7.2/10
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148 user 34 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Arthur Ross), (original story) | 1 more credit »
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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
William Bryant ...
Baron's Guard (as Bill Bryant)
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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

Hal Smith played the mayor of the western town in which Leslie stops to refuel. The town is called "Boracho", which in Spanish means "drunkard". Smith had played Otis, the town drunk, on The Andy Griffith Show (1960). See more »

Goofs

In the prison, just before he knocks out Hezekiah with the iron bar, Max hits Maggie DuBois on the back swing. See more »

Quotes

Professor Fate: [after a disaterously failed stunt] I'd like to see the great Leslie try *that*!
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

References The Flying Deuces (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Night Tonight
(uncredited)
Sung by the girls in the saloon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Worthy of modern restoration and DVD issue.
15 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

In the classic opening credit sequence just before where we are transported back to the days of the "Magic lamp" slide projection shows, we are given a hint of what is to come when a tribute salute " For Mr Laurel & Mr Hardy " appears on the screen. Yes this movie does owe something to the slapstick routines of those two gentlemen yet it has a life of it's own which in many ways far surpasses slapstick. For those people who can only see the sight gags then this movie will only provide mild appeal. Look deeper and appreciate the marvellous comedic talents of Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn and Natalie Wood.

Comedy is always a thing of personal taste. I suspect that there will be those who will rave about how wonderful The Great Race is while others will call it a waste of time and money. There will be few in the middle ground. I fall into the rave category. To me this movie is sheer FUN.

The visuals are splendid and awesomly huge. The costumes fabulous and the location settings vast. Everything is over the top, yet there is still room for small subtleties and in-jokes. The actors have a ball. Jack Lemmon just sneaks in as the best scene stealer but the able cast hold their own too. The Great Race just cries out for a restoration job and a release on DVD - please !


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