Hollywood, CA – When Tom Cruise was in High School, Burt Reynolds was a star. When Brad Pitt was entering puberty, Burt Reynolds was a star. When Will Smith was still learning to read, Burt Reynolds was a star. Not so much anymore.
With hit movies, endorsement deals, and a beautiful Hollywood wife, Reynolds had it all but as things tend to do, all that went away.
From his first major hit in ‘Deliverance’ to the box office bonanza that was ‘The Cannonball Run’, for nearly a decade Reynolds was the biggest Hollywood celebrity alive and he still believes he is.
“Reynolds has appeared in a whole slew of movies that even the most generous viewer wouldn’t describe as mediocre. It’s been a long time since he’s been in anything that anyone outside the people involved have seen,” said Scrape TV Entertainment analyst Tracey Temple. “Aside from a few bones thrown his way as a kind of retro cool thing, it’s been one more or less worthless movie after another. Somehow he still gets work.”
With the exception of a role in the medium level hit “The Dukes of Hazzard” and an Oscar nominated role in “Boogie Nights” in 1997, Reynolds hasn’t appeared in a significant release in almost three decades, a trend which shows no sign of slowing with only low brow films in the pipeline.
“It’s difficult for young movie fans to realize how big Reynolds was in the 1970’s, especially since so many of his peers were able to maintain successful careers right up until the present day,” continued Temple. “Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, even to a lesser degree Sylvester Stallone have all been able to transition and had not only box office success, but critical acclaim as well. For movie fans seeing the success those people have had and comparing to Reynolds career it would be easy to assume that he was never a significant star, but he was the biggest for a while there.”
Younger movie fans though are attuned to the rise and fall of Hollywood careers, seeing one time successes like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt fall far from grace. While some have speculated that the demise of the three named star was a phenomenon unto itself, the collapse of those careers is just part of a long standing Hollywood tradition.
“The idea of people like Will Smith no longer being stars is anathema and unimaginable to most movie fans, but inevitably some of these careers will fade away. It is a lot more difficult to kill careers in today’s world but it can still be done,” continued Temple. “Tom Cruise has made to most formidable effort in the last few years but even he wasn’t able to shed his success. Even Michael Jackson stooped to possibly molesting children and completely disfiguring himself and he’s still a star throughout most of
the world. Sure some have gone away and there may be more in the future, but it’s unlikely the world will see such a cataclysmic failure as has been the career of Burt Reynolds. Miley Cyrus maybe, but we will see.”
As for Reynolds future, the actor has a group of direct-to-video movies on the slate and will appear in “Not another not another movie” alongside fellow fallen 70’s star Chevy Chase.
“Chevy Chase was a star at one point too, huge actually. If the two of them had starred together thirty years ago it would have been a huge hit, today not so much.”
The joint venture is due to be released in one form or another in 2009.