Editor's note: This article originally ran in "Tales from the Morgue" July 21, 2008.
The galaxy of stars assembled in Tucson for the 1983 filming of “Cannonball Run II” read like a Who’s Who of top name talent. It included Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Sammy Davis Jr., Marilu Henner, Jack Elam, Doug McClure, Frank Sinatra, Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard Kiel and Jackie Chan. That’s not even all of them.
The movie sequel to the 1981 “Cannonball Run,” continued the cross-country car race with even “more camp, more wacky stunts and more celebrities.”
Shirley MacLaine and Marilu Henner played actresses in a road show of “The Sound of Music.” They are mistaken for real nuns.
Several scenes from the movie were filmed at the Wagon Wheel Post Bar which is located at Picture Rocks and Sandario roads. In a tragic turn for the movie, a Pima County sheriff’s deputy was killed during a shootout at the bar. He was working off-duty guarding some of the movie equipment stored there.
The film did not receive a very good review from the Star. “This ‘Cannonball’ accomplishes the difficult feat of being more obnoxious and mindless than the first. It’s as much fun as going to your mechanic for a tuneup and being told that you need an engine overhaul.”
The IMDB rating for “Cannonball Run II” is four out of 10 stars.