Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Cannonball (1976)

Cannonball (1976)

David Carradine stars as Coy “Cannonball” Buckman, a onetime top racer who landed in prison following a car wreck that left his old girlfriend dead.

Eager for redemption – and the race’s $100,000 prize money – Coy enters the Cannonball race alongside such peculiar characters as Perman Waters (Gerrit Graham), a country singer who tries to conduct live broadcasts while riding in a car driven by maniacal redneck Cade Redman (Bill McKinney); Sandy Harris (Mary Woronov), leader of a trio of sexpots who use their wiles to get out of speeding tickets; Terry McMillan (Carl Gottlieb), a suburban dad who has his car flown cross-country in a brazen attempt to steal the first-place prize; and Wolf Messer (James Keach), a German racing champ determined to smite his American counterparts.

Carradine is appealing, even if his martial arts scenes seem a bit out of place, and Cannonball is never boring. But it’s also never especially engaging.

Cannonball was the first of four pictures inspired by the real-life Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an illegal race from New York to LA that attracted speed-limit-averse rebels for several years in the 1970s.  It was followed by The Gumball Rally (also 1976), The Cannonball Run (1981), and Cannonball Run II (1984).

Coy ‘Cannonball’ Buckman
David Carradine
Cade Redman
Bill McKinney
Linda Maxwell
Veronica Hamel
Perman Waters
Gerrit Graham
Jim Crandell
Robert Carradine
Belinda Balaski
Sharma Capri
Judy Canova
Archie Hahn
Terry McMillan
Carl Gottlieb
Sandy Harris
Mary Woronov
Diane Lee Hart
Glynn Rubin
Wolfe Messer
James Keach
Bennie Buckman
Dick Miller
Stanley Bennett Clay
John Herzfeld
Louisa Moritz
Brad Phillips
Patrick Wright
Terry’s Daughter
Deirdre Ardell
Gretchen Ardell
Allan Arkush
Gary Austin
Lester Marks
Paul Bartel
Deke Scanton
Jim Connors
District Attorney
Roger Corman
Joe Dante
Dr Magritte
Samuel W. Gelfman
Brad Phillips’ Aide
David N. Gottlieb
Mrs McMillan
Lea Gould
Aron Kincaid
Mr Schulenberg
Saul Krugman
Mrs Schulenberg
Mary-Robin Redd
Martin Scorsese
Sylvester Stallone
Assistant District Attorney
Don Simpson

Paul Bartel