Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Real Southern Movies
The other day I heard that the city of Oxford was trying to lure Hollywood back to the Square with tax breaks and other incentives. It's been some time since they shot Intruder In the Dust -- a real classic -- and with some of those good incentives, we might just see a return of shooting in and around the city.
My only hope is that we don't find filmmakers who want to make films like Time to Kill or Fried Green Tomatoes with that ole cornpone quaint South that only exists in the minds of outsiders. I'm no fan of it in fiction or film.
I long for the great Southern films of the 1970s. Can anyone forget The Bandit racing through Oxford and saying how the girls loved him at Ole Miss?
But Smokey and the Bandit only continued a great tradition of B-movies and television of that period that many have forgotten. Everyone remembers watching Dukes of Hazzard but how many recall Six Pack Annie?
It seems many of my favorites starred the great Burt Reynolds. If you haven't seen Gator or White Lightning you've really missed out.
The films of this period showed the grit and realism of the fading South I remember as a kid. This is a world of muscle cars, beautiful girls in hot pants, and dusty back roads.
Forget the sippin' sweet tea on the porch swing with your momma. I want to hear the sound of big engines rev up on the Square. Where's Burt when you need him?
Top 5 Burt Reynolds Southern Classics (Anyone up to organize a Burt Fest at the Lyric next year? It's about time.)
5. Longest Yard
2. White Lightning
1. Smokey and the Bandit