A tribute to masters of slapstick Laurel and Hardy, Blake Edwards's spectacular farce stars Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood. In 1908 New York, the evil, black-clad Professor Fate (Lemmon) challenges the Great Leslie (Curtis), a heroic daredevil who wears only white, to a 22,000-mile New York-to-Paris race. As the race gets under way, Fate eliminates all the other contestants through nefarious means except for feminist Maggie Dubois (Wood). But when her car breaks down on its own, she's forced to ride with Leslie, who has his hands full trying to avoid being obliterated by the artillery-laden Hannibal 8 that carries Fate. After getting into a brawl in the wild West and riding an ice floe across the Bering Strait to Siberia, Fate kidnaps Maggie, and the racing teams make an extended soujourn in Carpania as Edwards parodies THE PRISONER OF ZENDA. Then the dastardly Baron von Shtuppe (Ross Martin) tries to take advantage of Fate's resemblance to their ruler, Prince Hapnick, to start a revolution. This enjoyable, out-of-control spectacle, loaded with hysterical sight gags and routines from the silent comedy era, features good work from Lemmon, Martin, and Peter Falk as Fate's henchman, Max. The film was the basis for the WACKY RACES animated children's series.
1965 - Academy Awards - Best Sound Effects Winner
Blake Edwards - American Director/Screenwriter, THE PINK PANTHER Films
William Blake McEdwards - American Director/Screenwriter, THE PINK PANTHER Films
Sam O. Brown - American Director/Screenwriter, THE PINK PANTHER Films
Fernando Carrere - Production Designer
Jack Lemmon - American Actor, SOME LIKE IT HOT
John Uhler Lemmon III - American Actor, SOME LIKE IT HOT
Arthur O'Connell - Character Actor, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, ANATOMY OF A MURDER
Ross Martin - Actor/"Wild Wild West"
Dorothy Provine - American Actress/Singer/Dancer
Henry Mancini - American Songwriter/Composer, THE PINK PANTHER Theme
Hermes Pan - Choreographer
Hermes Panagiotopulos - Choreographer
Natalie Wood - American actress, WEST SIDE STORY
Natasha Gurdin - American actress, WEST SIDE STORY
Tony Curtis - American Actor, SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
Bernard Schwartz - American Actor, SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
Anthony Curtis - American Actor, SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
Marvin Kaplan - American Comedy Actor
Larry Storch - American Actor
Russell Harlan - American Director Of Photography/Stunts
Russ B. Harlan - American Director Of Photography/Stunts
Russ Harlan - American Director Of Photography/Stunts
Vivian Vance - Ethel Mertz of TV's "I Love Lucy"
Ralph E. Winters - Oscar-winng American Editor
Edith Head - Oscar winning costume designer, THE STING
Martin Jurow - American Producer
Keenan Wynn - American actor
Peter Falk - American actor, COLUMBO
George James Hopkins - Set Designer/Decorator
George Hopkins - Set Designer/Decorator
THE GREAT RACE is a Blake Edwards period comedy about a transcontinental auto race with a raft of memorable characters. Along the way, the racers encounter a polar bear, get into saloon brawls, challenge each other to duels, and have a colossal pie fight.
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis also teamed up in Billy Wilder's SOME LIKE IT HOT, the funniest American film ever made according to the American Film Institute's list. The film is dedicated to Laurel and Hardy. The pie fight is the biggest ever filmed, utilizing 2,357 pies.