7.3/10
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156 user 30 critic

The Great Race (1965)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 14 October 1965 (UK)
Trailer
2:51 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A grand adventurous race takes place between the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate across three continents.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Arthur A. Ross (screenplay) (as Arthur Ross), Blake Edwards (original story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Professor Fate / Crown Prince Frederick Hoepnick
Tony Curtis ... The Great Leslie
Natalie Wood ... Maggie Dubois
Peter Falk ... Maximilian Meen
Keenan Wynn ... Hezekiah Sturdy
Arthur O'Connell ... Henry Goodbody
Vivian Vance ... Hester Goodbody
Dorothy Provine ... Lily Olay
Larry Storch ... Texas Jack
Ross Martin ... Baron Rolfe Von Stuppe
George Macready ... General Kuhster
Marvin Kaplan ... Frisbee
Hal Smith ... Mayor of Borracho
Denver Pyle ... 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. Written by Jeanne Baker <jbaker@erim.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

New York to Paris via the Wild West, Alaska, Russia, the baronial halls of Europe, to the Eiffel Tower...with 1000 hair-raising adventures and 1001 roof-raising laughs along the way. From the producers of "My Fair Lady" in the same magnificent medium of Super Panavision "70" and Technicolor. Cost 14 Million Dollars to Make and for Laughs Alone Worth Every Cent of It. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Blake Edwards' The Great Race See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,333,333
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound System)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Another homage to early movies is during the song "The Sweetheart Tree." While the song is sung, the lyrics appear on screen, with a bouncing ball over the syllables being sung prompting the audience to sing along with the actors. This was a frequently used device during the early talkies and in animated cartoons, and is the origin of the phrase, "Follow the bouncing ball." See more »

Goofs

Natalie Wood (Maggie Dubois) sends photo negatives to the newspaper by using homing pigeons. The negatives from the camera she is using would be too heavy for a pigeon to carry. Also, since there is no protective covering, the negative would have been ruined long before reaching its destination, See more »

Quotes

Mayor of Boracho: Citizens of Borracho!
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Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros logo, opening credits, intermission and closing credits all appear in the form of a magic lantern slideshow (an early form of cinema), with each credit having a custom slide. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Malcolm in the Middle: Dirty Magazine (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
One of the most underrated movies of all time.
19 January 2004 | by Chromium_5See all my reviews

I cannot believe that "The Great Race" did not make it on AFI's 100 Funniest Movies list (well, actually I CAN believe it, since those lists seem very messed up to me). In fact, it has not gotten nearly as much recognition as it deserves.

It is simply one of the funniest movies I have ever seen! The whole cast shines (especially Lemmon, who should have won an Oscar for Best Scene Stealer). Besides the great slapstick, there are a million subtle details that you don't notice unless you are really paying attention. This is why the movie is still great after several viewings: each time you watch it, you are bound to catch some little joke you didn't see before.

Everything about this movie cracks me up. The contrast in character between Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon is just great, the chemistry between the different characters is great, the movie parodies are great, the sets are great, the slapstick is great, and the dialogue is great. Even the MUSIC is funny... every time that goofy theme music for Professor Fate starts playing, I start laughing.

If you haven't seen this, I highly suggest you rent it. Yes, it is long, but it is one of the few comedies I have seen that keeps up the laughs consistently... it never sags or has dull moments. It is downright hilarious from start to finish.

And to top it all off, it has some very cool cars.


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