The Cannonball Run is a 1981 comedy film about a cross-country road race from Connecticut to California, featuring an all-star ensemble cast of characters driving various high powered vehicles, including a Ferrari 308 GTS, Lamborghini, Countach, Aston Martin DB7 and a whole host of exotic cars.
The film follows the race participants as they attempt to outwit each other and the police while completing the race. The film is full of humour and action, with various car chases, stunts, and comedic mishaps.
Who’s in The Cannonball Run?
The main characters is J.J. McClure, played by Burt Reynolds, who is a down-on-his-luck race car driver and former stuntman. He is joined in the adventure by his sidekick Victor Prinzi, played by Dom DeLuise, and they drive a modified ambulance in the race and enlist the help of a mad scientist doctor and a hapless woman played by Farrah Forcett.
Their Nemesis in the Cannonball Run were played by none other than Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. the iconic Ratpack singers who’s disguise in the race is hilarious in its execution, who would stop two priests driving a Ferrari? Well you’ll have to find out!
Another character is Seymour Goldfarb Jr. played by Roger Moore, a wannabe British spy who is competing in the race as well. Basically James Bond without the licensing fees!
Alongside Roger Moore is another James Bond star, that of his arch enemy ‘Jaws’ played by Richard Kiel who teams up with a very young Jackie Chan to drive a hi-tech Mitsubishi where some of the funniest moments happen when their scenes come on. For many this was probably the first time we got to hear him speak as his sheer presence was his voice in the Bond Movies.
Fun For Everyone
Throughout the film, the characters face various obstacles and challenges, including police roadblocks, breakdowns, accidents and an epic fight scene with Peter Fonda as the leader of a biker gang.
Despite these setbacks, they continue to race and push their vehicles to the limit. The film culminates in a wild finale, with the racers crossing the finish line in a close finish.
From the iconic intro that starred the Lamborghini Countach (more on that later) which for many at the time, and still is a dream car playing cat and mouse with the police, it set the stage for the hijinks to come and all accompanied by the toe tapping disco-esque theme tune sung by Ray Stevens.
Is it Family Friendly?
It’s one of those films that can be enjoyed by the whole family, it has everything that makes a movie great, great cars, good music, fast paced action and stunts and is hilarious.
The Cannonball Run is a nostalgic reminder of a simpler time, one that is fun, carefree and full of adventure and laughs aplenty.
How Big a Movie Was It?
At the time The Cannonball Run was a commercial success. It was followed by two sequels, Cannonball Run II in 1984 and Cannonball Fever (Speed Zone in the US) in 1989. The film remains a cult classic, and is remembered for its all-star cast, humour, and fast-paced action.
Overall, The Cannonball Run is a fun, light-hearted comedy that will entertain with its mix of humour, action, and heart-pumping exotic car racing and chase scenes. With its memorable cast of characters, fast-paced and rebellious plot, and timeless slapstick humour it remains a classic film that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
There have been plenty of car movies before and after this including Gumball Rally and The Rat Race but none have had the same impact as this movie has.
Where Can You Watch The Cannonball Run?
Watching The Cannonball Run will be hard to do on the streaming services as none of them have it at the moment, well, in the UK at least, however its one of those movies that you occasional catch whilst flicking through the TV channels and if you do come across it, we couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Failing that getting it on good old DVD is well worth the money and if you like fast cars and laughs, it’s one you’ll come back to time and time again.
Now to finish off this article we absolutely have to show you the iconic intro to this movie, it is epic and perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the movie and era. Enjoy and then go get the movie!