7.3/10
13,240
153 user 33 critic

The Great Race (1965)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 1 July 1965 (USA)
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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From $2.00 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 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
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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

Natalie Wood had a strong dislike of Blake Edwards, and did not enjoy the making of this film. See more »

Goofs

When Leslie is attempting to rescue the Prince, Hezekiah and Maggie from the Baron's castle he confronts two guards. One swings his rifle and hits his partner. The rifle can clearly be seen to bend indicating that it is rubber. See more »

Quotes

Maggie DuBois: And because I consider myself sexually free and morally emancipated, I am still a responsible, discriminating woman who does not intend to jump into bed with the first wavy-haired, muscle-bound, egocentric male who thinks he can seduce me by agreeing with some of the things I believe in.
Leslie: I only wanted to kiss you!
Maggie DuBois: Why?
Leslie: Because I love you, that's why!
Maggie DuBois: Ha!
Leslie: You don't believe me, huh?
Maggie DuBois: I do not!
[Leslie stops the car, inches from the finish line]
Maggie DuBois: What are you doing?
Leslie: Proving that I love you.
[...]
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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 »


Soundtracks

The Beautiful Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Performed at the Potzdorf Ball
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
" I won't say a word about our sinking. Until it reaches my lower lip, then I'm mentioning it to somebody! "
20 January 2009 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a movie which when first shown in 1965 drew audience cheers from the very beginning and continues to draw enthusiastic praise when given special showing on college and University campuses. The reason is due perhaps that all the character roles were hand picked and each actor fitted their part like a glove. The story is based on the numerous fads, college stunts and mechanical record challenges of the early 1900s. In this story we have an automobile race which will start in New York and end up in Paris, France. The duel battle is reminiscent of the old vaudeville plays involving a Canadian Mountie and his old Nemesis Snidely Wipelash. Here we have our hero, The "Great" Leslie (Gallent III) played by Tony Curtis challenged by Prof. Fate (Jack Lemmon) to a very long race. As with early films each lead has a sidekick. Peter Falk is Max and Keenan Wynn is Hezekiah. To give it a modern era setting (1900s) Arthur O'Connel plays Henry Goodbody a Newspaper Editor interested in keep tabs on the contestants in their round the word race. Natalie Wood plays suffragette Maggie Dubois who aspires to be the first woman reporter for the Sentinental. The movie contains all the earmarks of a Classic out of the old school of comedy and thus is sympathetically dedicated to the great comedy duo of the early movie era, Laural and Hardy. To further add enjoyment throughout the film there are added Hollywood stars like Larry Storch, Ross Martin, Denver Pyle and Roy Jenson. A great film for any audience in any era. Excellent movie fare and a genuine Classic!. ****


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