Shot by a jealous husband, Charley falls out a porthole and is lost at sea only to find himself returned as an attractive blond woman. His best friend is staying at his house as he puts ... See full summary »
Tax collector Lorenzo Charlton comes to the Larkins' farm to ask why Pop Larkins hasn't paid his back taxes. Charlton has to stay for a day to try to estimate the income from the farm, but ... See full summary »
At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because ... See full summary »
In order to get back into the good graces with his wife with whom he has had a misunderstanding, a young chemistry professor concocts a wild story that he is an undercover FBI agent. To ... See full summary »
On a stormy night, young woman asks another guest at party to rescue her from her lecherous boss and take her to the train station. When her rescuer suggests that she stop at his place to ... See full summary »
New York tourist Tony Curtis falls asleep on a Southern California beach on his first night in the West and wakes up to The New Phantasmagoria--catamarans, surfers (including a dog), ... See full summary »
In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges ... See full summary »
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 passed away on January 23, 1978 in Los Angeles, California. See more »
Mac, Owner of Macs Bar:
Ah don't sweat honey, perfectly normal. Half the world is looking for the other half, did you ever notice it? Just consider, buyers and sellers trying to meet up, and visa versa. Crooks lookin' for suckers, boys for girls. Tops for bottoms and bottoms for tops, very interesting - no end. Jobs lookin' for people, people lookin' for jobs... or for trouble. Ah no hon, it's nothin' to be ashamed of.
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In watching The Rat Race today, I was struck by the fact that this film did not lead to any more parts like the one she played here for Debbie Reynolds. She was quite a revelation as the girl who's been around the block a few times and just struggling to stay alive in that meat grinder called New York.
By the time The Rat Race came out, Tony Curtis was already being taken quite seriously as an actor with The Sweet Smell Of Success and The Defiant Ones behind him. But Reynolds was America's sweetheart, still basking in the sympathy of the American public when Elizabeth Taylor stole husband Eddie Fisher. She played good girl roles almost exclusively, but here she takes on a part that you would have more readily cast Elizabeth Taylor.
Curtis is from the Midwest and an aspiring jazz musician who comes to New York, but gets quickly victimized by a cruel city. Reynolds is a woman who is an aspiring model who does what she has to in order to survive. But that's coming to an end as landlady Kay Medford wants her money and thug Don Rickles who she's into wants something else and quick.
The two of them decide to move in together without benefit of clergy, something that was still quite daring with the Code firmly in place. It's strictly economic at first, but you know these two people living one step from the gutter would fall for each other.
The film was based on a play that Garson Kanin wrote and ran 84 performances in the 1949-50 season on Broadway. It starred Betty Field and Barry Nelson on stage and repeating his role from the original cast as a musician con man is jazz great Joe Bushkin.
Besides Reynolds the performance to really watch out for is Don Rickles as murderous hood Nellie. For those of you who think of Rickles as insult comedian to the stars, his performance will knock your socks off. He far more than Debbie was the real surprise here. Jack Oakie has one of his last roles as a philosophical bartender, serving drinks in the downstairs of Kay Medford's boarding house.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Debbie Reynolds might have taken this part to prove she had every bit the acting chops Elizabeth Taylor did. She certainly proved it to me and The Rat Race ranks as one of the best performances by either of the two stars.
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