castJulie Parrish, Frankie Avalon, Baynes Barron, Fabian, Annette Funicello, Ed Garner, Harvey Lembeck, Michael Nader, Renie Riano, Chill Wills, Patti Chandler, and Jo Collins. Directed by William Asher.
plot synopsisAlthough this film has been criticized as "the beach party gang on wheels," it's actually quite a bit more daring than the beach party films. Much more adult in nature than the innocence of Bikini Beach, Fireball 500 features far more sexual situations than all of the beach party films put together.
LEFT: Fabian gets the girl in the end. RIGHT: Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Annette Funicello in a promotional tie-in with VOX organs. AIP and VOX also teamed for cross-promotion in The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
Fireball 500 reproduction poster. A recent Internet search found an original one-sheet for sale at $100
Fireball 500 (1966)/Thunder Alley [DVD](1967) DVD
Running moonshine through a small town on his way to Daytona, bootlegger Frankie Avalon competes with hot-headed local race car driver Fabian for the affections of Annette Funicello while evading a group of federal agents. The fast-paced comedic actioner "Fireball 500" also stars Chill Wills, Harvey Lembeck. Then, in "Thunder Alley," stock car racer Fabian is forced to retire after a blackout on the track leads to the death of another driver. Taking a job with Jan Murray's "thrill circus," he teaches Funicello and boyfriend Warren Berlinger to race, but when Fabian's old girlfriend causes friction between the trio, he must get back behind the wheel and overcome his affliction in this rubber-burning thriller from director Richard Rush ("The Stunt Man"). 181 min. total. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French.
Frankie & Annette: M-G-M Movie Legends Collection [DVD] DVD
"Surf's up" in this four-disc boxed set saluting AIP's teen comedy series and seaside sweethearts Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Anthropologist Bob Cummings uses the pair as part of a study of modern mating habits in the original "Beach Party" (1963), with Morey Amsterdam, Dorothy Malone, and Harvey Lembeck as Eric Von Zipper. Annette has her hands full when the Potato Bug, a British pop star who's Frankie's double, arrives at "Bikini Beach" (1964). Don Rickles and Little Stevie Wonder guest star. Gym owner Rickles wants to take over the kids' surf spot, and heiress Luciana Paluzzi wants to woo Frankie from Annette, in "Muscle Beach Party" (1964). Avalon trades his board for slats and joins Dwayne Hickman, Deborah Walley and James Brown for a "Ski Party" (1965). "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965) boasts a missing singer, a mermaid, and skydiving surfdogs. Avalon wants to keep pal Hickman away from Funicello while he's on military duty in "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" (1965), with Buster Keaton. Frankie's a moonshine-running hot rodder competing with racer Fabian for Annette's hand in "Fireball 500" (1966). And Fabian and Funicello burn rubber together in "Thunder Alley" (1967). 12 1/2 hrs. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English mono.
fireball 500 posters and photos available
fireball 500 trailer
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This page premiered March 8, 1999.
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