Blu-ray Review – The Gumball Rally – Warner Archive

The Gumball Rally

Director: Charles Bail 

Screenplay: Leon Capetanos and Charles Bail

Minutes: 105

Year: 1976

Score: 5.13

Release: Warner Archive

The Gumball Rally is little more than a counter-cultural car porno for middle-aged white men.  It is well-made and when it came out I am sure it was better received than when I watched it.


It’s fast, funny, outrageously illegal – and the granddaddy of the cross-country speed spectacles that have raced across movie screens in the past two generations. Put your pedal to the metal for The Gumball Rally.

New York City is the starting point, and this supersonic contest ends 2,900 miles later in Los Angeles. In between, director Chuck Bail (coordinator of many classic movie stunt sequences) and a crew of actors and stunt persons treat you to a truly breakneck road comedy. Gary Busey plays a daredevil in a 600-horsepower Camaro. Raul Julia portrays an Italian Grand Prix champ who’s also an incurable romantic in a fast Ferrari. Michael Sarrazin as the race’s crafty, overconfident organizer pilots a classic Cobra. Ready, set, zoom!

The Gumball Rally is a fine film. It scratches an itch, but then, so does the Fast and Furious franchise which it a bit more action packed. The film starts off good, it starts interesting. But, and pun intended, it runs out of gas too quickly for my tastes.

There are better movies to watch for car flicks, or counter—culture, or all of it. But, I had zero expectations coming in so it definitely exceeded what I hoped. If I recommend this release it will certainly be under the caveat of being on sale.

Director: 7 – Cinematography: 9 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 2 – Score: 5 – Sound: 6 – Story: 3 – Script: 3 – Effects: 6 – Design: 4 – Costumes: 5 – Keeps interest: 9 – Lasting: 5