Cannonball Run, The

The Cannonball Run Movie Poster

"You'll root for them all...but you'll never guess who wins."  The original Cannonball Run was released in 1981.  The movie had a huge list of stars:  Burt Reynolds as racer J. J. McClure, Dom DeLuise as his mechanic named Victor Pinzim, Roger Moore as Seymour Goldfarb, Farah Fawcett as Pamela Glover, Dean Martin as racer Jamie Blake, Sammy Davis, Jr. as Morris Fenderbaum, and a handful of other appearances by famous names, such as Jackie Chan, Jamie Farr, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Tillis, and Peter Fonda.  The movie was a mega- money maker, although critics hated it.  In fact, Roger Ebert gave the film 1/2 a star out of 4.  Regardless of the critics, the movie warranted to sequels:  Cannonball Run II in 1984, and Speed Zone! in 1989.  Unfortunately, the final two movies not only scored poorly with critics, but also with fans.

In the original movie, a cross country car race is about to begin in Connecticut.  There a number of eccentric teams in the race, including McClure (Reynolds) and Prinzim (DeLuise), who drive an ambulance, Blake (Dean Martin) and Fenderbuam (Sammy Davis, Jr.) in a Ferrari 308 GTS, Seymour (Roger Moore) in an Aston Martin, and many others.  Its every team for itself, as they elude, trick, and finagle their way to the fastest time.

The biggest feud is that between the ambulance team and the Ferrari team.  In the end, all teams arrive at the final destination at the same time, and it becomes a mad dash to the finish line.  Just when it appears that Victor will make the finish, somebody yells "help", and his alter ego, Captain Chaos, takes over, and another racer ends up winning.