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HISTORY

       Per an item in the 4 Oct 1976 Box seven film directors make on-screen appearances in Cannonball.^ They are: Jonathan Kaplan, Joe Dante, Allan Akrush, Paul Glicker, Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese and Paul Bartel.
       An article in the Nov 2002 Car and Driver states that the race in Cannonball is a real illegal road race that had been held five times between 1971 and 1979. The full name is the "Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash." It is named after Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker, a car and motorcycle racer from the 1920s. Brock Yates, the race's founder, claims that the race was a protest against the fifty-five mile per hour speed limit.
       The article mentions that, unlike in the film Cannonball, where the race begins at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA and ends in a parking lot in New York City, the real races started in either New York City or Darien, CT and ended at the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, CA.
       The Cannonball races inspired the films: Cannonball (1976), Gumball Rally (1976), Cannonball Run (1981), Cannonball Run II (1984), and Speed Zone (1989) (see entries).

      The end credits include a thanks to "the California Department of ...
More Less

       Per an item in the 4 Oct 1976 Box seven film directors make on-screen appearances in Cannonball.^ They are: Jonathan Kaplan, Joe Dante, Allan Akrush, Paul Glicker, Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese and Paul Bartel.
       An article in the Nov 2002 Car and Driver states that the race in Cannonball is a real illegal road race that had been held five times between 1971 and 1979. The full name is the "Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash." It is named after Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker, a car and motorcycle racer from the 1920s. Brock Yates, the race's founder, claims that the race was a protest against the fifty-five mile per hour speed limit.
       The article mentions that, unlike in the film Cannonball, where the race begins at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA and ends in a parking lot in New York City, the real races started in either New York City or Darien, CT and ended at the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, CA.
       The Cannonball races inspired the films: Cannonball (1976), Gumball Rally (1976), Cannonball Run (1981), Cannonball Run II (1984), and Speed Zone (1989) (see entries).

      The end credits include a thanks to "the California Department of Transportation."
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Oct 1976.
---
Car and Driver
Nov 2002.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1976
pp. 3-4.
Los Angeles Times
8 Sep 1976
p. 13.
Variety
21 Jul 1976
p. 22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Special guest star
as
Special guest star
as
Special guest star
as
Girls in the van
Co-starring:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New World Pictures Presents
A Samuel W. Gelfman Production of
A Film by Paul Bartel
A Cross Country Production
Presented by Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Ltd., and Harbor Productions, Inc.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Stills
2d unit photog
Action photog
Cam
Gaffer
Key grip
Lab
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Propmaster
COSTUMES
Asst cost
MUSIC
Mus comp
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles & opt eff
MAKEUP
Make up
PRODUCTION MISC
2d unit prod asst
Scr supv
Prod secy
Driver
On-set mechanic
Garage
Transportation
Casting
Prod accountant
Loc mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Scr supv
Scr supv
Prod asst
Friend
Loc equip
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
"He's Just a Man," written by David A. Axelrod and Delaney Bramlett, performed by Delaney Bramlett
"Green Eyed Surfer Boy," music and lyrics by Paul Bartel
"I'm Sorry," music and lyrics by Paul Bartel
+
SONGS
"He's Just a Man," written by David A. Axelrod and Delaney Bramlett, performed by Delaney Bramlett
"Green Eyed Surfer Boy," music and lyrics by Paul Bartel
"I'm Sorry," music and lyrics by Paul Bartel
"Oh, How I'll Cry When You Go," music and lyrics by Paul Bartel
"My Racin' Heart," composed and performed by Gerrit Graham.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Cannonball!
Carquake
Release Date:
8 September 1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 8 September 1976
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Hong Kong, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Coy "Cannonball" Buckman and his blindfolded probation officer/girlfriend, Linda Maxwell, are racing his red Trans-Am down the highway. A man in the backseat tells Coy that if he wins the race, he will be a professional racer again. Then, just as the man also asks if Coy is worried if his current girl friend will die racing just like his previous ones, a gunshot hits Coy between the eyes. His car flips over and explodes. Waking up from his nightmare at 4:30 a.m., Coy hears noises coming from his garage where he finds his mechanic, Zippo, working on a red Trans-Am with "Cannonball" printed on the side. Irritated by the noise Zippo is making, Coy complains that he can't sleep. Zippo says once he finishes with the car, Coy will be able to win the race in his sleep. Meanwhile, Bennie, Coy’s brother, and Sharpe, Bennie's cohort, place a bomb in a Pantera sports car that will detonate when the car hits 165 miles per hour. Later, Beutell Morris, a well-dressed African-American picks up a Lincoln Town Car from a Jewish couple so that he can drive it to New York, where he will meet them in a week. The woman specifically instructs Beutell not to drive over fifty-five or at night, to which he agrees. The next morning, dozens of racers are parked by Santa Monica Pier to compete in an illegal cross-country race for a prize of $100,000. The racers include Coy and Beutell; Wolfe Messer, a German who is favored to win and who is driving the Pantera; Jim Crandell and his girlfriend Maryann, who are driving Maryann’s dad’s Corvette; and Cade Redman in his Dodge ... +


