Rushing Roulette is a 1965 Merrie Melodies cartoon starring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. It was directed by Robert McKimson, and was the second Road Runner cartoon directed by someone other than Chuck Jones, who had exclusively used the characters since their debut in 1949 (the first was "The Wild Chase", directed by Friz Freleng). McKimson directed one other Road Runner cartoon the following year, "Sugar and Spies". Unlike the ten Rudy Larriva-directed Road Runner shorts after "Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner" (which featured a series of pre-recorded music cues that didn't follow the action on-screen as closely), it featured an entirely original score by Bill Lava.
The title of this cartoon is a play on Russian roulette.
As with all Road Runner cartoons, Wile E. Coyote tries various methods to nab the speedy bird:
- Wile grabs Road Runner with a lasso but is merely dragged into a large cactus.
- Wile sets up a fake photo booth which has a cannon behind it. When the Road Runner actually gets a real picture taken at the booth, Wile, puzzled, looks into the barrel of his own cannon and is shot (in the smoke, a picture of the charred coyote floats past).
- Wile puts on spring boots but is startled by the Road Runner's trademark "Beep beep!" and bounces off a nearby cliff. However, he bounces back up due to his boots and hits a rock. Both Wile and the rock fall to the ground, where the rock flattens Wile.
- Wile puts Ajax glue on the pavement to stick Road Runner. His plan backfires when he accidentally steps on the sticky pavement and Road Runner startles Wile so much with his "Beep beep!" that he actually lifts the pavement off the ground (with Wile still attached) and lands face down.
- Wile tries to catch Road Runner with a handcar. This backfires when Road Runner gets his own handcar, rides it up to the top of a ledge, and chases Wile off a cliff with another "beep beep!"
- Wile uses a sunbeam to roast Road Runner, but the bird uses a mirror to bounce the sunbeam back and burn the platform on which Wile is standing.
- A repeat of the classic Exploding Piano Gag, used in "Ballot Box Bunny" and "Show Biz Bugs", and later "Slappy Goes Walnuts".
- Wile pushes a boulder off a narrow ledge to hit Road Runner on the pavement below, but the boulder misses and keeps eating away at his platform until he's at pavement level. He manages to duck into a manhole right before getting hit by an oncoming truck, but the boulder lands on top of the manhole, preventing his escape.
- Finally, Wile uses a personal helicopter but accidentally runs into the top of a tunnel. He's also flattened by an anvil he was prepared to drop on Road Runner, and is also hit by a bus, driven by Road Runner.
TV Title Cards
- This is one of the few Road Runner shorts without the opening chase sequence.
- This is the first Road Runner cartoon with no animation directed by Chuck Jones whatsoever.
- Robert McKimson's first time directing a Road Runner cartoon, he'd later go on to direct "Sugar and Spies" and the bumpers for "The Road Runner Show"
- When this short aired on tv a unknown channel removed the opening credits, and added two bumpers from The Road Runner Show to keep the 6 minute runtime.
- Rushing Roulette at the Internet Movie Database