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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 — actually more of a romantic adventure with humor derived from the situation effecting the characters... wherein THE CANNONBALL RUN is more of an intentional slapdash smashup where laughs happen at every turn (somewhat like the game-changing blockbuster AIRPLANE sans the genre-parody aspect)... 

Fully-loaded with an all-star cast ranging from Roger Moore pretending to be a guy pretending to be 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 comment on all the wacky racers, but it's primarily Burt in the lead with tubby sidekick Dom DeLuise vs Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr as worthy rivals in the titular big-money competition... based on a real cross-country CANNONBALL by screenwriter Brock Peters... an illegal race where the rules are there are no rules and the real trick is avoiding cops... 

Who aren't the primary obstacle like automobile-loathing, busily uptight environmentalist George Furth, initially teamed with gorgeous hippie Farrah Fawcett... who winds up with Burt, Dom and the funniest character in mad scientist Jack Elam, an enigmatic doctor for their ambulance-driving ruse to work: making director/stuntman Hal 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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