I guess there are women who might also be relieved to know that up close, when it comes to sex appeal, Burt Reynolds is no package of dried fruit. And he is as rapid and charming in person, relaxing, as he seems to so many on TV or in films.
Only a Reynolds could dig himself out of a muddy pileup of players on a watered-down, carefully slimed field in Long Beach, having been hammered repeatedly on the same 10-yard run, take after take, and then come to the sideline and say, "That AstroTurf really bubbles up, doesn't it. Hello. I'm Al Pacino. I live in a loft."
Well, shortly thereafter, the shooting was finally over, leaving only Michael Ritchie's editing, and...
Is Semi-Tough a funny movie? At times, very. Especially if you haven't read the book or never cared for it. As Kristofferson said, "We made Son of Semi, is what we did."
Will it offend anyone? Not grown-ups.
Will it embarrass the NFL? I don't know. How many people in the NFL are into est?
Do Reynolds and Kristofferson take off their shirts? Once each.
What do I think of the whole journey? Mainly, I discovered that people like Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, Jill Clayburgh, Michael Ritchie and David Merrick would be well worth knowing, regardless of their professions. In being continually sensitive to my feelings about the project, David Merrick gets my own personal Oscar in the category of Producer-Writer Relationship.
But as the author of the book, am I not disappointed with the screen version? Well, I never heard of an author who wasn't, including those who wrote the scripts themselves. But Burt Reynolds' portrayal of Billy Clyde certainly eases the pain.