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The Cannonball Run

Released on: 19 Jun 1981 • Rated: PG • Runtime: 95 min

Genre: Action, Comedy, Sport

Director: Hal Needham
Writer: Brock Yates
Actors: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett

Plot: A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.

Box Office Gross: $72,179,579

Awards: 1 win & 4 nominations








The Cannonball Run, directed by Hal Needham, is a delightful and action-packed comedy that takes viewers on a wild cross-country race filled with eccentric characters, high-speed chases, and uproarious laughter. With an ensemble cast that includes Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, and Farrah Fawcett, this film delivers a high-octane blend of humor, adventure, and nostalgia.

Set against the backdrop of a high-stakes illegal cross-country race, the plot revolves around a group of racers, each with their own motivations, as they compete to reach the finish line first. The story is a rollicking ride, filled with hilarious mishaps, daring stunts, and unexpected encounters along the way.

The film’s tone strikes a perfect balance between lighthearted comedy and adrenaline-fueled action. It embraces a carefree and irreverent spirit, inviting the audience to join in on the fun and leave behind the demands of reality for a while. The comedic timing and chemistry among the ensemble cast contribute to the overall joyful atmosphere, keeping viewers entertained throughout.

Burt Reynolds leads the pack with his charismatic and charming performance as J.J. McClure, a confident and resourceful racer. His on-screen chemistry with Dom DeLuise, who portrays his sidekick Victor, brings an infectious energy to their dynamic duo. The supporting cast, including memorable performances by Farrah Fawcett, Roger Moore, and an array of cameos, adds depth and humor to the ensemble.

Hal Needham’s direction captures the spirit of the race with a sense of adventure and camaraderie. He infuses the film with a fast-paced energy, ensuring that the audience is constantly engaged and immersed in the thrill of the journey. The director’s knack for staging thrilling car chases and jaw-dropping stunts adds excitement and spectacle to the film.

The score of The Cannonball Run perfectly complements the on-screen action, enhancing the comedic moments and heightening the adrenaline rush during the race sequences. The soundtrack features a mix of lively and catchy tunes, further adding to the film’s nostalgic charm and sense of fun.

Cinematography and production design capture the vast landscapes and iconic landmarks along the race route, adding visual grandeur to the film. The vibrant colors, dynamic camera angles, and expertly executed stunts create a visually engaging experience, amplifying the thrill of the race and immersing the audience in the on-screen adventure.

While the film prioritizes entertainment over deep character development or intricate plotting, it still manages to deliver a sense of camaraderie and genuine enjoyment. The editing maintains a brisk pace, ensuring that the comedic timing lands effectively and the race maintains its momentum.

The dialogues in The Cannonball Run are snappy, filled with witty one-liners, and clever banter between characters. The humor is often light-hearted and occasionally relies on slapstick comedy, appealing to both fans of classic humor and those seeking a dose of nostalgic comedy.

Watching The Cannonball Run is an exhilarating experience that leaves you with a nostalgic sense of joy. It captures the spirit of adventure, camaraderie, and the thrill of the open road. It’s a movie that transports you back to a time when carefree fun and laughter were at the forefront, reminding us of the pure escapism that cinema can provide.

While some may argue that the film lacks depth or narrative complexity, it never claims to be anything other than an entertaining and uproarious joyride. The Cannonball Run succeeds in what it sets out to do: deliver a feel-good experience that leaves you with a smile on your face and a desire to join in on the race.

In conclusion, The Cannonball Run is a highly enjoyable and nostalgia-inducing comedy that delivers plenty of laughs, thrilling action, and a sense of adventure. With its charismatic cast, energetic direction, and nostalgic charm, it’s a movie that takes you on a wild ride and leaves you feeling uplifted. Strap in and get ready to embark on a rollicking journey with The Cannonball Run.

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