6.2/10
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121 user 54 critic

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.

Director:

Hal Needham

Writer:

Brock Yates
Reviews
Popularity
3,236 ( 466)

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at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Reynolds ... J. J. McClure
Roger Moore ... Seymour
Farrah Fawcett ... Pamela
Dom DeLuise ... Victor Prinzim
Dean Martin ... Jamie Blake
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Fenderbaum
Jack Elam ... Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing
Adrienne Barbeau ... Marcie
Terry Bradshaw ... Terry
Jackie Chan ... Subaru Driver #1
Bert Convy ... Brad
Jamie Farr ... Sheik
Peter Fonda ... Chief Biker
George Furth ... A. F. Foyt
Michael Hui ... Subaru Driver #2
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Storyline

This comedy film brings Burt Reynolds, Sir 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Hong Kong

Language:

English | Cantonese | Japanese | Arabic

Release Date:

19 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cannonball Trophy See more »

Filming Locations:

St. Louis, Missouri, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,765,654, 21 June 1981

Gross USA:

$72,179,579
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Legendary odds-maker Jimmy the Greek had a cameo in this movie, where he did a scene with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Jimmy and Dean grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, and were friends since childhood. See more »

Goofs

During the "Big Roadblock" scene when the van explodes after hitting the patrol car, you can see the wire connecting the detonator to the explosives in the van. It flies across the far bridge piling. See more »

Quotes

J.J. McClure: what about a black trans-am? No, that's been done!
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 »

Alternate Versions

A 1981 laserdisc version from CBS/Fox replaces strong language with "tamer versions" of the words (darn for damn, heck for hell, etc.), although all later laserdisc reissues have the unedited film as does the 1997 HBO VHS. See more »

Connections

Features Behind the Green Door (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is on the Air
Written by Larry Henley (as L. Henley), Jim Hurt (as J. Hurt) and Johnny Slate (as J. Slate)
Performed by Lou Rawls
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
All-star madcap race to California
2 September 2000 | by filmbuff-36See 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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