Thursday, September 13, 2018

Burt Memorial Watch: Cannonball Run II (1984)

suddenly I know where the Marvel movie poster strategy came from

Watched:  09/13/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Oh, who knows?
Decade:  1980s

Cannonball Run II (1984) is not a good movie.  But it is a fascinating movie and an extraordinary time capsule of a certain era as an old guard is mixed with a new guard of Hollywood to make a giant Looney Tunes movie directed by Hal Needham.

Weirdly, The Cannonball Run is not on Amazon for streaming, and the copy we watched seemed like it was left over from the masters that were created to produce the VHS tapes of the 1980s.  Look, this movie isn't going to win any awards, but it absolutely *should* be studied for years to come for people to get what the Rat Pack looked like in 1983/84, what a young Jackie Chan looked like to the US upon his first arrival in an American film, and what Catherine Bach was up to, movies-wise, during the era of Dukes of Hazzard.

I mean, this movie re-assembles the cast of The Godfather and turns them into a collective Wile E. Coyote trying to catch Jamie Farr playing a stereotypical sheik character.  It's bananas.

Not necessarily actually funny, but it is weird.

I'm just gonna write down the cast, because... holy smokes...

Burt Reynolds
Dom DeLuise
Dean Martin
Sammy Davis Jr.
Jamie Farr
Marilu Henner
Telly Savalas
Shirley MacLaine
Susan Anton
Catherine Bach
Foster Brooks
Sid Caesar
Jackie Chan
Tim Conway
Tony Danza
Jack Elam
Michael V. Gazzo
Richard Kiel
Don Knotts
Ricardo Montalban
Jim Nabors
Louis Nye
Molly Picon
Charles Nelson Reilly
Alex Rocco
Henry Silva
Frank Sinatra
Joe Theismann
Mel Tillis
Abe Vigoda
Fred Dryer
Arte Johnson
Lydia Lei
Chris Lemmon
George Lindsey
Doug McClure
Dub Taylor
Bobby Berosini's Orangutan
Frank Welker
Cheech Marin
Hal Needham
Manis the Orangutan

and I'm 90% certain one of the heavies was Tor Johnson, but couldn't have been since Tor had been dead for 13 years before the movie came out

It all does raise the question: do the kids even know Dean Martin?

I'm not sure Jamie enjoyed the movie in the slightest.  I offered to turn it off and she refused, which seemed weird.  She'd never seen it before, and we didn't talk during the movie.  I'm curious how the movie looks to people who didn't watch it over and over in their youth.  Not good, I imagine.

But Burt and Dom are hysterical.


Groboclown said...

I have a feeling that this film was trying to be the next It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Workd. It has thise elements - across the map chase! All your favorite stars! Screwball comedy! But it just falls flat. I don't know how this film made the 80's TV circuit for as long as it did. Mayve it's yet another one that doesn't age well?

For as many times that I've seen this, I've never seen the first Cannonball Run.

The League said...

I totally agree. I've only watched "It's a Mad, Mad... etc.. World" once, but I think this is a car-culture, 1980's good 'ol boy version of what that was doing. There IS a real race like the Cannonball Run (or was), but in all other respects... I do wonder about rights, because I've seen this one a lot more than the original, too. There's nothing specific about why this would be in the Wikipedia article on the first film, but it was produced out of Hong Kong (no idea), and maybe the rights are in dispute.

Groboclown said...

Looks like the production company "Golden Harvest" is the Hong Kong connection, which produced both flicks. Yeah, I'll skip this one and watch Smokey and the Bandit with that classic Firebird.

The League said...

Not gonna tell you what to do - but there's also a Firebird in "Hooper". And Sally Field. No Jerry Reid, tho...