the golden age of burt

Before his "don't call it a comeback" role in 1997's Boogie Nights, Burt Reynolds was actually envied in the 1980s by every 12-year-old boy who wanted to touch Dolly Parton's boobies. He made a ton of films in his day, mostly because they all had the same plot and he never had to change costumes. Here are a few of the highlights from the Golden Age of Burt.

• Smokey and The Bandit (1977)--Burt plays "Bandit"; a man who's on a mission to pick up a shitload of his favorite cheap beer, and get home fast before the cops catch up with him. It's a story that hits a little too close to home... except the black Trans Am that I drive is meant to be ironic.

• Deliverance (1972)--Not enough can be said about the famous "hillbilly ass-raping" scene. But what about Burt's portrayal of the cocky, arrogant friend who may or may not know what he's doing? It's a performance so close to real life, it shouldn't be called acting. The plot is simple: Four friends decide to go on a rafting trip down a river before it's dammed and spoiled forever. Instead, they get damned and spoiled forever.

• Hooper (1978)--Instead of playing the cowboy-hat-wearing-mustachioed-reckless "Bandit," Burt plays the cowboy-hat-wearing-mustachioed-reckless "Sonny Hooper." Same director. Same Sally Field love interest. The only difference is instead of a sheriff chasing Burt across state lines, he's pushed by a young upstart partner (played by Jan-Michael Vincent) to do crazier and crazier stunts. The movie still has the wacky antics of the Smokey and The Bandit series, but it's played with a straight face, which adds a weird feeling of quasi-sincerity.

• Sharky's Machine (1981)--Sure, you know Burt Reynolds as "wacky, charming daredevil," but do you know Burt Reynolds as "BALLS OUT ASS-KICKER"? Burt plays "Sharky," a Southern narc who gets leaned on by both the cops and the drug lords. His only option is to assemble his machine of other investigators and instigate said BALLS OUT ASS-KICKING. And there are ninjas. MANU BERELLI