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.
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 <email@example.com>
This movie was based on a series of real races started by Brock Yates of Car and Driver Magazine. The final race was in 1979. Yates and director Hal Needham entered the ambulance seen in this movie. They had a doctor on-board, and Yates' wife Pamela as a patient. It blew its transmission in Palm Springs, California, and arrived in Long Beach on the back of a flatbed truck. A lot of the other vehicles were actual entries in that race. See more »
During the final race to the finish after the fight with the bikers, JJ and Victor pass the Rolls Royce twice, once just as Victor becomes Captain Chaos, and once just as they enter the city. See more »
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 »
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 »
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!
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