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Cannonball! (1976)

Cannonball (original title)
Racing across the country from L.A. to New York, a plethora of exotic cars carry contestants hoping to win a very large sum.

Director:

Paul Bartel

Writers:

Paul Bartel (screenplay), Don Simpson (screenplay) (as Donald C. Simpson)

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Carradine ... Coy 'Cannonball' Buckman
Bill McKinney ... Cade Redman
Veronica Hamel ... Linda Maxwell
Gerrit Graham ... Perman Waters
Robert Carradine ... Jim Crandell
Belinda Balaski ... Maryann
Judy Canova ... Sharma Capri
Archie Hahn ... Zippo
Carl Gottlieb ... Terry McMillan
Mary Woronov ... Sandy Harris, Girl in the Van #1
Diane Lee Hart ... Wendy, Girl in the Van #2
Glynn Rubin Glynn Rubin ... Ginny, Girl in the Van #3
James Keach ... Wolfe Messer
Dick Miller ... Bennie Buckman
Stanley Bennett Clay ... Beutell (as Stanley Clay)
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Storyline

Racing across the country from L.A. to New York, a plethora of exotic cars carry contestants hoping to win a very large sum.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The annual Trans-American outlaw road race - A cross country demolition derby without rules! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 July 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cannonball See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Woronov didn't know how to drive when she acted in this film, so the van she drives in this movie had to be towed with a rope. See more »

Goofs

The TV reporter in the helicopter identifies the black Dodge Charger taking part in the race as a '71 model when it was in fact a '68. See more »

Quotes

[the LAPD is on its way down to Santa Monica Pier]
Brad Phillips: Attention! Attention right now, drivers! The police are on their way to bust the race. The post time has been moved up to exactly 60 seconds from now.
Beutell: Oh, shit!
Brad Phillips: Every highway patrolman from here to Philadephia will be out to nail ya. I'd advise you all to stick to the back roads as much as possible. Gentlemen, start your engines!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Legendary film producer Gabriel Katzka is credited as "friend" in the ending credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

UK theatrical version was cut to secure an A rating. In 2004 these cuts were waived and the film was passed uncut with a 12 rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: 42nd Street Forever, Volume 1 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

My Racin' Heart
Composed by Gerrit Graham
Performed by Gerrit Graham
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crash! Boom! Bang! Carquake!!
18 January 2010 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Here's yet another reason to accentuate the 1970's was the absolute greatest decade for cult-trash cinema output (as if we weren't convinced enough already): Carsploitation movies! There are only a handful of them, they all look alike and most film-loving audiences will probably detest them, but … damn, are they ever entertaining! "Cannonball!" – although I must say I prefer the much cheesier video title "Carquake" – is brought to us by the same team that made the brilliant and unequaled "Death Race 2000" one year earlier, and it many ways it feels as if writer/director Paul Bartel injected all the silly comedy that he couldn't put in "Death Race" into this film instead. This film is more of a straightforward comedy whereas "Death Race" was a black comedy (apparently not everybody finds the idea of wiping pedestrians off the road for points funny). The concept of this film is much simpler: bunch of eccentric people participate in an illegally organized cross-country race from California to New York City. Ex-convict Coy Buckman is obviously the most talented racer, so his competitors will have to revert to ingenious cheating if they want to stand a chance. The main storyline as described here is obviously very simplistic, but one could also claim there are numerous little sub plot story lines that are all terrific and imaginative. The lead character Coy Buckman is already quite intriguing. He dragged his sexy female parole officer along in the race and has a mechanic who idolizes him so much that he literally wants to be Cannonball! Every contestant in the race is worth mentioning, like the obnoxious German in his canary-yellow sport car and the psychopathic Redman and his country-singing and guitar-playing co-pilot. Outside the race there's quite a lot going on as well, like Coy's sleazy brother Bennie trying to sabotage the most important rivals because he bet a huge some of money on the winner. Although the comical ambiance definitely overrules, "Cannonball!" nevertheless remains a bona fide action/spectacle movie with copious crashes, macho showdowns, explosions and violent painful deaths. The climax, which features a mass accident with cars piling up seemingly forever, exactly demonstrates the blending of humor and action. The cast is full of pleasingly familiar faces, especially if you know a thing or two about B-movies. Apart from the brothers Carradine (David and Robert), there's Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, Carl Gottlieb and director Paul Bartel himself (in a hilarious role). Buckle up for some sheer cult-excitement!


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