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Fireball 500/Thunder Alley (Midnite Movies Double Feature) (1967)

Frankie Avalon , Annette Funicello , Richard Rush , William Asher  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Fireball 500/Thunder Alley (Midnite Movies Double Feature) + Thunder In Carolina + Stock Cars of the 50's & 60's
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Product Details

  • Actors: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Fabian, Chill Wills, Harvey Lembeck
  • Directors: Richard Rush, William Asher
  • Writers: William Asher, Leo Townsend, Sy Salkowitz
  • Producers: Burt Topper, Gene McCabe, James H. Nicholson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: American International Pictures (AIP)
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000787YO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,941 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fireball 500/Thunder Alley (Midnite Movies Double Feature)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello star in this high-powered adventure full of fast cars and midnight moonshine in Fireball 500 (1966/92 min.), then Fabian stars in another full-throttle romance set against a backdrop of drama and excitement at the Indy 500 in Thunder Alley (1967/89 min.). Color/NR.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the carefree Frankie and Annette June 29, 2005
"Fireball 500/ Thunder Alley." These two movies represent the final two features that Annette Funicello made for the legendary indie American International Pictures. But instead of ending her career kicking around the sand, she found herself covered in dust from NASCAR tracks.

"Fireball 500" can be considered the last of the Beach Party films since it was directed by William Asher and features Frankie Avalon, Annette and Harvey Lembeck except they aren't close to their normal surf and sand creations. Lembeck is no longer nutty biker Erik Von Zipper. He's a Southern bootlegger who also deals in racing. Frankie plays a racecar driver working his way down to Daytona. These are the early days of NASCAR before sponsors made life so much easier for the drivers. So instead of getting cash from Budweiser like Dale Jr., Frankie scores extra bucks by hauling moonshine for Lembeck.

There is a different tone between these films and it's not merely going from sand to asphalt. You can feel the dividing line between "Fireball 500" and "How to Stuff A Wild Bikini" during a fight between Frankie and Harvey. Instead of the slapstick mayhem of those early films, "Fireball 500" shows these two men are out to hurt each other. They're not aiming at the funnybone. No longer is Lembeck frozen by a touch of the finger. Now there is blood on their lips. Annette doesn't have too much of a role. This racing movie is not her vehicle.

The same can be said about "Thunder Alley." Fabian (Frankie's racing rival in Fireball 500) plays a racer who has a pesky blackout problem as he circles the hardtop. So he tries to make a comeback by being part of a stunt show that features Annette.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Film Editing Team Rises to the Challenge August 25, 2006
This review is only about "Fireball 500" (1966), technically the best production to ever come out of "American International". The cinematography looks as good as the best Hollywood productions from that period; with unexpectedly good shot selection and nice close-ups that you would expect to see now but were highly original back in 1966.

This is a film that should be shown to would-be film and video editors, as there are few finer examples of matching stock footage with first and second unit output; all done by linear editing (try it some time if you want a real challenge). When a low budget film tries to be high budget by inserting stock footage it is usually a disaster, but here there is a pretty good match of film stock and the track announcer's audio makes the action sequences easy to follow. You might recognize Fred R. Feitshans Jr's editing style from the old "Adventures in Paradise" television show.

The story is ordinary-straight action adventure and romance, no comedy like AIP's beach movies even though it does feature alumni Frankie, Annette, and Harvey Lembeck. There are three good Hernrig and Styner songs: "Fireball 500", "My Way", and "Turn Around"; sung by Frankie with help on the last one from Julie Parrish. Annette sings "Step Right Up" which mostly leaves you amazed that anyone ever bought her records.

As usual Annette is very buttoned-up and chaste but Parrish is hot enough to carry the whole film. Interestingly Annette pairs up with Fabian and Frankie gets Julie. Fabian also has a group of racetrack groupies who follow him around, four of the them are mid-60's Playboy centerfolds with one of those the Playmate of the year.

Frankie gets into a serious fight with both Fabian and Lembeck.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A childhood gem of a flick finally on DVD August 11, 2006
By blister
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
While somewhat different from the more innocent Beach Party movies, this is still a treat for Frankie and Annette fans! As a child, I know there are those who can relate to me in the respect of always getting excited when looking at the TV guide (and the more simplistic channels of just CBS, ABC, NBC, and PBS!) and seeing the Frankie and Annette movies listed. I never tired of watching the frolicking romp associated with light plot lines and surfer bubble gum 60's pop music with Frankie and Annette planted right in the middle.
I loved Fireball 500 from the first time I saw it. The car racing action and characters, the music, it was just a fun popcorn type movie. But it's been hard to catch since I saw it as a child! Even in the endless stream of tv channels nowdays, I could hardly catch it. So it was to my delight when I typed in Fireball 500 in the [...] browser and wow! There it was.
Ok, so Frankie and Annette do not wind up together at the end and some hardcore fans will never accept that. And yes, Frankie drinks and does some serious fist fighting. It's still Frankie! Still, while it's not any movie of Oscar calibur, it's still a treat. And the vivid, detailed new anamorphic widescreen transfer is awesome!
Thunder Alley I think I had seen once when I was younger, but it was a treat to have it added to make a double feature. I especially liked the snazzy guitar laden, go-go dancing frosted title tune. And as an avid fan of vintage stock car racing, this movie was a treat. Plenty of spills and crashes and great racing abound here. And it was fun to see Annette play a feisty stunt car driver!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good movie
Published 5 days ago by Ed Snyder
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Cult Classics
Fun couple of nights. But once is probably enough.
Published 2 months ago by Steven A
5.0 out of 5 stars Features the 1960 Dodge Dart
Gotta love it... It features the car I am currently working on, a 1960 Dodge Dart Seneca 2 door sedan. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joe Needs To Go
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Period FIlm, Not As Bad As You Might Think
I bought this film because my little boy loves car films, and he loves 60's car action films like Herbie and Freaky Friday, etc. Read more
Published 5 months ago by wreathandcrest
3.0 out of 5 stars Product was what I wanted
The price was very good I enjoyed the movie when I watched it years ago I am glad I could find it on Amazon
Published 7 months ago by Jessie
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed it
it has old nascar footage. teenage wonder in it hokey not realistic but i was expecting that it fits in my race collection well
Published 10 months ago by edward j clayton
3.0 out of 5 stars Average story but above average racing and stage filming sequences.
Not much more to rate - story average - boys and cars and girls on the side - typical from that era - nothing new to see except the shots from real racing and shots from the film... Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. Merck
5.0 out of 5 stars Teen Movie Fun
I don't remember that these were available. Movie has a basic plot but who cares. It has Annette paired with Fabian making for a cute couple.
Published 15 months ago by Randall Tamberg
2.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Annette and Frankie vehicle
Fireball 500 may be the worst of the Frankie and Annette films. This is mostly an action film with a little romance. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bo Knows
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Movie
I kept trying to think of the name of this movie. I had seen it before many years ago and my brother finally told me. Read more
Published on September 18, 2010 by K. Anderson
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