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!