by Bo Durban - September 22, 2023
On September 22, 2023 1 day 20 of the Filming Schedule of Smokey And The Bandit, production was back at Main Street in Jonesboro, GA where they filmed the Traffic Jam scene with the Alabama State Trooper.
This particular scene was captured in two distinct segments. The first segment took place when Buford and Junior first encountered the traffic jam. It all began with Buford honking his horn, which, unfortunately, got stuck as he pulled off the road.
The second segment featured the encounter with the Alabama State Patrol, portrayed brilliantly by Alfie Wise. Aside from the horn malfunction, this sequence unfolded entirely without a script. It served as an expanded version of scene 279, with Alfie Wise seamlessly slipping into the role of the Alabama State Trooper alongside the incomparable Jackie Gleason.
Their on-screen chemistry and remarkable improvisation skills truly shone in this unforgettable moment.
Here is a copy of the Final Draft Screenplay from Sep. 2, 1976.
In an alternate storyline hinted at in the script, the reference to "Bandit I and Bandit II long ago passing" the traffic jam relates to omitted scenes 265 through 276. These omitted segments depicted Bandit and Snowman navigating their way around a traffic jam in Alabama, encountering a close call involving a black Porsche and a school bus. Unfortunately, due to pre-production budget constraints, these scenes were cut from the script. Here, we offer a glimpse of those lost moments from the early draft of the screenplay:
Note that Carrie is called Kate in the early screenplay.
(use the left and right arrows to scroll through the screenplay)
This is one of the few times you can see the CB radio set up in the Sheriff's car. This picture clearly shows a PACE SCAN 10-4U scanner that we see in both Bandit's Trans Am as well as Snowman's semi. The CB radio is a PACE CB145 model, which is not perfectly clear in this shot but can be identified from other scenes later.
This scene was filmed in 2 different locations. Segment 1 was filmed just off of Flint River Road near Highway 41 in Jonesboro, GA. Segment 2 was filmed on North Main Street in Jonesboro, about 1/4 mile south of where the Beam Rips Roof scene was filmed 2 days earlier 1.
You can see the Pizza Hut, Flint River Village and Kentucky Fried Chicken signs in the background
Segment 2 was filmed in front of the Car Wash at 7740 N Main St, Jonesboro, GA.
The red circle marks the spot where the Crane Rips Roof scene was filmed.
The side road that you see Buford and Junior on when the horn get stuck was removed many years ago. The intersection was updated to accomidate more traffic. The original location is in the parking lot of the Advanced Auto Parts. The Pizza Hut has closed, but the building is easily recognizable by that distinctive 1970's Pizza Hut architecture.
The Car Wash building across the street is still there, but it appears to be fenced off and not in operation.