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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 247 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)
Edit

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're Running Hot! 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

Although backgrounds of many scenes include posters for various car races, portions of all ads are masked by black tape, probably to disguise fact that dates and/or locales of events didn't line up with when and where story was actually taking place. 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

Jane: Is Dave in trouble?
Leander: Yeah, I think so.
Jane: This may sound like a foolish feminine question but why don't you help him?
Leander: I can't. He's doing it to himself.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Love Bug (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Country Carnival
by Guy Hemric and Jerry Styner
Sung by Frankie Avalon (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Film Editing Team Rises to the Challenge
25 August 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"Fireball 500" (1966) is technically the best production to ever come out of "American International". The cinematography looks as good as the best Hollywood productions from that period; with unexpectedly good shot selection and nice close-ups that you would expect to see now but were highly original back in 1966.

This is a film that should be shown to would-be film and video editors, as there are few finer examples of matching stock footage with first and second unit output; all done by linear editing (try it some time if you want a real challenge). When a low budget film tries to be high budget by inserting stock footage it is usually a disaster, but here there is a pretty good match of film stock and the track announcer's audio makes the action sequences easy to follow. You might recognize Fred R. Feitshans Jr's editing style from the old "Adventures in Paradise" television show.

The story is ordinary-straight action adventure and romance, no comedy like AIP's beach movies even though it does feature alumni Frankie, Annette, and Harvey Lembeck. There are three good Hernrig and Styner songs: "Fireball 500", "My Way", and "Turn Around"; sung by Frankie with help on the last one from Julie Parrish. Annette sings "Step Right Up" which mostly leaves you amazed that anyone ever bought her records.

As usual Annette is very buttoned-up and chaste but Parrish is hot enough to carry the whole film. Interestingly Annette pairs up with Fabian and Frankie gets Julie. Fabian also has a group of racetrack groupies who follow him around, four of the them are mid-60's Playboy centerfolds with one of those the Playmate of the year.

Frankie gets into a serious fight with both Fabian and Lembeck. These are decently staged and cut but unnecessary to the story and rather comical when you consider the participants. Casting these two singers was apparently an attempt to expand the target audience from teenage boys and stock car fans by including something for teenage girls. This was at best a lame idea since by 1966 those two were considered wimpy has-beens compared to "Herman's Hermits", let alone the "Beatles" and the "Stones".

There is tons of interesting stock car footage, making "Fireball 500" a nice historical archive. Overall it was a fun film to watch but nothing you would take very seriously.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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

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