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Tender romantic comedy about an aspiring musician who arrives in New York in search of fame & fortune. He soon meets a taxi dancer, moves in with her, and before too long a romance develops. Written by
This the next-to-last feature film appearance of veteran character actor Jack Oakie, who plays Mac, the owner of Mac's Bar. Oakie's last film appearance was in the Doris Day / Rock Hudson comedy "Lover Come Back" in 1961, one year after The Rat Race. Oakie went on to make TV appearances until 1966. He past away on January 23, 1978 in Los Angeles, California. See more »
Midwestern saxophonist Tony Curtis (as Pete Hammond Jr.) arrives in New York City, seeking fame and fortune. Instead, he finds himself lost in "The Rat Race". Mr. Curtis quickly meets disillusioned Debbie Reynolds (as Peggy Brown). Ms. Reynolds works as a paid dancing partner, for sailors and other lonely men. The two decide to pool their resources by sharing an apartment, agreeing to a platonic living arrangement. The roommates frequent the local watering hole, and hear older, wiser owner Jackie Oakie (as Mac) and landlady Kay Medford (as Soda) dispense words of wisdom. Curtis loses his musical instruments. Then, Reynolds loses her job.
Will Curtis and Reynolds gain romance?
Robert Mulligan's version of Garson Kanin's play, which starred Barry Nelson and Betty Field, never really takes off. Curtis and Reynolds (and the film, generally) look way too sharp to be Mr. Kanin's desolation row denizens, clawing their way to the top. Don Rickles is a highlight, as Reynolds' brutal, sadistic boss. Norman Fell is amusing, as the telephone man. Reynolds is unexpectedly glamorous, almost more suited for the lead in "Butterfield 8"; and, she looks especially sexy undressing for the lecherous Mr. Rickles.
***** The Rat Race (7/10/60) Robert Mulligan ~ Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Don Rickles
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