Story by Guy Anderson
Photos copyright Guy Anderson
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Hal Needham, the director of The Cannonball Run, was a stunt man by trade turned actor/director. Needham had many years under his belt perfecting these types of dangerous stunts and was famous for his ability to place the film-goer on the edge of their seat. He went to great lengths to get his audience involved with some amazing stunts that his productions devised and executed.
This was a time when stunts were actually made by real people; there were no computers to generate these stunts. Just imagine riding in the Smokey and The Bandit Trans Am when it jumped the Mulberry Bridge in 1977 at the Jonesboro, Georgia location. This was an insane stunt that is now made famous in the Smokey and the Bandit franchise. The Trans Am was a real car with real stunt men with a very real and extremely dangerous 150-foot jump over a real rotted-out bridge. Needham made that insanely dangerous and scary sequence happen with precision in its execution.