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The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Sport | 19 June 1981 (USA)
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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Subaru Driver #1
Chief Biker
A. F. Foyt
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 | Plot Synopsis


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


Action | Comedy | Sport


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?


Peter Fonda's cameo as a Hell's Angel is a reference to The Wild Angels (1966). See more »


When JJ and Victor are riding in the ambulance after their boating accident, the medic's lips say "Like shit through a goose", but the audio track says "Like shot through a gun" when describing how the ambulance gets through traffic. See more »


Organizer: Of course you know certain sceptics note that perhaps 10,000 of the nations's most elite highway patrolmen are out there waiting for us after we start, but let's stay positively: Think of the fact that there's not one state in the 50 that has the death penalty for speeding... although I'm not so sure about Ohio.
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 »


Spoofed in Scumrun I (2009) 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

Burt & Company In Their Element
25 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Burt Reynolds made a fortune in this area with these goofy "chase" movies (this and Smoky and The Bandit plus all the sequels). They featured a an irreverent '70s attitude toward about anything decent with an emphasis on a sleazy atmosphere, all covered up with a lot of humor, and they worked. They worked because they were fast-moving generally fun movies to watch.....certainly not any great works of art.

Cannonball Run had an all-star cast of Reynolds, his good buddy Dom DeLuise, Farah Fawcettt, Jack Elan, Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Farr, Jackie Chan, on and on....pretty amazing.

Reynolds, of course, was Mr. Cool/Mr. Macho.....at least in his eyes. Fawcett and Barbeau meant beauty and boobs whom all men - especially dimwitted cops which Hollywood loved to feature - drooled over. The Japanese were made to look stupid (this was pre-PC days) as were priests (nothing's changed there with filmmakers). The movie is filled with really profound statements such as, "Why do we take all these risks? Oh, just for the hell of it." Yes, words to live by.

Yet, as dumb as this movie can be at times, is does provide a lot of laughs and speaking of that, DeLuise's laugh always made everyone do the same. Sometimes the best part of these films were the outtakes at the end with DeLuise cracking up and Reynolds slapping him!

25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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