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The Great Race

The Great Race(1965)

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  • Great Race relentless glossy schtick

    • nycexpat
    • 4/1/14

    In a fascinating bit of scheduling TCM just showed The Great Race immediately after The Twelve Chairs. Chairs moved; Race plopped, instead of the reverse. Both are picaresque. Each is by a top comic director: Blake Edwards for Race and Mel Brooks for Chairs. Race is bedecked, bejeweled and anything but bedazzling. It is the epitome of more is less: stars, scenery, costumes, extravaganzas, derring-do, froth, frills and thrills, all about assay is this where the expression 'lead balloon' came from?Actually, it is a little appalling and definitely sad to see all this struggle and excess amount to nothing, to sit and watch it all fall flat. It is like those extreme pastry confections that look great and taste like cardboard.Chairs, on the other hand has variations galore, good acting, wonderful timing and pacing, actual writing. Some scenes are slapstick, but seldom outlive their humorousness. Then there is funny writing, different styles of wit (Dom DeLuise and Frank Langella???) and genuinely dramatic scenes acted by old pros who can provide pathos AND humor. These are not movie stars cavorting on the edge of desperation. Chairs 5, Race 2

  • Definitive farce!

    • RedRain
    • 3/29/14

    If you look up the definition of "farce," this film should be alongside it. A farce is the "exploitation of improbable situations" and that fits this film perfectly. I view this film each time it is shown and enjoy it even more. The settings are beautiful, the costuming is superb - no wonder it garnered an Academy Award nomination for Cinematography (among four others)! Jack Lemmon is simply terrific in his dual roles as the mad prince/Professor Fate and Tony Curtis, as "The Great Leslie," is in-his-prime gorgeous and excellent in his role. Natalie Wood is stunningly beautiful here and playfully and skillfully acts her role as the suffragette who inserts herself into "the great race," and falls for Leslie in the process. I truly believe a Supporting Actor nomination should have gone to the great Peter Falk who plays Professor Fate's sidekick, Max, as he makes this film move along in so many ways. Yes, it's over-the-top in slapstick but that is what makes you laugh. The pie fight, one of the best four minutes in film, is worth watching the film for. There are far worse films out there to slog your way through but this isn't one of them. You just enjoy the ride here!

  • feel good movie

    • cathy Baughman
    • 3/16/14

    I saw it first on the big screen,loved it then and still do. The cast is star studed and Ms.Woods costumes are classic. A feel good family movie.

  • The Great Race

    • Theresa Poling
    • 8/16/13

    I Loved this movie since I saw it way back on Television. I love Jack Lemmon's Look Alike he is way Funny and I love the Pie Scene and other Great Scenes from this Movie. I have the Movie on DVD so I watch it once in a while to laugh my HEAD OFF. Great Comedy for Everyone to Rent or Buy.

  • Highway Hypnosis(1965)

    • nshepard
    • 4/26/13

    Tedious, unoriginal, Actors totally miscast in a boring display of pratfalls, slapstick, and rehashed material mixed in a literally slow moving vehicle, that you can't wait until it ends. Like "Nothing But Trouble Director Edwards misuses and abuses the script (is there one) and the Actors until you can't stand anymore. Find a better film to abuse or is that amuse yourself, this one isn't it. 1.5 stars out of 5.

  • The Great Waste

    • lcs
    • 3/30/13

    The fatal flaw in this Blake Edwards failure is that you cannot sustain a slapstick live action cartoon for nearly 3 hours. 'Mad, Mad World' accomplished it with good writing and intelligent comic timing by the principals. Watching Jack Lemmon in this almost ruined my appreciation of his other movies, as you see him desperately pull all of his usually effective comic twitches to no effect. This movie would have actually worked better as a real cartoon with the actors dubbing the voices. The only way to sit through it is to watch it drunk. Then you can giggle along with Lemmon.

  • The Great Stinker

    • PaulDavidClub
    • 1/11/13

    This sad, and very long movie is just not funny. One can easily tell what Blake Edwards is aiming for, but unlike Stanley Kramer's epic comedy tribute to comedy, nothing in this movie works. Literally nothing. Each time I see it (on TCM), I try to find something to like, but not one scene is well handled (and many are downright awful), and as a whole it's a colossal failure. I find it hard to have to criticize a Jack Lemmon movie (or a Peter Falk one...it's much easier to take shots at a good number of very lame Natalie Wood vehicles), but sadly this movie is virtually unwatchable.

  • Lemmon, Provine Shine

    • David Atkins
    • 10/16/10

    Jack Warner wanted a big film to compete with Its A Mad Mad World and found it in this film directed by Blake Edwards. Starring Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, then queen of the WB Lot, I liked this film most of all for the fine comedic performance of Jack Lemmon and lovely WB contract star Dorothy Provine who knew how to put the zing into a scene.Lemmon and Provine also starred in "Good Neightbor Same"at Columbia. Jack Lemmon had a remarkable run in the movies. winning an Oscar for Mr. Roberts, and starring in trio of classic films..Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Days of Wine and Roses each of wihch were Oscar worthy. Lemmon in his later career would win an Oscar for "Save The Tiger" and was memorable in "Missing"

  • More laughs per mile than most movies.

