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The Great Race (1965)

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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 »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

The movie with 20,000-mile or one-million-laughs guarantee! 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

The name of the Western town where Dorothy Provine sings is "Boracho". "Borracho", pronounced the same way, means "drunkard" in Spanish. Since the reason the race stops in the town is to fuel the cars, or to give the cars a "drink", an additional significance of the name occurs. 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

[on the iceberg]
Fate: You're wasting your time!
Leslie: Perhaps.
Fate: We're melting!
Leslie: Slowly.
Max: We're gonna sink!
Leslie: Eventually.
Fate: Then you're wasting your time!
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

The Great Race was licensed for showing in the Soviet Union in 1965. However, the whole episode where the race is going through Russia was cut. The Soviet authorities took it as a mockery of the 1908 Russian people. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return: Reptilicus (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Desert Song
(uncredited)
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Great Race Is A Great Comedy
22 May 2001 | by MarylSee all my reviews

This is director Blake Edwards salute to the early days of films. It is quite long, but worth the time to see this masterpiece, and appropriate for all ages. Its basically the good guy vs the bad guy and the heroine theme but the roles are mixed up in a wonderful way to where each main character is both at different times. I love Maggie DuBois(Natalie Wood) the most because she is such a strong intelligent woman, and yet beautiful and sexy. She would do anything to stay in the race, and did. Professor Fate and Max are not Laural and Hardy but evoke their comedy team spirit strongly. They are the ones that make the bumbling mistakes that make them more human than the perfect Leslie(Tony Curtis). The prince is a silly compliment to Professor Fate, both brilliantly played by Jack Lemmon. Also worth seeing is Vivian Vance as the wife of the newspaper owner, and Larry Storch as the gunfighter. I really liked the submarine, rocket sled, pedaled air balloon, and the vintage cars. Visually, this movie is a work of art, and the music is perfect. The score features Henry Mancini's "The Sweetheart Tree." Yes, there's lust, love and romance here too. This is the quintessential epic comedy of the 60's.


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