7.2/10
14,917
163 user 31 critic

The Great Race (1965)

Trailer
2:51 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
In the early 20th century, two rivals, the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate, engage in an epic automobile race from New York to Paris.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Arthur A. Ross (screenplay) (as Arthur Ross), Blake Edwards (original story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,060 ( 181)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Hoping to push Britain to the forefront of aviation, a London publisher organizes an international air race across the English Channel, but must contend with two entrants vying for his daughter, as well as national rivalries and cheating.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

Directors: Michael Anderson, John Farrow
Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine
Francis (1950)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During World War II, a junior American Army officer, Lt. Peter Stirling, gets sent to the psychiatric ward whenever he insists that an Army mule named Francis speaks to him.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Donald O'Connor, Patricia Medina, Zasu Pitts
Adventure | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmond O'Brien
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl
Family | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Tia and her brother Tony have supernatural powers, can communicate and moving things with the power of their minds. While in Los Angeles for a visit. Tony uses his powers to prevent an ... See full summary »

Director: John Hough
Stars: Bette Davis, Christopher Lee, Kim Richards
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the Civil War a group of Union soldiers and two Confederates escape the stockade using a hot air balloon and end up on a strange Pacific island.

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ex-pirate contends with rowdy buccaneers and a love-hate relationship with an aristocratic woman who's tougher than she seems.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Laird Cregar
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

It's the Florida party season for heiresses, with both Oklahoma oil heiress Hortense Burke-Meyers and New York face cream heiress Daisy Appleby in the state. And where the single American ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Eugene Pallette
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

with the music of HENRY MANCINI including "The Sweetheat Tree" "Pie in the Face Polka" and many more See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blake Edwards' The Great Race See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Professor Fate's Rocket Car, torpedo, and one of the Hannibal 8's produced for this movie, are located at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois. As of January 2010, these three items were for sale for $350,000. As of September, 2013, the Hannibal 8 and the torpedo are on display at the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angles, California. See more »

Goofs

At the and of the pie-throwing scene (done on an interior set), Natalie Wood is thoroughly covered with pie filling, topping, and crust. When she is seen entering the car (an exterior shot), though this ostensibly takes place just moments after the end of the pie fight, she is now only picturesquely dabbed with pie debris. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Master of Ceremonies: [addressing the crowd] Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to witness the most spectacular feat ever attempted by the greatest daredevil in the world: The Great Leslie!
[the crowd cheers]
Master of Ceremonies: He will be strapped in a straightjacket before your very eyes and lifted up into the clouds where eagles soar and no sparrow dares to venture!
[the crowd murmurs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jack Lemmon is only credited as Professor Fate and not for his second role as Crown Prince Hapnik. 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

Big Night Tonight
(uncredited)
Sung by the girls in the saloon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Greatest pie fight on the silver screen
21 May 2004 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

The Great Race is a marvelously entertaining cartoon of a movie. Everyone is a broad character and slapstick abounds. The actors are great and the comedy is lively. If it has a fault, it's that it is a bit longer than necessary. However, it never slows down too much to make you lose interest.

Jack Lemmon steals the show as the deliciously despicable Professor Fate. Lemmon brings melodramtic greatness to what would normally be the Terry Thomas role (and I love Terry Thomas). His partner in crime is Peter Falk, as the harried, but loyal Max. Together, they make this film great.

Tony Curtis is the perfect true-blue hero, even if that becomes a bit obnoxious. He's so great that you just can't wait for Prof. Fate to get one up on him.

Natalie Wood gets a bit annoying, too, as Maggie Dubois. Her strident proclamations about equality start to get on your nerves fairly rapidly. She's not quite intrepid enough for Nellie Bly, and not quite smart enough for Gloria Steinum. She has some good comedic moments, though.

The film is episodic in nature and a bit uneven, but there a great moments throughout. Scenes to look for: The early daredevil rivalry between the Great Leslie and Prof. Fate, the saloon brawl in Borracho, the Prisoner of Zenda send-up, and the pie fight.

Hollywood doesn't make great slapstick farces like this anymore. Humor now revolves around groin injuries and stupid one-liners and catch phrases. We don't see great character pieces anymore. It's a shame as these kinds of movies hold up well; especially as family fare.

The DVD is pretty bare-bones. It would have been nice to have some commentary from Blake Edwards and Tony Curtis. Warner Brothers has but out some pretty substandard DVD packages, this one included. Still, it's worth the price just to watch the movie.


33 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 163 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed