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The Great Race
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Great Race More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Auto race pits forces of Good and Evil.

Author: anonymous
26 December 1998

Professor Fate (Lemmon) uses every dirty trick in the book to try to derail auto race competitor Curtis.

Especially funny is the brawl in which Larry Storch asks "Can I get some fightin' room?"

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful screwball comedy

8/10
Author: David R. Schryer from Hampton, VA
2 December 1998

There are many great comedic moments in this movie; however two stand out for me: possibly the wildest bar room brawl ever and THE best pie and pastry fight ever filmed. Add a great cast and an enchanting Henry Mancini score featuring the beautiful "Sweetheart Tree" and the result is a true classic.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A comedy classic!

8/10
Author: proffate from Texas
24 September 1998

The more I watch this film, the more I'm impressed by how absolutely perfect the timing is. Gags follow the classic formula: Tell them what you're going to do; do it; tell them you did it. At a budget of around $13 million, this was the most expensive comedy ever made at the time, and all the money shows up on screen. Lavish sets, costumes and a great cast makes this a must see whenever it's shown.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Greatest comedy film ever

10/10
Author: bravelad from United Kingdom
28 October 2007

To my mind, The Great Race is the most underrated comedy in the history of film.

I first viewed it in a London, Leicester Square theatre and it remains the only film I have seen in my life where an audience actually applauded at the end of a film.

It's plot construction far exceeds any of its contemporaries,'It's a Mad Mad World' genre of the day. Our children see good versus bad in a simplistic manner that spans time. The credits see boos and hisses now generated in Lazy Town and previously Star Wars - this is entertainment at the max.

My attachment to the film, based on Goon Show memories, is the seriously serious sword fight between Leslie and the Baron (as good as any Errol Flynn), to be ended by the Baron saying, "I have a boat waiting," shot of man in moat in rowing boat - the Baron jumps from window and goes straight through the boat. Surely the best build up to a farcical result ever.

I find it strange that none of the principal actors have ever mentioned their association with this film when interview, I believe, milestone in comedy - including Mike Parkinson interviews.

For design, portrayal, scope, production and acting I reckon this is the best comedy ever. I thank the team and especially the producer who, remember, went on to produce the Pink Panther series.

Steve Hammond

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excessive, expensive, but undeniably shrewd and funny...

8/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
11 December 2005

Blake Edwards' tribute to silent-era slapstick, a live-action cartoon about a turn-of-the-century auto race, is full of wild gags, pratfalls and fast talk. The film really engages the viewer in its hammy mix of comedic elements and the cast is very game. The autos and locations are wonderful, but the film runs too long and the "Prisoner of Zenda" send-up in the last act (with Jack Lemmon in a dual role) is a little bit wearing. Tony Curtis, his teeth sparkling like a matinée god, is in fine, enunciating form but ends up playing straight man to Jack Lemmon (at his most wily), Natalie Wood (sharp as a whip playing a fast-thinking suffragette), Peter Falk (as Lemmon's sidekick), and even Keenan Wynn (wonderfully smooth, especially in the prison sequence with Wood). A rowdy barroom brawl, a messy pie-fight and a hair-raising fencing sequence aside, the relationships between the principals become surprisingly three-dimensional and the movie is savvy and smart, if not exactly compact. ***1/2 out of ****

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Remarkable Comedy inspired the classic cartoon Wacky Races

10/10
Author: cinefilo-6 from Porto Alegre, Brazil
31 March 2001

This wonderful comedy was directed by the talented Blake Edwards the same man who bought to us,"Breakfast at Tiffany"s,Days of Wine and Roses,The Pink Panther,The Party,Victor/Victoria,10.The plot a race between New York and Paris in the beginning of the century covered by the first female reporter played beautifully by the lovely Natalie Wood,others are the good guy,Tony Curtis and Dr. Fate with Jack Lemmon always giving a great performance.In supporting cast you count with Peter Falk,Dorothy Provine,Keenan Wynn,Ross Martin,Vivian Vance,Arthur O'Connell.The Song the Sweetheart Tree was nominated for an Academy award and the movie won best Sound Effects with Tregoweth Brown. The movie pays a tribute to Laurel and Hardy mainly in the characters of prof Fate and Max (Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk).In my opinion this movie is perfect for a saturday matinee because is charming,well acted,fun and also inspired Hanna Barbera hit cartoon the Wacky Races.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

goodcleanfun

Author: (sailor7sam@aol.com) from princess anne md
24 March 2001

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!!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Push the button Max!"

10/10
Author: laura.g from San Clemente, CA
15 January 2001

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 years 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'! Wow!

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!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

my number 2 movie

10/10
Author: TheOtherFool from The Netherlands
15 November 2000

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.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just great fun. One of my all time favorites.

10/10
Author: tkb90807 from Long Beach, California
11 June 2000

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.

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