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|Index||148 reviews in total|
A big-budget, big name comedy, and a classic example of the villain being more fun (and more interesting) than the hero as Jack Lemmon controls the screen as the black-clad Professor Fate, ably assisted by Max (pre-Columbo Peter Falk); they team to sabotage the competition on a race to Paris, but cannot keep down sturdy Tony Curtis, joined by the radiant Natalie Wood and a rare nice-guy turn by Keenan Wynn. Recommended; better than similar 'Magnificen Men/Flying Machines' Press the button, Max!!
Marvelous romp!A classic I've loved since the first time I saw this one in
the real movie theatre when it was first released. And I've waited for
to meet people who would admit to loving this movie-and now I am so
surprised at just *who* is a fan-intellectuals, serious 'cinephiles'!
It's amazing how they fit in almost every, single movie cliche in this movie! It's fun just to count them! And it *is* a fun movie-I rank it miles ahead of that other 60s favourite that's always mentioned alongside-"It's a Mad, Mad..." The music is great! (Listen to how many traditional patriotic songs are in the Great Leslie medley!) The acting is fun-and appropriate-though Jack Lemmon is more then appropriate-he's superb! (You almost find yourself cheering on the Evil Professor Fate as much as the Great Leslie.) And I love the look in Ross Martin's eyes when he realizes that this is one duel in which he's met his match! Add in the scenery and the cars and you have a classic.
Let's hope this one gets the restoration treatment it so richly deserves!
When I was 5 years old, I had an accident with my bike that kept me to my bed/the couch for about 2 weeks, after being hospitalized for another 2 weeks. No school, no playing outside, just the T.V. and me. About a month before the accident my parents taped a movie called The Great Race, and one day I decided to watch it. In those 2 weeks on the couch I watched it about twice a day, and fell absolutely in love with it. The great slapstick humor, the evil but likeable Professor Fate, the slick and dislikeable Great Leslie, the pie-throwing, fantastic old automobiles, it had me rolling on the floor every time. That accident occurred 16 years ago, but still that movie is one of my favorites. It has me still rolling on the floor with laughter. Any movie which can do that after 16 years and after ... phew... 100, 200 (?) views deserves a 10 out of 10.
This is one of those movies that is great fun for everybody at any age. I can remember seeing it for the first time at about age 7 or 8, and the slapstick humor only gets better each time I see it. This is a wonderful, funny movie that is great family viewing. In a modern era when colorful words and sex scenes prevail in all genres of film, it is refreshing to watch a simple, funny movie that derives its humor without the use of such techniques. Although it is a bit silly at times, I highly recommend all adults watch it at least once with their own children, nieces, nephews, etc. - it's equally enjoying to see how young people react to the film!
This is the way comedies should be made. Well done by all the cast. It's good clean fun at it's best. And the ladies will love Natalie Wood's wardrobe. This is the kind of movie that will lift your spirits. The pie fight is the highlight of the picture. I would have loved being involved in that part of the film.
Blake Edwards has made funnier movies, but this carefully-crafted,
uncompromising comedy epic is his best work. Its gently rambling pace
perfectly complements the period it evokes: the innocent early years of
20th century and, of course, when movies themselves were
This movie also the point at which Tony Curtis was in his top form. Six years earlier in "Some Like it Hot," Jack Lemmon stole every scene he shared with Curtis, but here Curtis more than holds his own, impersonating a perfected version of his "Tony Curtis" persona, but not overdoing it as he was so often to do later. He even pulls off some good-natured swordplay in the "Prisoner of Zenda" section near the end of the film, homage to all those swashbucklers he did in the Fifties.
"The Great Race" is a perfect entertainment. And, of course, it has the greatest pie fight ever filmed.
Often funny, but mostly strained comedy about an automobile race set in the early 1900's. Comic sequences played as an homage to Laurel and Hardy, most notably a barroom brawl and a fabulous pie throwing climax. Lemmon and Falk are outstanding as devious partners trying to win the race from dashing Curtis and a beautiful reporter, Wood. Runs entirely too long and after the first hour, most of the laughs are gone. There is excellent sound effects, which won an Oscar and a lovely musical score by Henry Mancini.
