Julie 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.

Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, and FabianFabian, Annette Funicello, and Frankie AvalonFrankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and Fabian

With Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian

Frankie Avalon and FabianJulie Parrish and Frankie Avalon

LEFT: Frankie Avalon as Dave and Fabian as Leander. RIGHT: Julie Parrish and Frankie Avalon

plot synopsis

Although 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.

FabianFrankie Avalon, Fabian, and Annette Funicello

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

The crux of Fireball 500 hinges upon transporting moonshine whiskey, much like Thunder Road, but with more plot twists. Frankie Avalon portrays "Fireball" Dave Owens, a stock-car racer. He meets Jane (Annette Funicello) and becomes infatuated with her, although she is dating another stock car driver, Leander (Fabian). On the side, Leander runs moonshine whiskey. Dave meets Martha (Julie Parrish), who is in cahoots with racing promoter Charlie Bigg (Harvey Lembeck) in the illegal transport of moonshine. Martha dupes Dave into running moonshine whiskey, telling him that he's running a nighttime cross-country race.

Fireball 500 poster

Fireball 500 reproduction poster. A recent Internet search found an original one-sheet for sale at $100

fireball 500 available on DVD

Find your movie at
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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