Coy "Cannonball" Buckman and his blindfolded probation officer/girlfriend, Linda Maxwell, are racing his red Trans-Am down the highway. A man in the backseat tells Coy that if he wins the race, he will be a professional racer again. Then, just as the man also asks if Coy is worried if his current girl friend will die racing just like his previous ones, a gunshot hits Coy between the eyes. His car flips over and explodes. Waking up from his nightmare at 4:30 a.m., Coy hears noises coming from his garage where he finds his mechanic, Zippo, working on a red Trans-Am with "Cannonball" printed on the side. Irritated by the noise Zippo is making, Coy complains that he can't sleep. Zippo says once he finishes with the car, Coy will be able to win the race in his sleep. Meanwhile, Bennie, Coy’s brother, and Sharpe, Bennie's cohort, place a bomb in a Pantera sports car that will detonate when the car hits 165 miles per hour. Later, Beutell Morris, a well-dressed African-American picks up a Lincoln Town Car from a Jewish couple so that he can drive it to New York, where he will meet them in a week. The woman specifically instructs Beutell not to drive over fifty-five or at night, to which he agrees. The next morning, dozens of racers are parked by Santa Monica Pier to compete in an illegal cross-country race for a prize of $100,000. The racers include Coy and Beutell; Wolfe Messer, a German who is favored to win and who is driving the Pantera; Jim Crandell and his girlfriend Maryann, who are driving Maryann’s dad’s Corvette; and Cade Redman in his Dodge Charger, which he financed by agreeing to let a country singer, Perman Waters, and his mother, Sharma Capri, ride with him and broadcast on the CB radio. Linda begs Coy not to race because he is still on probation for the death of his previous passenger. Then, the man from the dream offers Coy a spot on his racing team if Coy wins the race; but, if Redman wins, Redman will get the job. While no one is paying attention, Redman steals the jack from Coy’s trunk. When Bennie arrives, he tells his brother that he has a huge bet on him. As soon as someone yells that the police are coming, Linda announces that she'll have to report Coy, so he drags her into his car. One by one the racers time stamp their tickets and speed off. A blue van arrives with three girls in it: Sandy, Ginny and Wendy. The girls hear the sirens, punch their ticket and go. As the race gets underway, Zippo drives up in an exact replica of Coy’s car, saying that he’s going to win the race. Coy marvels at the audacity of his best friend before speeding off. Meanwhile, Bennie visits the mansion of mobster Lester Marks and asks to bet more money on Coy. When Marks refuses, Bennie tells him about the bomb in Messer’s car. Marks still refuses. As the racers jostle for position, Beutell pulls up to the girls’ van and asks if any of the ladies would like to drive with a winner. Sandy, who is driving, swerves and smashes the left side of Beutell’s car, forcing him off the road. Redman spots Coy and, over the protests of his two passengers, forces Coy off the road. Deciding it is unsafe for Linda to continue riding with him, Coy radios Zippo and tells him to take Linda. Zippo makes the swap and gives Coy his "magic" yellow truckers cap. Bennie radios a helicopter that is following the race. The pilot tells him that Coy is third and that another red Trans-Am with a guy in a yellow hat is giving him real competition. In Redman's car, Perman is being interviewed by a radio station over the CB radio when Beutell passes Redman. Redman slams his car into Beutell’s, forcing him off the road and cutting off Perman mid-song during his interview. Messer zooms past a highway patrol car that gives chase. When the German hits 165 mph while trying to get away, his car blows up. Coy catches up to Redman and rear-ends him. As Coy speeds past, Redman takes aim with a pistol and shoots out a tire, right before Perman knocks the gun out the window. Coy loses control and runs off the road. When Coy discovers his jack is missing, he backs up onto a guardrail and changes the