7.3/10
13,305
153 user 33 critic

The Great Race (1965)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 1 July 1965 (USA)
A grand adventurous race takes place between the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate across three continents.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Arthur Ross), (original story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

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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
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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 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)
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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

Towards the end of the movie, when everyone's encamped and cleaning-up from the pie fight, Heziakiah (Keenan Wynn) starts noodling around on his left-handed guitar. When he puts it down, Maggie (Natalie Wood) picks it up and starts playing it right-handed and singing "The Sweetheart Tree". The string order would have been wrong and completely reversed for her to play it. See more »

Goofs

In the saloon scenes several gunshots have no accompanying sound effect. See more »

Quotes

Maggie DuBois: I want to thank you again for this opportunity, Mr. Goodbody.
Henry Goodbody: I had very little choice after your conversation with my wife.
Hester Goodbody: Henry, if you can't be more gracious, shut up!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jack Lemmon is only credited as Professor Fate and not for his second role as Crown Prince Hapnik. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Taxi: The Great Race (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Night Tonight
(uncredited)
Sung by the girls in the saloon
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Greatest Epic Comedy
4 September 1999 | by (Morristown, NJ) – See all my reviews

Although "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was the first comedy to get the epic film treatment, "The Great Race" is in my opinion the best epic comedy. It's just a much funnier film with so many laughs in its first half that the more serious part dealing with the palace intrigues and the straight sword fight acts more as a breather for the viewer before it revs up again with the funniest pie fight of all time and the smashing (literally) finale. Jack Lemmon shows why he was probably the most versatile comic actor of the 50-60s next to Peter Sellers (this is a long ways from the Lemmon of "The Apartment" or "Irma La Douce"!). Peter Falk, a decade before "Columbo" is hysterical too, while Natalie Wood never looked more sexy (except for the last part of "Gypsy") than she does here.

They don't make this kind of simple comedy devoid of crudity any longer. That's what makes a film like "The Great Race" something to keep coming back to and enjoying again and again.


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