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Viva Knievel! (1977)

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Motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel is offered a fortune to perform in Mexico. What Evel doesn't know is that they're planning to kill him and use his body to ship cocaine into the U.S. His ... See full summary »



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Title: Viva Knievel! (1977)

Viva Knievel! (1977) on IMDb 2.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Will Atkins
Kate Morgan
Ben Andrews
Stanley Millard
Eric Olson ...
Tommy Atkins
Sister Charity
Ralph Thompson
Norman Clark (as Ernie Orsatti)
Sidney Clute ...
Robert Tafur ...
Governor Garcia
Marjoe Gortner ...


Motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel is offered a fortune to perform in Mexico. What Evel doesn't know is that they're planning to kill him and use his body to ship cocaine into the U.S. His chief mechanic, who is an alcoholic, is weary of the whole thing and discovers something, but before he can tell Evel he is sent to a rehab clinic for drug addicts, which Evel doesn't believe he is. He goes to see him who tells Evel what he found out but is still in the dark as what is happening. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

stunt | fan | mechanic | mexico | spectator | See more »


The one and only real live Evel Knievel in his first dramatic movie role.


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Viva Knievel!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The more difficult stunts in the film were performed by stunt man Gary Lee Davis, though that fact was kept under wraps during the original release of the film. See more »


When Evel Knievel crashes the Stratocycle through the front door of the mental hospital, the cycle's right wing breaks against the door frame, but the left wing remains intact. As Knievel rides down the hall in the next shot, both the right and left wings are missing. In a shot after a quick pan-away (showing the Doctor calling security), Knievel reaches the end of the hallway, and both wings on the bike are intact again. See more »


Ralph Thompson: This is an American facility and we only deal with Americans.
Evel Knieval: Boy, you're too good to be true.
See more »


Edited into E! True Hollywood Story: Evel Knievel (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

The Curse of Irwin Allen is evident here!
29 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

No one noticed the influence of Irwin Allen in this wretched production? The "Poseidon Alumni" of Red Buttons and Leslie Nielsen? The casting of Eric Olsen and Cameron Mitchell (two holdovers from Allen's poorly received "Swiss Family Robinson" series)? And the "Allen Tradmark" of casting over-the-hill has-beens -- in this case Gene Kelly -- in a 'throw away' role? Allen even threw in one of his old 'stand-bys', Albert Salmi (Captain Tucker, the space pirate from two episodes of "Lost In Space").

Almost the entire production crew is from the Irwin Allen camp including legendary special effects man L.B. Abbott (what for you ask -- I didn't see any 'special effects?). Even Allen's costume designer, Paul Zastupnevich, is along for the ride. Allen's wife played the Mother Superior in the famed scene where the orphan throws his crutches away at the sight of seeing Evel as he sneaks into the orphanage in the middle of the night(!).

The story behind this film is that producer Sherrill Corwin (who was the head of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences during the '70s), was a major financial contributor to Irwin Allen's "Poseidon Adventure" and "Towering inferno." Allen needed backing because the studios baulked at the high production costs. But, by the mid-70s Irwin was 'The Man' and now it was 'pay back time' for Corwin when he wanted to hype Knievel, who by that time was a superstar among the teen-set. True, Evel Knievel WAS bankable when it came to packing arenas, selling lunch boxes, action figures and toy motorcycles. Problem was that in the acting department Evel was as wooden as a tree trunk and this movie shows it.

Not helping matters was the horrendous screenplay by Norman Katkov and Antonio Santillian (whoever he is), and the ingredients for a GRADE A Turkey were assured. It is surprising that Katkov co-penned such a bad script since he was also responsible for the famous "Blood and Orchids" mini-series of the early '80s. But then again, he was also one of the primary contributors to the screenplay for another Irwin Allen travesty: "The Return of Captain Nemo" (aka "Amazing Captain Nemo"), a mini-series produced or should I say released the following year.

"Viva Knievel" is best enjoyed by those suffering from insomnia or otherwise get their kicks from bad-movie marathons.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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