tire. Meanwhile, Linda asks Zippo if he was there the night Coy's girl was killed. Zippo lets it slip that he was driving that night, but Coy took the blame. When Coy gets back on the road, a motorcycle cop pulls him over. The cop, though, is actually Sharpe, who forces Coy to get out of his car. Sharpe tries to hit Coy with a pistol, but Coy gets the upper hand and beats up Sharpe instead. As Coy speeds away, he spots Redman’s car outside a convenience store. Coy goes in and the two fight until Redman squirts dish soap into Coy's eyes. Redman runs outside and kicks Coy’s headlights out before driving away. At the same time, Sandy and the girls get pulled over by the police who say they have to go to the station. However, Ginny and Wendy take the two policemen into the back of the van. Night falls and Coy realizes he doesn’t have headlights. He keeps driving until he misses a curve and wrecks his car. Later, Bennie flies to St. Louis and meets with Marks, who is unhappy that Coy is behind. Marks orders two goons to beat up Bennie. Coy is towed into a junkyard. He’s about to quit when two teenagers realize that Coy is racing in the cannonball and they swap cars with him. Ginny and Wendy are still entertaining the police officers in the van as they tow the police cruiser behind them. Beutell pulls alongside the cruiser, throws in some gas cans along with his lighter. The cruiser explodes as Beutell takes off. Sandy stops and the two disrobed policemen climb out. Sandy guns the van and leaves the policemen behind. Fed up with Perman's singing, Redman threatens to toss him out if he doesn't shut up. When Sharma reminds Redman that the deal is he would drive them all the way to New York, Redman breaks Perman’s guitar and throws it out the window. Stopping at a gas station, Redman learns from an attendant that another racer in a red car is ahead of him. He gets on the CB radio and calls for help. The next morning, Zippo and Linda run into a roadblock. Five men attack Zippo, who goes down, while Linda uses karate to beat up the five. Later in the day, Redman sees Coy pull onto a road that is under construction, but has a sign that says it is a direct route to New York City. Redman stops his car, throws Perman and his mother out and speeds after Coy. Redman catches up and he and Coy play demolition derby. Then, when Coy notices he's driving on an unfinished overpass with a large piece missing in the middle, he guns his car and jumps the gap. Redman tries to follow, but a piece of Perman’s guitar is stuck in the gas pedal. Redman flies off the side of the overpass and crashes down below in a big explosion. Meanwhile, Sharpe is by the side of the road hiding underneath a jacked up car and holding a sniper’s rifle. As Beutell and Zippo race towards him, Sharpe shoots Zippo dead. Zippo’s car flips over, throwing Linda out onto the pavement. Beutell clips Sharpe’s car, causing it to fall off the jack and killing Sharpe. Jim and Maryann pull up, grab Linda and rush her to a hospital. Seconds later, a truck plows into Zippo’s car and sets off a seventeen car pileup of exploding automobiles. Later, at the hospital, after Jim and Maryann find out Linda is going to be fine, Maryann convinces Jim to continue the race even if they can’t win. Sandy and girls get to New York City, turn down an alley to avoid traffic and smash into another car. The girls get out of the van and start beating the other driver. At last, Coy crosses the finish line where Bennie tells him he has to stamp the ticket to win. However, when a fan tells Coy about the big pileup, Coy pauses and insists on going to the hospital. Bennie begs his brother to stamp the ticket first. However, Coy realizes that it was his brother who blew up the German's car and caused the pile up, so he tears up his ticket and leaves Bennie to Marks. Jim and Maryann drive up to find out that they are the winners. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Coy finds Linda bandaged from head to toe and they embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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