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Fireball 500 (1966)

 -  Action | Comedy | Drama  -  7 June 1966 (USA)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 246 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 10 critic

Stock car racer Dave Owens plays into the hands of whiskey runners by agreeing to drive in a cross-country road race. He is assisted by Jane Harris and Sonny Leander Fox. Soon Dave and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dave Owens
...
Jane Harris
...
Sonny Leander
...
Big Jaw Harris
...
Charlie Bigg
Julie Parrish ...
Martha
Douglas Henderson ...
Agent Hastings (as Doug Henderson)
Baynes Barron ...
Agent Bronson
Sandy Reed ...
The Announcer
...
Leander Fan
Salli Sachse ...
Leander Fan
Patti Chandler ...
Leander Fan
Jo Collins ...
Leander Fan
Karla Conway ...
Leander Fan
Maria McBane ...
Leander Fan (as Marie McBane)
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Storyline

Stock car racer Dave Owens plays into the hands of whiskey runners by agreeing to drive in a cross-country road race. He is assisted by Jane Harris and Sonny Leander Fox. Soon Dave and Sonny begin a friendly rivalry for Jane. Track action filmed at the Ascot and Saugus Raceways near Los Angeles, local color shot in Charlotte, North Carolina. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They'll take a curve...ANY curve. See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bola de Fogo 500  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length = ~4.5 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~4.4 seconds. See more »

Goofs

Leander's fire burns in the hospital are so red they should be blistered, but no blisters are present. The doctor even says he's badly burned. You cannot be even slightly burned without blistering. See more »

Quotes

Dave: Bend is just up ahead. That's where we might get the treatment.
Leander: Well if we do, remember there's no chickens in this coupe.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Love Bug (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

A Chance Like That
by Guy Hemric and Jerry Styner
Sung by Frankie Avalon (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not one of the 1960's greatest achievements.
3 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

** of ***** Below Average

Pros: Some interesting footage of vintage cars and early NASCAR. Cons: Most everything else.

Viewed: 3 February 2006 Format: DVR recording from Showtime Extreme

It's interesting that my first Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello movie isn't one of their famous beach films but a racing flick, the other big teenage film fad of the early '60's. Since most of these films were mostly background for necking at drive-ins, plus the fact it produced by American International, I wasn't surprised to find this a lightweight piece of filmaking.

"Fireball 500" starts and ending with an interesting (but very, very short) piece of claymation made by Chokey Films ("Gumby") before we meet our hero, Dave Owens, winning the eponymous race of the film. He's driving Richard Petty's car, Number 43, which strikes a weird note but I'm guessing Petty wasn't yet nationally known, so the director used it to match with the stock footage.

About the stock footage: There's a LOT. And since the races in the film consist mostly of that and rear-projection shots, they really lack any tension at all. However, in the final race there's footage of a multi-car pileup that must be seen to be believed.

After winning and during the opening credits, Dave heads south (for no apparent reason) while singing the first of several banal songs and driving a far-out custom car that I doubt any real racer would be seen dead in. Once below the Mason-Dixon line, he starts dirt racing on the local track. Why, I don't know. He's going to Dayton soon and I would figure the prize money from the race at the start of the film would tide him over until then, so maybe it's just for kicks.

In short order he half-heartily romances Funicello (who appears so little in this film it's practically a walk-on), annoys the local racing big shot by beating him and is tricked to unknowingly moving a load of moonshine at night. Yes, really.

Most of plot involves a rather silly and threadbare mystery that I won't spoil. Of course in the end there's the Big Race!

Frankie Avalon was really not suited for the role of tough racing driver here. The lines really don't sound natural coming from him and the fact that seems a good half-foot shorter than any other male in the film doesn't help either. This makes the fight scenes look even faker than they probably would have.

The Bottom Line: Skip unless you're into these kinds of films.

Recommend to a friend?: No.


0 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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