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The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG  |   |  Action, Comedy  |  19 June 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 24,664 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 39 critic

A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.



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Current stars update the original characters from the first two Cannonball movies and race again - new cars, new obstacles, and new laughs.



Cast overview, first billed only:
Subaru Driver #1
Chief Biker
A. F. Foyt
Michael Hui ...
Subaru Driver #2


This comedy film brings Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and an all-star cast to the starting line of the ultimate auto race, a madcap cross-country scramble that roars full-speed ahead. This action-comedy was inspired by an actual event: the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an anything goes, all-stops-out - and very much illegal - competition that has grown to legendary proportions within the last ten years. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll root for them all...but you'll never guess who wins.


Action | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

19 June 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cannonball Trophy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$59,900,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Ferrari 308 used in the movie belonged to director Hal Needham. See more »


When J.J. lands the plane in the middle of a town square so Victor can get beer, if you look in the background, you can see the barriers that were used to block off the streets. You can also see people standing around watching in the background when Victor is running into the store for the beer. See more »


[Seymour arrives at the motel in his 1963 Aston Martin DB5 with one of his girlfriends under his Roger Moore persona]
Seymour Goldfarb Jr: Good day. I am here to participate in your little jaunt to California.
Female Race Official: Well, of course. If you would sign in here, please.
[Seymour signs under the legendary actor Roger Moore's name]
Boy with Camera: [taking a picture of his little brother] Hold still, Pettie. Say "Cheese".
Seymour Goldfarb Jr: I realize the novelty of a major celebrity entering your little race, but kindly resist the temptation and keep the media ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

An animated car drives around the 20th Century Fox logo, hiding out in the zero. It is chased by a police car, which crashes into one of the searchlights. The sequence ends with Burt Reynold's trademark laugh. See more »


Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »


If and When
Written by Ben Peters (as B. Peters)
Performed by Lou Rawls
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

All-star madcap race to California
2 September 2000 | by (Houston, TX) – See all my reviews

This film is best summarized as a live action version of Wacky Races. Burt Reynolds leads on all star cast of freaky drivers competing in a no-holds-barred race competition called the Cannonball Run. The standouts in this film are Roger Moore who seems to enjoy spoofing his own James Bond character, Jackie Chan as a kung-fu foreign race champ, Jack Elam as the twisted doctor riding along in Burt's ambulance, and Jamie Farr as a mad sheik trying to show Islamic superiority by defeating his opponents.

This is not a movie to be taken seriously, especially with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. cruising around dressed up like priests. There are a lot of good stunts and chase scenes in this movie, as well as a long brawl towards the end with all the Cannonballers against a gang of bikers, led by Peter Fonda!

To quote the Brain Gremlin from Gremlins 2: "Check it out one time, won't you!" You won't be disappointed.

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Desperately Needs A Remake facebookblows009
Hottest chick in the movie? CoffeeRules
What does she paint on the sign in the intro? sj2571
Cannonball Run Remake?!?! teegeyoung
did anyone else notice this?? **Spolier** will-237
Where is the Cannonball Pub? stanwoodcraig
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