You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Great Race

The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs.

Cast:
Jack Lemmon Tony Curtis Natalie Wood Peter Falk Keenan Wynn Arthur O'Connell

The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs.

A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York to Paris and Blake Edwards’ broad borrowing from The Prisoner of Zenda tale and an earlier Laurel and Hardy comedy for some of his heartiest action. [Pic is dedicated to L&H.]

Characters carry an old-fashioned zest when it was the fashion to hiss the villain and cheer the hero. Slotting into this category, never has there been a villain so dastardly as Jack Lemmon nor a hero so whitely pure as Tony Curtis, rivals in the great race staged by an auto manufacturer to prove his car’s worth.

Strongly abetting the two male principals is Natalie Wood as a militant suffragette who wants to be a reporter and sells a NY newspaper publisher on allowing her to enter the race and covering it for his sheet.

To carry on the overall spirit, Curtis always is garbed in snowy white, Lemmon in black, a gent whose every tone is a snarl, and whose laugh would put Woody Woodpecker to shame.

Lemmon plays it dirty throughout and for huge effect. Curtis underplays for equally comic effect. Wood comes through on a par with the two male stars.

1965: Best Sound Effects.

Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Song (‘The Sweetheart Tree’)

The Great Race

Production: Warner. Director Blake Edwards; Producer Martin Jurow; Screenplay Arthur Ross; Camera Russell Harlan; Editor Ralph E. Winters; Music Henry Mancini; Art Director Fernando Carrere

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 153 MIN.

With: Jack Lemmon Tony Curtis Natalie Wood Peter Falk Keenan Wynn Arthur O'Connell

More Film

  • Project Runway

    Weinstein Co. Feeling Pressure to Find a Buyer (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day review

    'Terminator' Writing Team Adds Billy Ray to Put Final Polish on Script

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

  • Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva Starring in

    Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva Starring in Thriller 'Inherit the Viper'

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

  • Mahershala Ali Burn

    Mahershala Ali to Star in, Executive Produce Crime Thriller 'Burn'

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

  • Hermes holiday window

    Le Gentil Garcon Brings Classic Hollywood to Hermes for the Holidays

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

  • Justice League

    Box Office: 'Justice League' Heading for Disappointing $95 Million Opening

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

  • Noah Baumbach Casts Adam Driver, Scarlett

    Noah Baumbach Casts Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern in Next Film

    The Great Race is a big, expensive, whopping, comedy extravaganza [from a screen story by Blake Edwards and Arthur Ross], long on slapstick and near-inspired tomfoolery whose tongue-in-cheek treatment liberally sprinkled with corn frequently garners belly laughs. A certain nostalgic flavor is achieved, both in the 1908 period of an automobile race from New York […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content