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The Cannonball Run

Catalog Number
VA 6001
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VHS | N/A | Slipcase
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The Cannonball Run (1981)

Additional Information

Additional Information
You'll root for them all...but you'll never guess who wins.


Burt Reynolds and director Hal Needham team up for the fourth time, this time bringing an all-star cast of characters on a cross-country car race in the vein of 1976 release The Gumball Rally. The police are the least of the Cannonballers' worries as they push the pedal to the metal in a race from Connecticut to California. Reynolds stars as J.J. McClure, a speed-loving racer disguised as an ambulance driver to outsmart the police. He is paired up with Dom Deluise, who plays his dimwitted sidekick Victor and who, on occasion, dons the suit of Captain Chaos. Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. join the lineup as Ferrari-driving priests, while martial arts expert Jackie Chan takes on one of his first U.S. film roles driving a souped-up Subaru. Among the many other stars are Roger Moore doing a parody of his 007 character, complete with secret devices and weapons, Farrah Fawcett as Pamela, a woman McClure and Chaos pick up, and Jamie Farr as a deranged Islamic sheik. Jack Elam joins the cast as a crazed proctologist along for McClure's ambulance ride, and Needham makes a cameo as a patient.


The Cannonball Run is a 1981 comedy film starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise, Farrah Fawcett, and an all-star supporting cast. It was directed by Hal Needham, produced by Hong Kong's Golden Harvest films and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. One of 1981's most successful films at the box office, it was followed by Cannonball Run II (1984), and Speed Zone! (1989). This and the 1984 sequel were the final film appearances of actor Dean Martin.

A huge commercial success, The Cannonball Run' earned $72,179,579,[5] making it the sixth highest grossing film of 1981, behind Raiders of the Lost Ark, On Golden Pond, Superman II, Arthur, and Stripes.[14]
Reviews were generally negative. Roger Ebert gave the film a half-star out of four, calling it "an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition. In other words, they didn't even care enough to make a good lousy movie".[15] Variety described the film as "full of terribly inside showbiz jokes and populated by what could be called Burt and Hal's Rat Pack, film takes place in that redneck never-never land where most of the guys are beer-guzzling good ole boys and all the gals are fabulously built tootsies."[16] Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote on his review that the film is "inoffensive and sometimes funny. Because there are only a limited number of variations that can be worked out on this same old highway race, don't bother to see it unless you're already hooked on the genre."[17] review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected 29 reviews to give the film a score of 31%.[18]
The film was nominated for a Razzie Awards for Worst Supporting Actress for Fawcet

Release Date: June 19, 1981


Distrib: 20th Century Fox


Boxoffice: $72,179,579 2013: $209,009,200

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