A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
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>
This film was the inspiration for the Saturday morning cartoon show Wacky Races (1968). Natalie Wood (playing Maggie DuBois) became Penelope Pitstop (even wearing the same pink racing outfit). Dick Dastardly was based on Jack Lemmon's character Professor Fate and Dastardly's sidekick Muttley was loosely based on Peter Falk's character Max Meen. See more »
In the final sprint to Paris, Maggie DuBois's costume changes. Since her costume changes at a phenomenal rate throughout the film, this was probably intentional. See more »
He's lucky Texas Jack ain't around... he'd gun that dude for sure!
Pardon me, Mr. Pahd-nuh, who is this Texas Jack?
WHO'S TEXAS JACK?
The roughest, toughest gunslinger in these parts... Lilly's his girl!
Whoo, hoo, hoo... Lilly's his girl.
See more »
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 »
I cannot believe that "The Great Race" did not make it on AFI's 100 Funniest Movies list (well, actually I CAN believe it, since those lists seem very messed up to me). In fact, it has not gotten nearly as much recognition as it deserves.
It is simply one of the funniest movies I have ever seen! The whole cast shines (especially Lemmon, who should have won an Oscar for Best Scene Stealer). Besides the great slapstick, there are a million subtle details that you don't notice unless you are really paying attention. This is why the movie is still great after several viewings: each time you watch it, you are bound to catch some little joke you didn't see before.
Everything about this movie cracks me up. The contrast in character between Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon is just great, the chemistry between the different characters is great, the movie parodies are great, the sets are great, the slapstick is great, and the dialogue is great. Even the MUSIC is funny... every time that goofy theme music for Professor Fate starts playing, I start laughing.
If you haven't seen this, I highly suggest you rent it. Yes, it is long, but it is one of the few comedies I have seen that keeps up the laughs consistently... it never sags or has dull moments. It is downright hilarious from start to finish.
And to top it all off, it has some very cool cars.
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