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
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Chris Lemmon, son of actor Jack Lemmon (Professor Fate), said in an interview on KMOX-Radio in St. Louis that he considers Lemmon's role in this film to be his father's finest. Jack Lemmon himself has said he got more mail about Fate than about any other character he played. See more »
Dr Fate's submarine would not operate under water using a paddle wheel as shown. The submarine would stay in one place. See more »
You! You're the cause of it all! It was your idea!
No, no your highness... Baron von Schtupp...
I don't care, I don't care! You're banished. I'm getting a new tucker-inner! Banished, banished, banished!
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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 »
In the classic opening credit sequence just before where we are transported back to the days of the "Magic lamp" slide projection shows, we are given a hint of what is to come when a tribute salute " For Mr Laurel & Mr Hardy " appears on the screen. Yes this movie does owe something to the slapstick routines of those two gentlemen yet it has a life of it's own which in many ways far surpasses slapstick. For those people who can only see the sight gags then this movie will only provide mild appeal. Look deeper and appreciate the marvellous comedic talents of Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn and Natalie Wood.
Comedy is always a thing of personal taste. I suspect that there will be those who will rave about how wonderful The Great Race is while others will call it a waste of time and money. There will be few in the middle ground. I fall into the rave category. To me this movie is sheer FUN.
The visuals are splendid and awesomly huge. The costumes fabulous and the location settings vast. Everything is over the top, yet there is still room for small subtleties and in-jokes. The actors have a ball. Jack Lemmon just sneaks in as the best scene stealer but the able cast hold their own too. The Great Race just cries out for a restoration job and a release on DVD - please !
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