    • mike
    • 9/13/10

    Funny fim that has a little bit of everything. Villian Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon) and his henchman Max (Peter Falk) will do anything to show their feats of daredevil superiority circa 1908. Even though they look more like a human version of Wile E. Coyote in the process. Tony Curtis stars as the too-good-to-be-true hero The Great Leslie who proposes a race from New York to Paris via the Bering Strait. Natalie Wood tags along as a news reporter who is lso a female suffragette. The race is run via a small western town complete with a barroom brawl, an encounter with a polar bear in Alaska, and a coronation in a small European country on the verge of revolution, staging the biggest pie fight that did not involve the Three Stooges.

  • Non-Stop Laughs

    • Bruce Reber
    • 6/29/10

    "The Great Race" is one of the best comedy films ever. It's a absolutely wacky farce set in 1908 at the dawn of the automobile era about a race from New York to Paris. It stars Tony Curtis as the hero The Great Leslie (always wearing white and driving a white car-the Leslie Special) and Jack Lemmon as the villian Professor Fate (always wearing black and driving a black car-the Hannibal 8). Natalie Wood is terrific as the lady newspaper reporter Maggie DuBois, who is covering the Great Race and also leading the fight for women's rights. Peter Falk is very funny as Max, Fate's bumbling henchman, and Keenan Wynn is also good as Leslie's mechanic. "The Great Race" combines elements of slapstick, old-time movie serials and romantic comedy into one of the funniest films of all time. Curtis and Lemmon are back together again 6 years after "Some Like It Hot", but this time they're on opposite sides, with Curtis' as the cool, suave and unflappable Leslie fending off all the evil schemes and hilarious gimmicks Lemmon's Professor Fate uses trying to stop him, but to no avail. My favorite scenes are the free-for-all saloon brawl, the sailing on the ice floe from Alaska to Siberia and the wildest on-screen pie fight ever. I also like the music and songs by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, the costumes and all those antique cars, especially the Leslie Special and Hannibal 8. Four stars!

  • The Great Race (1965)

    • Robert
    • 6/29/10

    One of my top two movies for comedy. Witty script and outstanding physcical comedy which brings lots of laughter no matter how many times I have seen it. A friend still uses some lines in everyday conversation even 40 years after we first saw it. The comedy has staying power to continue to entertain. I wish it were shown more often on TCM. Thanks for showing it on June 28. Nonstop fun!!!

  • Natalie Wood Joins

    • Kevin4Butler
    • 6/19/10

    A funny spoof of old time melodramas and a living cartoon area part of this slapstick comedy of the mid 1960's. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are reunited for "The Great Race" astwo competing characters("The Great Leslie" & "Prof Fate")..who enter a race from NYC to Paris,France. With Lemmon's bumbling villian trying to thwart Curtis' efforts with an assortment of ridculous devices that don't stop the hero but create hilarious sight gags and self deprecitataing misery for Lemmon. Natalie Wood also appears as "Maggie Dubois"an ambitious and oftimes flirtacious newspaper reporter.Who tries to cover the race..butgets caputured by Lemmon and another villian played by the swave Ross Martin. I've enjoyed this film..since I've first seen it in 1965 and I still enjoy it to this day.

  • A MUST SEE

    • Michelle
    • 10/6/08

    This is my go to movie when I'm sick. I've seen it dozens of times and I still laught out loud. They just don't make 'em like this anymore - you get comedy, romance, swashbuckling, great dialogue and a fabulous fashion show in Natalie Wood's wardrobe. The entire cast is fantastic, especially Jack Lemmon. He's so terrific as the perpetually cranky Professor Fate.

  • The Great Race

    • Missy
    • 8/2/08

    Please show this movie "The Great Race" on TCM. I LOVE this movie!

  • The Great Race

    • l, weissberg
    • 6/10/08

    I would love to see this film on TCM. Why has it not been shown in many years? How about a Tony Curtis or a Jack Lemmon tribute one night and then show this film? A suggestion that probably get a wide viewing audience, especially for youngsters who have never seen the film.

  • please show the great race

    • phil norton
    • 6/3/08

    haven't seen it in years. please play it soon & often

  • Perfect Roles

    • Julia
    • 12/7/07

    This movie is absolutely fantastic! I have been watching this movie since i was young with my entire family and i know it all by heart now. Jack Lemmon was born to play Professor Fate, Natalie Wood is wonderful, and Tony Curtis gets to shine. One of the best movies ever! The music in the movie is fantasic. I highly recommend this movie! Go get it now!

  • Comedy on Ice...

    • Bob Galvin-Oliphant
    • 2/13/06

    A funny, epic comedy. Jack Lemmon is especially good as the evil Prof. Fate. One of the funniest scenes has Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk on a melting ice floe heading for Siberia.

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