Friday, September 7, 2018

Rest In Peace Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds passed away yesterday, September 6, 2018, at the age of 82.  He is remembered for his roles in a variety of films from action to comedy.  For a tough guy image that he could carry to both.  For Smokey and the Bandit, for The Longest Yard, for Cannonball Run.  I also remember watching him in offbeat roles like The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Mystery, Alaska, and Cop and a Half.  I remember Evening Shade.

I also have a great memory of Deliverance (an odd thing to say, I know).  

Jamie and I have had the pleasure of attending the TCM Film Festival twice and look forward to going again.  And with the festival, there are certain films you pick because you love the film.  And then there are certain films you pick because of who will be there to talk about it.

Deliverance was the latter.  Neither of us had seen the film before, but we wanted to see the panel.  I believe, if I remember correctly, we went from Bugs Bunny shorts to Deliverance that day, which was great because we didn't have to change theaters, but also a jarring change of pace.

And for the movie, TCM brought out the best possible panel to discuss.

Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds, and John Boorman with Ben Mankiewicz as host.

We were almost dead center for the screening.  And the panel was wonderful.  Jon Voight was almost poetic talking about the filming.  Ned Beatty was irritable but hilarious.

And Burt Reynolds was amazing. 

He looked frail, but memory and timing were there.  He still commanded an audience.  And he was truly a star in the film.  I never have to see it again, but it was a command performance.

From left to right: Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds, John Boorman, and Ben Mankiewicz - April 27, 2013
The sad thing about being a fan of classic movies is watching the stars that you most associate with pass away.  To watch the voices of these films slowly fade until they only exist on the screen.  Shimmering stars in the cinema firmament.

Shadows on the screen that stay with us forever.

Rest in Peace Burt Reynolds.

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