6.2/10
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The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Sport | 19 June 1981 (USA)
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3:13 | Clip

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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
2,629 ( 451)
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 movie 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

The Hawaiian Tropic NASCAR racer was inspired by the real-life "Fire-Am" entered in the real race by F. Gregory and P. Brennan. The Fire-Am had previously been run at the Daytona twenty-four-hour race, and the owner had just stripped the numbers off the doors, and loaned it to the cannonballers in full race drag. As Gregory put it: "one look at the Fire-Am, and any cop would know we were up to no good." See more »

Goofs

During the opening chase between the black Lamborghini and the police car, a shot is reused as the same RV can be seen driving around a corner on the freeway and towards the Lamborghini twice. See more »

Quotes

Mel: How long before we stop?
Terry: Eight hours!
Mel: Da-D-Damn! I gotta go to the john!
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 »


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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Classic 80's
12 February 2018 | by teslacoil-54245See all my reviews

Is it a masterpiece? No. Does it offer a compelling plot? No. Is it just plain fun? Yes!

Another title in the era of entertainment that was best described as "Fast cars, fast crashes, and fast women". The era that produced such films as Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy, and the Dukes of Hazzard TV show. The era that was pointed more at the blue-collar working class than the white-collar office class or the critic.

It certainly wouldn't hold up to Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane, or any other masterpiece, but it isn't trying to be that. It's just trying to be a fast, fun film that loads of people can enjoy.

Instead of a 5-star wine with a 5-star steak in a 5-star restaurant, this film's more of a greasy burger and fries in a roadside dinor. They both cannot be equaled objectively, but they're both 10/10 stars in their own right.

If I could represent the height of American film, I might choose Casablanca, Citizen Kane, or Ben-Hur. If I could choose a film to show the height of American freedom, to show somebody who wasn't American what American freedom and liberty feels like, I'd choose The Cannonball Run.


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