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Product Description Like The Gumball Rally (1976) before it, former stuntman Hal Needham’s The Cannonball Run used to be inspired by the same real-life cross-country road If The Gumball Rally used to be the critical favorite, The Cannonball…
A wide variety of characters participate in an illegal cross-country road race. It’s a hilarious comedic chase as the eccentric participants are willing to do anything to win.
Like The Gumball Rally (1976) before it, former stuntman Hal Needham’s The Cannonball Run used to be inspired by the same real-life cross-country road race. If The Gumball Rally used to be the critical favorite, The Cannonball Run used to be the box-office favorite (spawning the almost-as-successful sequel, Cannonball Run II, a couple of years later). Except for top-billed stars Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise (stars of Needham’s Smokey and the Bandit series) plus Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. (as horny priests), the movie features among the same actors (Bert Convy, Jamie Farr) that may be found on a typical ’80s episode of The Love Boat (at the side of the same caliber of writing). But as the tagline notes, “You can never guess who wins”–and it’s true. As in most road-race movies, it is the journey that counts, not the destination. This particular journey includes cool cars (like Adrienne Barbeau’s black Lamborghini), crazed bikers (led by Peter “Easy Rider” Fonda), hot martial arts action (from Jackie Chan as a Japanese racecar driver), a conspicuously braless Farrah Fawcett (recipient of a Golden Raspberry nomination for her performance), and possibly the most egregious use of product placement featured in a movie up until that time (one vehicle has “GMC Trucks” noted prominently along the top of the windshield, another has “Hawaiian Tropic” painted on the hood). As with among the films Jackie Chan has made for Golden Harvest, the Hong Kong-based production company in the back of The Cannonball Run, wacky outtakes are included all through the closing credits. –Kathleen C. Fennessy