Last night i chanced upon a showing of the Cannonball Run on one of the digital TV channels, a film i love but have not seen for a few years. What struck me as i was watching the early 80s road race antics was how amazing the cast was. You had Burt Reynolds as the lead of course but supported by Dom DeLuise for humour and Farrah Fawcett for sex appeal but then look at some of the other supporting cast : Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Jackie Chan! It is difficult to think of a film these days which would have such a star strewn but also varied cast as this. Of course when they made the sequel most of the cast returned and they added Frank Sinatra to the mix!
Films from this era, the early 1980s, are very nostalgic for me as i was a tweenager at the time and just starting to develop my own tastes and fandoms. Burt Reynolds was an early hero of mine thanks to films like Cannonball Run and Smokey & the Bandit films which maybe did not trouble the brain too much and were often a little self-indulgent but they were definitely fun and thats what entertainment is all about at the end of the day.
The American road movie of course is the stuff of many dreams, even now the wide open spaces accompanied only by the roar of a Dodge or Chevy has a romantic appeal though i suspect the reality isn't quite as fun as the dream especially in these more pragmatic times.