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The Great Race (1965)

 -  Action | Adventure | Comedy  -  1 July 1965 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 10,806 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 29 critic

Comedy about an early 20th century car race across three continents.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (original story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Great Race (1965)

The Great Race (1965) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 12 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
William 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 movie with 20,000-mile or one-million-laughs guarantee! 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

Features the largest pie fight ever staged, with a running gag that The Great Leslie remains clean while everyone else is covered in pie. Tony Curtis was required to change clothes several times when he was accidentally splattered with debris from a pie that had hit someone else. The pies used during the pie throwing scene were real, containing fruit, custard, whipped cream and other ingredients. Following this scene the crew devoured more than 300 leftover pies. See more »

Goofs

During the pie fight (particularly at the start), the sound of a 35mm still camera's motor drive can be heard. See more »

Quotes

Cowboy: He's lucky Texas Jack ain't around... he'd gun that dude for sure!
Professor Fate: Pardon me, Mr. Pahd-nuh, who is this Texas Jack?
Cowboy: WHO'S TEXAS JACK?
Professor Fate: Who?
Cowboy: The roughest, toughest gunslinger in these parts... Lilly's his girl!
Professor Fate: Whoo, hoo, hoo... Lilly's his girl.
Max: Terrific...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Starts with the dedication "For Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy". Opening credits are in the form of a turn of the century slide show, beginning with "Ladies kindly remove your hats". The WB logo is drawn on the hood of a car. When the main characters are introduced, Jack Lemmon is jeered (and sticks out his tongue in reply), Tony Curtis cheered and Natalie Wood gets dog whistles. There are various hiccups along the way: a fly is shooed off by a stick, the lights go out and a (real) hand with a match comes on. Other slides have to be adjusted by hand. When one of them starts to burn, "One moment please" is interjected. The producers' credit is upside down. The last slide turns into the opening shot of the movie. See more »

Connections

References Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

The Desert Song
(uncredited)
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Great Race Is A Great Comedy

This is director Blake Edwards salute to the early days of films. It is quite long, but worth the time to see this masterpiece, and appropriate for all ages. Its basically the good guy vs the bad guy and the heroine theme but the roles are mixed up in a wonderful way to where each main character is both at different times. I love Maggie DuBois(Natalie Wood) the most because she is such a strong intelligent woman, and yet beautiful and sexy. She would do anything to stay in the race, and did. Professor Fate and Max are not Laural and Hardy but evoke their comedy team spirit strongly. They are the ones that make the bumbling mistakes that make them more human than the perfect Leslie(Tony Curtis). The prince is a silly compliment to Professor Fate, both brilliantly played by Jack Lemmon. Also worth seeing is Vivian Vance as the wife of the newspaper owner, and Larry Storch as the gunfighter. I really liked the submarine, rocket sled, pedaled air balloon, and the vintage cars. Visually, this movie is a work of art, and the music is perfect. The score features Henry Mancini's "The Sweetheart Tree." Yes, there's lust, love and romance here too. This is the quintessential epic comedy of the 60's.


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