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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Natalie Wood's singing voice on 'The Sweetheart Tree' was provided by 'Jackie Ward (1)', famous for the La-la-la sections of the Pat Boone 1962 hit 'Speedy Gonzales'. See more »
In the scene on the beach in the tent when Leslie and Maggie DuBois drink champagne, Leslie puts on a phonograph record of "The Desert Song." The film is set in about 1908; "The Desert Song" did not premiere until 1926. See more »
When we get back to the palace, you must trim your mustache. You must look exactly like the prince. Can you laugh?
What do you mean, can I laugh?
Well, the prince has a very individual laugh.
Uh... ah ha HA ha ha.
[Fate tries to leave, but the General stops him and demonstrates again]
Ah ha HA ha ha.
HA HA HA HA HA.
No, that's too much bass. The prince is more of a soprano.
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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 »
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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