The Great Race 1965

The Great Race

Critics Consensus

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74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,794

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Movie Info

A spectacular land race from New York to Paris in the early 20th century is planned, the two main competitors being the handsome, dashing hero in white, The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis), and the dastardly, black-suited Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon). While Fate's sidekick, Max (Peter Falk), attempts to sabotage Leslie and the other racers, Leslie finds an unlikely ally in Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood), a suffragette and journalist-turned-racer whose car breaks down halfway through the event.

Cast & Crew

Tony Curtis
The Great Leslie
Jack Lemmon
Professor Fate , Crown Prince Frederick Hoepnick
Natalie Wood
Maggie Dubois
Peter Falk
Maximilian Meen
Keenan Wynn
Hezekiah Sturdy
Arthur O'Connell
Henry Goodbody
Vivian Vance
Hester Goodbody
Larry Storch
Texas Jack
Ross Martin
Baron Rolfe Von Stuppe
Arthur A. Ross
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for The Great Race

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for The Great Race

  • Apr 01, 2017
    I just love this movie. I've seen it many times over my life, and it never gets old. The contrast between squeaky-clean Tony Curtis and dastardly Jack Lemmon is wonderful, and Lemmon in particular delivers a hilarious performance, both in his main role as Professor Fate, as well as the Crown Prince of Pottsdorf later in the movie. The laughs and mannerisms of both characters are memorable. The scene in the Arctic snowstorm always cracks me up, Fate's mustache being snapped off by his henchman (Peter Falk, who's also great), and him showing he's not exactly a 'morning person' when he's asked to 'rise and shine'. Professor Fate is so bothered by everything that he'll even snarl at cute little pugs in a lavish bed. Natalie Wood is in a deceptively tricky role, needing at the same time to be funny, serious as a suffragette, and secretly attracted to Curtis as a love interest - and she absolutely shines. She's also incredibly beautiful, simply a dream, as always. The 'big' moments of slapstick in the film are done very well, including an epic pie fight and barroom brawl, but there are also a large number of 'small' moments - little lines of dialogue, inflections, and facial expressions - that keep me smiling throughout, even when I know it's silliness that would appeal to children. The film is 160 minutes but Director Blake Edwards keeps it lively, and it never drags. Great film.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2011
    The film does drag on somewhat slowly, it makes up for it for one lone reason and one lone reason only, JACK LEMMON AS PROFESSOR FATE!!! He is so damn funny to watch, and I think the comedy on how he acts comes from the Looney Tunes, particularly Daffy Duck, who I am inspired by quite a bit as well, and it really works with the comedy on this character, and is hysterical. The only thing I disliked about this film was Tony Curtis, mainly because how wooden he acts in this film, but I think it was intentional, I think he was trying to just act like that because he is just a stereotypical attractive dude that is just a character with no attitude or emotion., But Jack Lemmon works off of him so hysterically well, and he is someone who you just want to actually see win and not Tony Curtis.
    Michael E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2011
    The fun of this tribute (of sorts) to the old silent films is watching the cast simply live it up. Curtis gets to hero it, Wood gets to sexy all American girl it, and Lemmon and the recently deceased Falk get to revel as the very bad guy and his untrustworthy assistant it. Plenty of shining moments by supporting actors in what is without a doubt one deliberately silly film, yes, but fun.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 16, 2011
    I didn't know it was a kids movie when I started, but I really, really liked it. Why? Because Jack Lemmon is a comic genius and made me crack up more than I was ever expecting. Parallel only to the ever charming Natalie Woods and the oddly suave Tony Curtis. It was a bit long, but the comedy and hijinks were so crazy that I didn't mind it! This is something that if I ever had kids, would have them watch. Loved it. And I would totally watch this again. Oh, and greatest pie fight EVER.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer

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