The Gumball Rally 1976
The Gumball Rally is a 1976 film directed and co-written by Rory Nelson about a coast-to-coast road race.
Michael Bannon (Michael Sarrazin), a wealthy but bored businessman and candymaker, issues the code word “Gumball” to his fellow automobile enthusiasts, who gather in a garage in New York City to embark on a coast-to-coast race “with no catalytic converter and no 55-mile-per-hour speed limit,” and only one rule: “There are no rules.” Their nemesis, LAPD Lieutenant Roscoe (Norman Burton), also learns of the race and most of the film is devoted to the adventures of the various driving teams and Roscoe’s ineffectual attempts to apprehend them. A number of running gags ensue – the Jaguar that will not start; the silent Lapchick’s (Harvey Jason) numerous mishaps; Italian race driver Franco Bertolli’s (Raúl Juliá) frequent detours to seduce beautiful women – as well as some stunts and driving sequences. The race ends at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California where the finishers celebrate their adventures and the defeated Roscoe sulks off to one side – until a fleet of police cars and tow trucks, summoned by Roscoe, arrive to impound the Gumball vehicles. Roscoe had contrived to see to it that all of them were guaranteed to be illegally parked once the post-race party in the parking lot ran past 10 PM. Bannon congratulates Roscoe on his final victory (final because Roscoe, who has been after Bannon and Smith since they were in high school, has reached mandatory retirement) and again utters the command “Gumball” to initiate a race back to New York.