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The Great Race (1965)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 1 July 1965 (USA)
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When a popular daredevil proposes an automobile race across three continents, his arch rival vows to beat him, while an ambitious female reporter has her own plans for victory.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Arthur Ross), (original story) | 1 more credit »
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4,994 ( 1,085)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Professor Fate / Crown Prince Frederick Hoepnick
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Maximilian Meen
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Sheriff
Bill Bryant ...
Baron's Guard
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Storyline

Professional daredevil and white-suited hero, The Great Leslie, convinces turn-of-the-century auto makers that a race from New York to Paris (westward across America, the Bering Straight and Russia) will help to promote automobile sales. Leslie's arch-rival, the mustached and black-attired Professor Fate vows to beat Leslie to the finish line in a car of Fate's own invention. The Blake Edwards style of slapstick and song originated with this movie. A dedication to Laurel and Hardy appears at the beginning of the film. Edwards' tribute to Stan and Ollie can be seen most clearly in the interaction between Professor Fate and his cohort Max, as well as in the operatic Pottsdorf pie fight. Written by Jeanne Baker <jbaker@erim.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE GREAT LAUGH SHOW OF ALL TIME! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blake Edwards' The Great Race  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston was originally offered the role of The Great Leslie. He considered it a "funny script" but had to turn the part down when the production schedule for The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) was delayed. Tony Curtis then got the part. See more »

Goofs

When Frisbee loses his footing when retrieving the pigeon at the newspaper office, his right leg "disappears" as he hangs from the ledge. This is due to his leg swinging into the matte shot that was created to "place" him into the shot to complete the building's appearance - the initial setup was done on a soundstage. See more »

Quotes

Professor Fate: What is the word for "friends"?
Maggie DuBois: Professor...
Professor Fate: Shut up!
Max: I don't know the language.
Professor Fate: Well, get the dictionary!
Max: Dictionary. Right.
[Max flips through the pages]
Max: I got it, I got it.
Professor Fate: What is it, what is it?
Max: [frowns] I can't pronounce it.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are three simulated 'magic lantern' slides. The first one reads "Our Cast of Characters", and the following two list the main cast. However, Jack Lemmon is only credited as Professor Fate and not for his second role as Crown Prince Hapnik. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Reba: The Great Race (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

He Shouldn't-A, Hadn't-A, Oughtn't-A Swang on Me!
Words by Johnny Mercer
Music by Henry Mancini
Performed by Dorothy Provine (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
the best of everything!!!
11 February 2005 | by (pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

The best pie fight,bar room brawl,sword fight,comedic love story...wackiest villain...Saddened it's not mentioned as one of the greatest comedies ever or even mentioned as one of Jack Lemons greatest comedic roles.I'm guilty of quoting movie lines when the time is right and often quote from this movie. "Brandy,Brandy...","now you're using sex as a weapon..","RISE AND SHINE?","..now if you were the mens fencing champion...""NOW CAN I GET ME SOME FIGHTN' ROOM!" I can't believe Tony Curtis was a second choice to play "The Great Leslie".His all American do-gooder mentality is nauseatingly funny. Natalie Wood is beautiful and plays the ultimate suffragette. Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk are a fun duo as Leslies villainous rivals and truly set the tempo of the slapstick.Only Blake Edwards could have pulled off such an epic comedy.Who cares if the the drive around the world does'nt make sense.This movie is a true blue farce in every sense,nothing more and nothing less. Perfect casting and screenplay and the writers should be commended.


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