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The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | | Action, Comedy, Sport | 19 June 1981 (USA)
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4:37 | Clip
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
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Popularity
1,661 ( 1,297)
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

Don Rickles was originally cast as Fenderbaum, before the part went to Sammy Davis, Jr. See more »

Goofs

At random times during the race, Seymour has his black gloves on and off. At one point where he is not wearing them while driving, his female passenger goes to press a button. He stops her, grabbing her hand, clearly wearing a black glove, yet back to the front-on shot he is clearly not wearing the gloves. See more »

Quotes

[JJ has "tackled" all the other contestants at the end]
Seymour Goldfarb Jr: Well, I must say, that's not a very sporting way to win.
Jamie Blake: No, it was a shitty way to win!
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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Indestructible Man (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

The Cannonball Run
Written by Chuck Mangione (as C. Mangione)
Performed by Chuck Mangione
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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