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Smokey Bites the Dust

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Director  Charles B. Griffith
Produced by  Roger Corman
Language  English
3/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Comedy, Romance
Running time  1h 27m
Country  United States
Smokey Bites the Dust movie poster
Release date  October 1981 (1981-10)
Writer  Max Apple (screenplay), Brian Williams (story), Bob Logan (creative script consultant)
Genres  Action Film, Comedy, Romance Film
Cast  Jimmy McNichol (Roscoe Wilton), Janet Julian (Peggy Sue Turner), Walter Barnes (Sheriff Turner), John Blyth Barrymore (Harold), Robert Beecher (Principal Stark), Patrick Campbell (Lester)
Similar movies  Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, Tremors II: Aftershocks, Tremors, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, The Last Stand, Edward Scissorhands

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Smokey Bites the Dust is a 1981 car chase film from New World Pictures directed by Charles B. Griffith. Despite the title, the film is not connected to the Smokey and the Bandit series.


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The stock plot deals with Roscoe Wilton (Jimmy McNichol), a teenage joyriding car thief, evading Cyco (psycho) County Sheriff Turner (Walter Barnes) and his unintelligent deputies.

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Turner becomes even more obsessed with catching Roscoe when he kidnaps his overly-sheltered daughter Peggy Sue (Janet Julian) just as she is about to be crowned Homecoming Queen during a football game at their high school. In so doing, Roscoe also makes himself a target of other characters, including his best friend Harold (John Blyth Barrymore), Peggy Sue's friend Cindy (Kari Lizer), and Kenny (William Forsythe), a sanctimonius quarterback who is deeply, but vainly, in love with Peggy Sue.

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While Roscoe is being chased by Sheriff Turner, Turner himself incurs the wrath of neighboring Knotsie (Nazi) County Sheriff Sherm Bleed after commandeering one of Bleed's cruisers. Turner's pursuit of Roscoe (and Peggy Sue, who quickly begins to enjoy being in Roscoe's company) goes through two other neighboring counties, with Turner stealing several other police cruisers and civilian cars only to wreck each one in spectacular fashion.


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  • Lester (Patrick Campbell), a local moonshiner is looking to sell his "secret formula" to an Arab oil sheik for "a million clams"; the deal falls through when it turns out the sheik brought actual clams instead of money.
  • Harold and Cindy share a car as they join in the chase; Harold to get his dad's car back from Roscoe, and Cindy to give Peggy Sue her crown. As the chase progresses, Harold and Cindy begin to fall for one another, similar to Roscoe and Peggy Sue.
  • At a nearby truck stop, a preteen girl is willing to let Roscoe and Peggy Sue steal her father's station wagon (with boat in tow) in exchange for a carton of cigarettes. The girl appears several times more throughout the film, including near the end when everyone converges on a beach in a chaotic melee; watching from a distance, the girl muses, "What, I ask you, is the point in growing up?".
  • Kenny's infatuation with Peggy Sue motivates him to chase the elusive couple on his own in an attempt to rescue her; he even goes so far as to run other police cruisers off the road just so he can save Peggy Sue himself. After the fight on the beach, Kenny is eventually "arrested" by the female sheriff of neighboring Belladonna County.
  • Cast

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  • Jimmy McNichol - Roscoe Wilton
  • Janet Julian - Peggy Sue Turner
  • Walter Barnes - Sheriff Hugh "Smokey" Turner
  • Patrick Campbell - Lester
  • Kari Lizer - Cindy
  • John Blyth Barrymore - Harold
  • William Forsythe (credited as 'Bill Forsythe') - Kenny
  • Kedric Wolfe - Deputy Bentley
  • Charles Howerton - Sheriff Sherman "Sherm" Bleed

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    Smokey Bites the Dust Wikipedia
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