Really Bad Movie - Really Large Famous Cast

My TIVO recorded Cannonball Run II for some unknown reason. For some stranger reason, I found myself watching it in fascination. The movie was just as bad as I anticipated, but I could not believe the cast. What other movie could have Tim Conway, Frank Sinatra and Jackie Chan in the same film. I was wondering who could pursuade this many big names (at least at the time) to sign up for this dreck. Here is a partial cast list:

Burt Reynolds
Dom DeLuise
Dean Martin
Sammy Davis Jr
Jamie Farr
Telly Savalas
Marilu Henner
Shirley MacLaine (As a seriously disturbing “sexy fake nun” making out with Burt Reynolds ‘shudder’)
Susan Anton
Catherine Bach
Foster Brooks
Sid Caesar
Jackie Chan (Whaaa? Well, I think he was pretty unknown in the US at the time)
Tim Conway
Tony Danza
Jack Elam
Richard Kiel (Of James bond villain fame - teemed up with the aforesaid “Mr. Chan”)
Don Knotts
Ricardo Montalban
Jim Nabors (as, get this, Private Homer Lyle)
Charles Nelson Reilly
Frank Sinatra (Frank freakin’ Sinatra, did he lose a bet?)
Joe Theismann
Mel Tillis (In a car with Tony Danza and an ape)
Abe Vigoda
Arte Johnson
and (wait for it)
George “Goober” Lindsey

Anyway - anyone else know any other movies you can’t understand how it was casted? Share

I have noticed this phenomenon A LOT- unbelievably crappy movies with uber famous casts (and after they’ve made it big). Town and Country, Nothing but Trouble, Rat Race (to name a few). Either someone’s cashing in some favours or clashing egos turned everything sour.

I thought this thread was going to be about Ocean’s 12

Aw, c’mon! This has 3 1/5 Oscar winners in it:

Whoopi Goldberg
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Kathy Bates

and in the Roberto Benigni role - Rowan Atkinson!

How could it miss?

The winner and all-time champion of oddball casing, as I’ve claimed before on the SDMB, is The Story of Mankind, a ruly whacko production with:
Ronald Colman as the Spirit of Mankind
Vincent Price as "Mr. Scratch, the Devil OK, this one makes sense)
Peter Lorre as Emperor Ner

Groucho Marx as Peter Minuit

Harpo Marx as Sir Isaac Newton
And a great many misplaced others. Hendrik van Loon’s book was serious, but I have no idea what the makers of the film were trying to do.
As we’ve pointed out beforem, the late 1950s/early 1960s was the era of the Try-to-fit-in-as-many-cameos-as-you-can era:
**It’s a Mad. Mad, Mad, Mad World

Casino Royale

Around the World in 80 Days

What a way to Go!**

Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Bee Gees
Peter Frampton
George Burns
Donald Pleasence
Steve Martin
Alice Cooper
Aerosmith
Earth Wind and Fire
Billy Preston

The Madwoman of Chaillot:
Katharine Hepburn*, Paul Henreid, Oskar Homolka, Yul Brynner*, Richard Chamberlain, Dame Edith Evans, Donald Pleasence, John Gavin, and Danny Kaye

The Blue Bird :
Elizabeth Taylor*, Jane Fonda*, Ava Gardner, Cicely Tyson, Robert Morley, Patsy Kensit, Will Geer, and Mona Washbourne (James Coco was also in the cast, but got sick and had to drop out).

The Story of Mankind:
credits order)
Ronald Colman*, Hedy Lamarr, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx (their last film together, though they didn’t appear together), Virginia Mayo, Agnes Moorehead (Endora on “Bewitched”), Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Charles Coburn*, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Cesar Romero, John Carradine, Dennis Hopper, Edward Everett Horton, Franklin Pangborn, (very well-known character actor), Henry Daniell, and Francis X. Bushman (major silent film star)

  • Oscar winner

I’m pretty sure that some of it is that having certain actors in a movie will guarantee big bucks at the box office, so someone is probably thinking “Hey, we have Tom Hanks in our movie, we’re gonna make tons of money! Script? What do you mean we need a script? We have Tom Hanks!” And of course, the more big names, the better.

Rat Race is rather enjoyable as a brainless comedy, but nothing more. In general, the more big names, the more the movie is going to suck.

Bonfire of the Vanities, anyone?

Tom Hanks
Bruce Willis
Melanie Griffith
Kim Cattrall
Morgan Freeman
Kirsten Dunst
F. Murray Abraham

Mars Attacks!

Jack Nicholson
Glenn Close
Annette Bening
Pierce Brosnan
Danny DeVito
Martin Short
Sarah Jessica Parker
Michael J. Fox
Rod Steiger
Tom Jones
Jim Brown
Lukas Haas
Natalie Portman
Pam Grier
Sylvia Sidney
Jack Black
Christina Applegate
Joe Don Baker

How about The Longest Day?

