The CannonBall Run
I remember when The Cannonball Run first opened, I couldn't wait to see Farrah in another movie. Overall, I just remember thinking how beautiful she looked, but the movie was, although entertaining, mostly silly, but good fun. The plot was secondary to the star-studded list of players, such as Farrah, Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Dom DeLuise, Roger Moore (who was then better known as THE James Bond) and a host of other well-known personalities. It was a very successful movie but the critics had a heyday and Fawcett, behind the scenes had negoitated a hefty payday for her appearance in it as well as re-writes of her lines as they were much more graphic and explicit then the charachter you end up with who is "into trees."
From Widpedia The Cannonball Run is a 1981 comedy film starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise and Farrah Fawcett, and was directed by Hal Needham. It was produced by Hong Kong's Golden Harvest films. There were two sequels, 1984's Cannonball Run II and 1989's Speed Zone! The latter was also known as Cannonball Fever.
The Box Office
The film earned $72,179,579. According to the Box Office Mojo web site, Cannonball Run was the sixth-highest grossing film of 1981, behind Raiders of the Lost Ark, On Golden Pond, Superman II, Arthur and Stripes.
CastCannonball Run featured an all-star cast, including:
• Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise co-star as racer J.J. McClure and his buddy, mechanic Victor Prinzim. Victor occasionally slips into his character of Captain Chaos during the film.
• Farrah Fawcett also co-stars as tree-loving photographer Pamela Glover.
• Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. play aging former race car driver Jamie Blake and scam artist Morris Fenderbaum, disguised as Catholic priests, driving a Ferrari. Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder plays their bookie.
• George Furth plays Arthur J. Foyt. Tries to have the race stopped.
• Roger Moore plays Seymour Goldfarb, Jr. as a self-parody of his role as James Bond. Goldfarb is a character who thinks he's Roger Moore (ironically who's playing Goldfarb in this film) and who therefore stylizes himself as James Bond. His car, an Aston Martin DB5 displaying the UK registration plate 6633 PP is the one in the original Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball. The original UK registration plate was BMT 216A before being sold to businessman Gavin Keyzar. Molly Picon portrays his mother. Several women ride with him, including model Lois Hamilton, billed as Lois Areno.
• Jackie Chan is credited as simply "Subaru Driver #1" but is introduced by the talk show host (Johnny Yune) as "Jackie Chan", (despite being Chinese,) the driver of the Japanese entry; a Subaru filled with gadgets. Michael Hui played the Japanese engineer and navigator.
• Jamie Farr appears as Sheik Abdul ben Falafel, a wealthy Arab determined to win the race even if he has to buy it. Bianca Jagger makes a brief appearance as his sister. Farr's racer is a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. This character is the only one to appear in all three films in the Cannonball Run movie continuum.
• Terry Bradshaw and Mel Tillis are Mel and Terry, a couple of "good ol' boys" driving a thinly-disguised Chevrolet Malibu NASCAR stocker painted like Donnie Allison's NASCAR racer from 1979.
• Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman appeared as Marcie and Jill, Spandex-clad "hotties" in a black Lamborghini Countach. That same Lamborghini was used in the opening credits of the movie as it was being pursued by a Nevada Highway Patrol car. Valerie Perrine has an uncredited cameo appearance as a state trooper who stops the duo later in the film as the only female officer to pull over the duo, she was immune to their feminine wiles. (Though their character names were not mentioned during the story, they are mentioned in the end credits. Their character names, however, *are* mentioned in the sequel, though the parts were re-cast)
• Peter Fonda had a cameo role reprising his character in Easy Rider. The appearance of Fonda and his motorcycle gang during a halt in the race caused by a road closure was the perfect excuse for Chan to demonstrate his martial arts skills during the fight sequence. Fonda's big, bald biker buddy is played by Robert Tessier.
• Bert Convy played wealthy but bored executive Bradford Compton who planned to run the Cannonball by motorcycle with the help of an old friend, Shakey Finch (played by Warren Berlinger), once the world's greatest cross-country motorcyclist. The two planned to disguise themselves as newlyweds. His ally weighed heavily, forcing them into a wheelie for the entire race.
• Jack Elam appears as Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing; based on the famous vampire hunter.
• Rick Aviles and Alfie Wise play Mad Dog and Batman, the tow truck drivers who jump the train flatcar.
• John Fiedler appears as the desk clerk.
• Joe Klecko plays the Polish driver in the van who gets pulled over by Mr. Foyt.
• Brock Yates, the creator of the real-life Cannonball Run, plays the organizer of the race who lays down the rules at the starting line.
• Director Hal Needham appears uncredited as the ambulance EMT.
The film continued Needham's tradition of showing bloopers during the closing credits (a practice he started with the Smokey and the Bandit films). Jackie Chan says it was this film that inspired him to do the same at the end of most of his movies.