A box office success in it's day, The Great Race is brassy and long-winded, nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes long. And though it centers around a a car race, the film drags because the race lacks excitement, and the characters are annoying. You don't care who wins. The only thing you'll root for is for the race to finish. Natalie Wood is lovely though embarrassing as she and Tony Curtis shout at each other while Lemon plays a one-note, dastardly villain as written. Some of the nostalgic trimmings are nice, but I prefer It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World(63)which also featured Dorothy Provine because at least it had momentum. Blake Edwards directed without the charm or inventiveness he displayed in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Victor/Victoria. A live-action cartoon, The Great Race can't sustain its elaboration and length. The 3 leads have demonstrated comic ability elsewhere: Lemon and Curtis in Some Like It Hot(59) and Natalie Wood in Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice(69).
Unfortunately , "The Great Race" has been on television SO many times over the years it's become a bit of bore but I'll never forget the pleasure it gave me as a kid when I first saw it on the silver screen . Jack Lemmon scared the living daylights out of me and had me in stitches simultaneously. I've deliberately avoided watching it on the small screen over the years in the hope that it might , eventually , make it back into a local "Revival" cinema . It remains a strong sentimental favourite .
Many have unfairly knocked:Mr.Blake Edwards:"The Great Race"as an unfunny slapstick comedy.But it's a film that is full of wonderful sigh gags,funny pratfalls and some hilarious farce worthy of "The Three Stooges"and the famous comedy team.Whose names grace the opening of this film:Mr.Laurel & Mr.Hardy.The story opens with:"The Great Leslie"(Mr.Curtis)showing off his athletic and dardevil skills at several fairs.Yet? His efforts are almost being thwarted and even mocked by that arrogant and jellious,ego tripping mainaic:"Prof.Fate"(Lemmon).A crazed,incompetant scientist/inventor.Who wants to prove that he's a better daredevil and talent that "Leslie".It's seem that:"The Professor"will get his chance.When he takes up his opponent's offer to race against "Leslie's"car from NYC to Paris,France.Working with his equally idiotic henceman:"Max Mean"(Pete Falk)."Prof.Fate"(Lemmon)create a car that can do anything..At least everything that is wrong. As it shoots off cannon balls at the wrong time and it's unable to keep the two villians warm in the Alaskian cold.In the intrem..A Newspaper Publisher:"Mr.Goodbody"(Arthur O'Connell)is manipulated to hire a tough,fast talking young suffergette:"Maggie DuBois"(Natile Wood)as a reporter to cover the race.She tries to get an interview with the contestants.But she meets with rejection in the worst way from Curtis and she nearly gets herself killed by Lemmon and Falk's dogs and their crazy invention's cannon.Nevertheless..She enters the race and before long our troup of zany competitors are in for the ride of their lives.Mr.Lemmon and Mr.Falk are hilarious as the two bumbling villians.Whose ineptitude at villiany and using crazy inventions make them the funniest comedic heavies since Stan and Ollie.Ms.Wood's is perfect as the tough,no nonsense but beautiful and flirtacious would be reporter and femminist.Who tries to get her story ,gives Mr.Curtis a flirtacious wink.But she doesn't accept his charms,until the end of the flick.Keenan Wynn is also engaging as Mr.Curtis'aide.And they're are also some funny cameos from Art O'Connell,Marv Kaplan,Vivian Vance,Ross Martin,Hal Smith, and two performers that I've met:The Late Denver Pyle(as the Sheriff of "Boracho")and Larry Storch as"Dirty Texas Jack".There's even a pie fight that is truely funny and a scene..where Poor Ms.Wood is caught in her undies by an enemy officer after a swim."The Great Race"is an unappreciated film comedy that deserves another look.Hopefully? Fans of truely funny slapstick comedy will watch it and see it's real potential for laughs?
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