22 Jan 2016

Book Review: But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds

From Widescreen, 3:07 pm on 22 January 2016
Burt Reynolds in the 1977 smash hit movie Smokey and the Bandit

Burt Reynolds in the 1977 smash hit movie Smokey and the Bandit Photo: Universal Pictures

Burt Reynolds is best known for his film roles in the 1970s, notably Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit. For younger audiences he is better recognised for his celebrated performance in Boogie Nights, a film which revived his standing and earned him a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination. In But Enough About Me: A Memoir, he reflects on the people who shaped his life and career.

But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds (Echo Publishing, RRP $39.99)

But Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds (Echo Publishing, RRP $39.99) Photo: Echo Publishing

Less memoir, But Enough About Me is more a collection of memories and anecdotes. Reynolds lives up to the title, talking more about fellow actors and directors than himself. Starting with his early life and experiences growing up in Florida, the narrative jumps as he fills the pages with stories of football and amusing snippets from Hollywood of yesteryears. In one chapter he recalls his conversations with Spencer Tracy on the set of Inherit the Wind. He credits the legendary actor for giving him the best acting advice he’s ever received: “Don’t let anyone catch you acting”. An encounter with another Hollywood giant, Marlon Brando, was less cordial. He devotes separate chapters to an interesting assortment of actors and personalities including Rip Torn, Lee Marvin, Ossie Davis, Johnny Carson and Charles Nelson Reilly. Donald Trump also makes an appearance.

He covers off his finest film – Deliverance – in the chapter on John Boorman and Jon Voight, praising Boorman as probably the best director he has ever worked with. He discusses shooting the infamous mountain men scene and also shares insights into Deliverance’s eccentric author, James Dickey, who was eventually barred from the set. He speaks candidly about his family – notably his father Big Burt – and relationships, including those with Dinah Shore, Sally Field and Loni Anderson. The latter he would marry with regret.

Like most of his films, But Enough About Me is lightweight entertainment. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable enough read and recommended to fans of Burt Reynolds and his movies.


More on Burt Reynolds

Burt talks to Kim Hill about his life and the book:

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