In the 1977 action-comedy film “Smokey and the Bandit,” the character Cledus “Snowman” Snow, played by Jerry Reed, has a charismatic and memorable companion: a Basset Hound named Fred. The dog Fred quickly became one of the film’s beloved characters, known for his droopy face, long ears, and calm demeanor, which provided a comedic contrast to the high-speed chases and adventures that unfold throughout the movie.
“Smokey and the Bandit,” directed by Hal Needham, is a quintessential road movie that became an iconic piece of 1970s American pop culture. The film centers around two bootleggers, Bo “Bandit” Darville (played by Burt Reynolds) and Cledus “Snowman” Snow, as they attempt to transport a truckload of illegal beer from Texarkana to Atlanta. The film is well-known for its car chases, stunts, and the chemistry between its leading characters, including the charismatic interactions between Snowman and his dog, Fred.
Fred’s role in the movie, though not central to the plot, adds a layer of humor and warmth. The character of Snowman, portrayed as a good-natured and somewhat laid-back trucker, is often seen interacting with Fred in a manner that highlights their close bond. Fred is more than just a pet; he is Snowman’s loyal companion on the road, riding shotgun in his truck. This partnership underscores the themes of friendship and loyalty that are woven throughout the film.
The inclusion of Fred also serves as a nod to the realities of trucker culture, where long-haul truck drivers often have a pet for company during their extended periods on the road. These pets provide not only companionship but also a sense of home and normalcy in a job that requires long periods away from family and familiar surroundings.
Fred’s presence in “Smokey and the Bandit” also highlights the role animals can play in films, often becoming memorable characters in their own right. In this case, Fred the Basset Hound, with his distinctive appearance and laid-back demeanor, became an endearing part of the film, contributing to its charm and appeal.