Derek Winnert


This article was written on 19 Jan 2018, and is filled under Articles.

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Cannonball Run II * (1984, Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Jamie Farr, Marilu Henner, Telly Savalas, Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra) – Classic Movie Review 6582

There is little action and there are even fewer laughs in director Hal Needham’s 1984 action comedy sequel, and the big-star guest spots hardly help. Admittedly, though, it might just be worth a look for the cast.

Burt Reynolds returns to the scene of his 1981 hit as Cannonball Runner JJ McClure, but the trick does not work twice, even with the same characters and same plot about an illegal cross-country car chase. Dom DeLuise, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and Jamie Farr (as The Sheik) all also return from the original. Marilu Henner, Telly Savalas, Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra (as himself) also star.

The feeble script about The Sheik offering a $1 million jackpot for a new Cannonball Run car chase after failing to win the first one is not well developed and realised, and Needham as director and main writer has to take the blame in both categories, along with producer/ co-writer Albert S Ruddy and third writer Harvey Miller.

Also in the cast are Susan Anton, Catherine Bach, Richard Kiel, Sid Caesar, Ricardo Montalban, Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, Jackie Chan, Tony Danza, Foster Brooks, Michael V Gazzo, Charles Nelson Reilly as as Don Don Canneloni, Molly Picon (reprising her role as Mrs Goldfarb), Alex Rocco as Tony, Henry Silva as Slim, Abe Vigoda, Arte Johnson, Chris Lemmon, Doug McClure (as The Sheik’s servant, a TV actor who has not worked in nine years), Cheech Marin, Dub Taylor as a sheriff, Joe Theismann as truck driver Mack and director Hal Needham (as a Porsche 928 driver in a cowboy hat).

This time it flopped. It cost $20 million and earned only $28 million in the US.

© Derek Winnert 2018 Classic Movie Review 6582

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