Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to Seeing Double, a series where two strangely similar films released around the same time are put head-to-head. This time, we rev our engines and hit the asphalt with movies about high-speed, fun-filled car races across America.)
If someone mentions having seen a movie about a wild and highly illegal cross-country car race you’d most likely think they were referring to 1981’s The Cannonball Run. It’s understandable as the Hal Needham-directed hit is popular, filled with A and B-list celebrities, and even received a sequel, but it’s neither the first nor the best to tackle this very real race in the form of a comedic action flick. (And no, they’re definitely not referring to 1989’s Speed Zone. No one ever refers to that movie.)
Two movies were released in 1976 and opened a mere three weeks apart, and both put an eclectic group of characters behind the wheel for a coast to coast race where only the fastest can be crowned the winner. Big stunts, eccentric characters, and a massive disrespect for the law are the order of the day in both films, but which movie wins the race? Ready, set…go!