We were saddened to learn of the death of Arkansas born stuntman, writer and director Hal Needham on Oct. 25. I interviewed Hal in 2011, prior to his appearance at the Little Rock Film Festival, and found him to be one of the most humble, amazing, down-to-earth geniuses I’ve ever met — a brilliant innovator who lived a truly great American life.
The Little Rock Film Festival, which gave Needham a lifetime achievement award in 2011 during his trip to Arkansas, plans to pay homage to the great man via the Argenta Film Series and a free showing of Needham’s most famous directing effort, 1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit.” You can watch ol’ ‘Bandit’ run at 7 p.m. Nov. 21, at the Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main Street in NLR. Admission is free, but seating is limited, so you’ll have to RSVP at this link.
Will there be a few cans of Coors smuggled into that screening? All signs point to: Put that hammer down and give it hell, Snowman.
BONUS: Here, if you’re interested, is NPR host Terry Gross interviewing Needham when his autobiography came out in 2011. It’s a riveting piece of radio, featuring a real original.