Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Cannonball Run II

Rat Pack stars Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. appeared on the big screen in 1984, featured in a film called The Cannonball Run II. It was a sequel to the original Cannonball Run from 1981 which also starred Dean and Sammy, but this time they were joined in the cast by the Rat Pack's leader Frank Sinatra.

The movie starred Burt Reynolds and featured stars including Dom DeLuise, Jackie Chan, Jamie Farr and Mel Tillis reprising their roles from the first Cannonball Run film. Also appearing were Ricardo Montalban, Telly Savalas, Marilu Henner, Tim Conway, Don Knotts, and Rack Pack friend Shirley MacLaine. Even Frank Sinatra's close friend, restaurant owner and Sinatra bodyguard Jilly Rizzo had a part.

It's a broad action comedy like the original Cannonball Run, about a cross-country auto race based on a real race held in the 70's. The sequel brought in $28 million in box office receipts, falling well short of the original, but it is noteworthy as it represented Frank and Dean's final feature film appearances.

For more information on the film, visit Wikipedia or IMDB, and for information on a contemporary tribute to the Rat Pack, visit The Rat Pack Impersonators page on the Web.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Cannonball Run

In 1981, the sixth highest-grossing movie of the year was an action comedy with a cast of many big name stars. It was the story of a cross-country road race based on a real race held in the 70's, and the film brought in 72 million dollars. It was called The Cannonball Run, and it starred Burt Reynolds, Dom Deluise and Farrah Fawcett. Directed by Hal Needham of Smokey and the Bandit fame, The Cannonball Run also featured Rat Pack stars Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., Dean as a former race car driver and Sammy as a scam artist, both disguised as priests who drive a red Ferrari.

One unique part is played by Roger Moore, who spoofs himself, playing a character who seems to think he's Roger Moore, and who behaves like James Bond, even driving a silver Aston Martin like agent 007.

There were still more stars in the film, including Jackie Chan, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Tillis and Peter Fonda, but in many reviews, viewers say Dean and Sammy steal the show. Three years later, Dean and Sammy returned for The Cannonball Run II, and this time, they were joined in the cast by an old friend named Frank Sinatra.

From the Rat Pack Impersonators blog and the cast of a Rat Pack Impersonators show seen in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and across America.