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The Great Race (1965)

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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 »
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Popularity
3,060 ( 181)
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:

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:

17 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blake Edwards' The Great Race See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
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

During the opening sequences involving the torpedo, Pro. Fate uses a spyglass while Max uses binoculars. This is a hidden sight gag because by this time Peter Falk (Max) had a prosthetic eye. See more »

Goofs

Set in 1908, TV antennae visible on the Eiffel Tower. 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

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 has been re-released in France in 1996. However, after the race starts, all scenes involving people from the newspaper in New York have been cut. The French authorities or distributors took them as a mockery of the French suffragette's, feminist's and women's lib movements. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Two of a Kind (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

He Shouldn't-A, Hadn't-A, Oughtn't-A Swang on Me!
Words by Johnny Mercer
Music by Henry Mancini
Performed by Dorothy Provine (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Oh Please...Lighten Up!
10 October 2002 | by KeetooSee all my reviews

No disrespect to the previous summary...but for the love of MIKE!!! This person does not get it........... The Great Race is a wonderful parody of silent film comedies...even further back than that...to the old time style of theater where the audience boo-ed the villain and cheered the hero! Watching this film is like watching a great Bugs Bunny cartoon, only with very famous live-actors! It's a HOOT!!!!! The frame of mind you need to have is just relax and have a "great" time with The Great Race. This is one of the "greats"!


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