A little something for a “Good Ol’ Boy” named Hal Needham

A little something for a “Good Ol’ Boy” named Hal Needham


I was saddened to hear of Hal Needham’s passing on October 25, 2013 – so much so that I was tempted to not write anything. After all, he was memorialized in every entertainment magazine, web site and blog of note; what could I add to that? He carved out a long and illustrious career as both a stuntman and director – directing a few movies that were the backdrop to my childhood.

And that is precisely the reason that I had to write something, anything as a tribute.

My love for Smokey and the Bandit is well-documented – hell, I could make it a full-time job at this point! But still, after almost three decades, I can still get excited to watch this film! Same goes for the sequel and The Cannonball Run. I couldn’t even count how many times I have seen these three movies! And I know that I will see them many times more.

I never saw Needham’s Megaforce but when it was released on DVD in 2012, I was over the moon. For a film that I never saw and for all intents may not even like! But it was a Needham film and that meant that I was going to give it my full attention.

So while I could ramble endlessly about what Hall Needham’s films have meant to me, let me use a film clip to show the magic that Hal could capture. This is the blooper reel that was shown during the end credits of The Cannonball Run – I challenge you not to smile when watching this!

Thanks for the smiles Hal!

Marco Passarelli

Guitarist, Trans Am fanatic and retro-minded nostalgia freak - Marco runs Popjunkie.com and is a freelance writer. He lives in New York City, scouring Netflix for the worst B-movies he can!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I had the fortunate pleasure to interview Hal for a piece I produced about Burt Reynolds on the Taurus World Stunt Awards in 2007. He was a fascinating guy. And a very important game changer in the world of stunts – he basically created the 2nd Unit Director position, which allowed stunt men to get directing credit for their stunt scenes they coordinated. He was also (if i recall correctly) the first stuntman to direct – which was a direct result of his friendship with Reynolds – and that was something unheard of at the time.

    A great guy. And might I add, still as tough as they come. It was a wonderful few hours we spent together.

  2. @Patrick, that is great! I would love to see that – is it online?
    Around that time, I was toying with creating a book or documentary about Smokey and the Bandit – I wish I did!

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