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BURT REYNOLDS DRIVING HAL NEEDHAM'S 'THE CANNONBALL RUN'

Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN Year: 1981 Rating: ****1/2

After SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, director Hal Needham and actor Burt Reynolds had the car chase comedy down, but it was more like a romantic adventure where the humor derived from the situation and characters...

Unlike THE CANNONBALL RUN, an intentional slapdash smashup where laughs were meant to happen at every turn... almost like AIRPLANE but without the spoof aspect... and it mostly delivers with an all-star cast ranging from Roger Moore pretending to be a guy pretending to be Roger Moore as James Bond to a Kung Fu fighting/biker-brawling Jackie Chan, an Arab Sheikh, two hot-rod hotties and...

Dom DeLuise and Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN

Well it would take the entire review to note and comment on all the wacky racers, but it's Burt in the lead along with tubby sidekick Dom DeLuise and behind them two of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., who really seem part of a competitive big-money race based on a real cross-country CANNONBALL by writer Brock Peters...

An illegal race where the rules are there are no rules and the trick's to avoid cops, who aren't the main antagonists: a very busy job by a brilliantly uptight George Furth, initially teamed with beautiful hippie Farrah Fawcett... who winds up with Burt, Dom and the funniest character in mad scientist Jack Elam, a doctor for their ambulance-driving ruse to work: making director/stuntman Needham's real task for every character (and their strategic cars) to matter.

Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Director cameo of Hal Needham in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Mel Tillis in THE CANNONBALL RUN with Terry Bradshaw
Farrah Fawcett in THE CANNONBALL RUN with George Furth
Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN with Rick Aviles
Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Farrah Fawcett in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Farrah Fawcett in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Roger Moore in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Jack Elam in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN with Farrah Fawcett
Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Farrah Fawcett in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Roger Moore in THE CANNONBALL RUN with stuntwoman Simone Burton
Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Peter Fonda, Bob Tessier and Bert Convy in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Jackie Chan in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Burt Reynolds in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Roger Moore and Lois Hamilton in THE CANNONBALL RUN
Vickie Reigle in THE CANNONBALL RUN
George Furth in THE CANNONBALL RUN

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