The Gumball Rally

Film

The Gumball Rally is a 1976 comedy film directed and co-written by Charles Bail, a former stunt coordinator also known as Chuck Bail, about an illicit coast-to-coast road race. It was inspired by the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash run by Brock Yates, which inspired several other films, including Cannonball (1976), Cannonball Run (1981), Speed Zone/Cannonball Fever (1989); as well as an actual event, the American Gumball Rally and Gumball 3000 international race.

Michael Bannon (Michael Sarrazin), a wealthy but bored businessman and candymaker, issues the code word "Gumball" to his fellow automobile enthusiasts, who gather in a garage in New York City to embark on a coast-to-coast race "with no catalytic converter and no 55-mile-per-hour speed limit," in the shortest amount of time. There is only one rule: "There are no rules."

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The Gumball Rally is a 1976 comedy film directed and co-written by Charles Bail, a former stunt coordinator also known as Chuck Bail, about an illicit coast-to-coast road race. It was inspired by the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash run by Brock Yates, which inspired several other films, including Cannonball (1976), Cannonball Run (1981), Speed Zone/Cannonball Fever (1989); as well as an actual event, the American Gumball Rally and Gumball 3000 international race.

Michael Bannon (Michael Sarrazin), a wealthy but bored businessman and candymaker, issues the code word "Gumball" to his fellow automobile enthusiasts, who gather in a garage in New York City to embark on a coast-to-coast race "with no catalytic converter and no 55-mile-per-hour speed limit," in the shortest amount of time. There is only one rule: "There are no rules."

Their longtime nemesis, LAPD Lieutenant Roscoe (Normann Burton), also learns of the race (no explanation of how he learns of it is provided). Most of the film is devoted to the adventures of the various driving teams and Roscoe's ineffectual attempts to apprehend them.

A number of running gags ensue – the Jaguar that will not start; the silent Lapchik's (Harvey Jason) numerous mishaps; Italian race driver Franco Bertollini's (Raúl Juliá) frequent detours to seduce beautiful women – as well as some stunts and driving sequences. The race ends at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California where the finishers celebrate their adventures and the defeated Roscoe sulks off to one side – until a fleet of police cars and tow trucks, summoned by Roscoe, arrive to impound the Gumball vehicles. Roscoe had contrived to see to it that all of them were guaranteed to be illegally parked once the post-race party in the parking lot ran past 11 PM.

Bannon congratulates Roscoe on his final victory (final because Roscoe, who has been after Bannon and Smith since they were in high school, has reached mandatory retirement age) and again utters the command "Gumball" to initiate a race back to New York.

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