Eddie Albert
Richard Burton
Sean Connery
Mel Ferrer
Henry Fonda
Gert Frobe
Robert Mitchum
Robert Ryan
Rod Stieger
John Wayne

– and that’s just the A-list stars

I actually love Mystery Men, but I wouldn’t call it a great movie by any standards. Still, it stars:

Ben Stiller
Janeane Garofalo
William H. Macy
Hank Azaria
Geoffrey Rush
Greg Kinnear
Eddie Izzard
Lena Olin
Claire Forlani
Paul Reubens
Kel Mitchell
Tom Waits
Wes Studi

One of the things that killed off the disaster movie genre was the godawful “When Time Ran Out,” an Irwin Allen movie about a resort island where a deadly volcano is about to blow.

The cast included:

Paul Newman
Jacqueline Bisset
William Holden
Burgess Meredith
Red Buttons
Ernest Borgnine
James Franciscus
Veronica Hamel
Edward Albert
Alex Karras
Barbara Carrera
Pat Morita

There have been very few worse movies, and very few movies with more stellar casts. Finding a worse movie with a better cast will be a challenge!

There’s nothing really surprising about the cast for Cannonball Run II:

Burt Reynolds
Dom DeLuise - frequent Reynolds costar, from first movie
Dean Martin - Rat Pack, from first movie
Sammy Davis Jr - Rat Pack, from first movie
Jamie Farr - from first movie
Telly Savalas
Marilu Henner - Taxi cast member, frequent Reynolds costar
Shirley MacLaine - Rat Pack
Susan Anton
Catherine Bach - frequent Reynolds costar
Foster Brooks
Sid Caesar
Jackie Chan - from first movie
Tim Conway
Tony Danza - Taxi cast member
Jack Elam - from first movie
Richard Kiel
Don Knotts
Ricardo Montalban
Jim Nabors - frequent Reynolds costar, Gomer Pyle cast member
Charles Nelson Reilly
Frank Sinatra (Frank freakin’ Sinatra, did he lose a bet?) - Rat Pack
Joe Theismann
Mel Tillis - frequent Reynolds costar. from first movie
Abe Vigoda
Arte Johnson
George “Goober” Lindsey - Gomer Pyle castmember

This is basically most of the cast of the first movie, a group of Burt Reynolds’s pals, some former cast members from Taxi and Gomer Pyle who knew the Reynolds pals, and the Rat Pack. It’s actually quite similar to the Rat Pack movies, where you always suspected that the Rat Pack members were having more fun making the film than you were in watching it. Throw in some current hot TV babes, some TV comedian character actors, some down-on-their-luck TV actors, and a random sports star and you’ve got a typical Burt Reynolds movie of that era. The very laziness of the casting is one of the reason it was no good and was pretty much the end of Reynold’s time as a major movie star. What would have been surprising would be if it were to have Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Meryl Streep, Woody Allen, Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, Sigourney Weaver, Jack Nicholson, Donald Sutherland, Robert DeNiro, or any major European actor of the time in the cast.

I once watched the movie “A Bridge Too Far” without knowing a thing about it. It is an OK movie, but nothing particularly outstanding. Not “really bad” as the OP, but definitely middle of the pack for WWII movies.

Directed by Richard Attenborough. Starring (among others):
James Caan
Michael Caine
Sean Connery
Elliot Gould
Gene Hackman
Anthony Hopkins
Ryan O’Neal
Laurence Olivier
Robert Redford
Maximilian Schell
Liv Ullman
John Ratzenberger

So next time you were looking for a movie with both Cliffy and Sir Laurence Olivier, that’s your movie.

Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)

Bruce Dern
Madeline Kahn
Art Carney
Phil Silvers
Teri Garr
Morey Amsterdam
Billy Barty
Edgar Bergen
Milton Berle
Rory Calhoun
John Carradine
Cyd Charisse
Jackie Coogan
Yvonne De Carlo
William Demarest
Stepin Fetchit
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Shecky Greene
Sterling Holloway
Tab Hunter
George Jessel
Fernando Lamas
Dorothy Lamour
Peter Lawford
Victor Mature
Ethel Merman
Ann Miller
Ricardo Montalban
Dean Stockwell
Johnny Weissmuller
Henny Youngman

Plus a whole mess more who have imdb listings going back into the 20’s and 30’s. Were the studios cleaning out stockroom or something?

The Longest Dat is a Bad movie? Sure, it may not be as intense as “Saving Private Ryan”, but it’s still pretty good.

People will probably disagree with me but:

The Ten Commandments

Charlton Heston
Yul Brynner
Cedric Hardwicke
Anne Baxter
Vincent Price
Edward G. Robinson
Martha Scott
Yvonne DeCarlo
Judith Anderson
John Derek
John Carradine
Nina Foch
Henry Wilcoxon
Debra Paget

and a cast of thousands, including members of the Egyptian army, and according to rumor, Fidel Castro

Shark Tale.

I mean, Will Smith I can see, and probably Angelina Joliee. But Robert De Niro? Martin Scorsese? Renée Zellweger?

Either they were really slummin’, or hard up for cash…

You people have a hard time telling a truly bad movie like Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB from one that just may not be your cup of espresso. The Ten Commandments was one of the best comedies of all time. “Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Dathan?” Anne Baxter in Betty Page bangs, hot-cha-cha! What? Hmm, my irony meter must be stuck again.

SgtP’sLHCB did suck pretty badly and did nearly kill the careers of several musicians in it but they weren’t actors to begin with. Cannonball Run II had the suck knob turned all the way up (and it goes to eleven) but the huge cast had a lot of folks on the down slope of their careers.