steal the glory with his more scientific, technology-oriented stunt methods.

The End 1978

After discovering that he has only months to live, Wendell Lawson (Burt Reynolds) tries to settle issues with his family, including his ex-wife (Sally Field). When he gets little empathy or even attention from his relatives, he becomes distraught and sets out to kill himself. Following many unsuccessful suicide attempts, Lawson winds up in a mental hospital, where he meets deranged fellow patient Marlon Borunki (Dom DeLuise), who is quite eager to help his new friend end his life.

Starting over 1979

When his wife, Jessica (Candice Bergen), leaves him for a chance at a music career, Phil Potter (Burt Reynolds) is devastated. He moves from New York City to Boston, joins a club for divorced men and cautiously begins an affair with a free-spirited schoolteacher named Marilyn (Jill Clayburgh), who genuinely seems to care about him. But when Jessica decides she wants Phil back, he jumps at the chance, only to wonder if perhaps he’s made the wrong choice.

Sharky’s Machine 1981

An Atlanta vice-squad detective (Burt Reynolds) loves a high-class call girl (Rachel Ward) linked to politics and a mob boss (Vittorio Gassman).

The Cannonball Run 1981

Contestants in a cross-country car race from Connecticut to California include a speed-loving racing driver disguised as an ambulance driver and his dimwitted sidekick, a pair of Ferrari-driving priests, and a James Bond-type character kitted out with secret weapons. Jackie Chan appears in one of his first US film roles.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas 1982

Miss Mona (Dolly Parton) runs the Chicken Ranch, a brothel with a long history in a small Texas town. The locals have a good relationship with the institution, and Mona is respected in the community. The sheriff, Ed Earl Dodd (Burt Reynolds), also looks out for the Chicken Ranch due to his past with Miss Mona. However, when pious reporter Melvin Thorpe (Dom DeLuise) exposes the brothel, outside interests want it shut down, putting the governor (Charles Durning) in a tough spot.

Breaking In 1989

Reaching retirement age, professional burglar Ernie Mullins (Burt Reynolds) is ready to call it quits, but only after he pulls one last job. When he breaks into what should be his final home, he comes across the young and directionless intruder Mike (Casey Siemaszko). Identifying some latent, untapped talent in the kid, Mullins decides to put retirement on hold and take the precocious housebreaker under his wing, teaching the inexperienced criminal the tricks of the trade.

Boogie Nights 1997

In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), who transforms him into adult-film sensation Dirk Diggler. Brought into a supportive circle of friends, including fellow actors Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Rollergirl (Heather Graham) and Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), Dirk fulfills all his ambitions, but a toxic combination of drugs and egotism threatens to take him back down.

Bonus

The Greats Of Our Time Directory

Burt Reynolds

1936 – 2018

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