Thursday, November 13, 2008


When I was in high school I had a friend who was obsessed with cars. This obsession translated into many instances of reckless driving that placed out lives at risk and to taking our group of pals to movies about people obsessed with, well, cars.

Of course, he dragged us to the Paramount theater in Santurce to see “The Gumball Rally”, a movie about an illegal cross-country race. It featured then cool guy (I guess) Michael Sarrazin and an unknown actor called Raul Julia. I remember kind of liking the movie, but I don’t recall whether I really did or if I was just being nice to my friend.

Thanks to the magic of DVD I was able to see this movie again 34 years later and decide for myself. And here’s my verdict.
1. It is a fun movie if you keep your expectations low. Very low.
2. Raul Julia shows his star quality really early in his career. He steals the movie as an egotistical, incredibly self-absorbed Italian driver.
And finally, the movie is better than its rip-off, Burt Reynolds’ “Cannonball Run”, which is, of course, no great accomplishment.

Still I am not sure how I feel about it. Maybe because time has made me nostalgic about movies of the 1970’s. But mostly, because it reminds me of my teenage days and of my long lost friend.

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