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The Great Race

  NR HD Closed Captioning

Blake Edwards

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Plot Summary

From comedy master Blake Edwards comes this classic, riotous all-star farce. It is the turn of the previous century, and American automakers are worried about how to sell their new product to an uneducated public. Professional daredevil and all-around good guy, The Great Leslie, convinces the automakers that a race from New York to Paris (westward across America, the Bering Straight and Russia) will help to promote automobile sales. However, Leslie's arch-rival, the evil Professor Fate, vows to beat Leslie to the finish line in a car of his own invention. Gags, mishaps and laughs abound! Starring acting legends including Academy Award-nominee and Golden Globe-winner Tony Curtis as The Great Leslie, Academy Award-winner Jack Lemmon as the evil Professor Fate, Golden Globe-winner Natalie Wood, Emmy Award-winner Peter Falk and dozens more, all scored to the music of four-time Academy Award-winning composer Henry Mancini.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 22
  • Fresh: 17
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 6.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: 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. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: It's highly inventive, self-conscious camp, made in 1965, well before the genre wore itself out in superciliousness. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: This is one of those spectacular comedy star vehicles which is perfectly watchable on a wet Sunday afternoon but which, looked at from almost any other perspective, is just a waste of celluloid. – Film4, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

"Max, WE'RE car number five" Oh, yeah, and PIE FIGHT!

I love, love, love this movie. It is so zany, and funny, and cool. This movie has the best scene ever too. THE PIE FIGHT! My dad thinks I only like that scene because it's the only time the entire movie Leslie gets dirty. Which is only half true (by that, I mean that it is the only time he gets dirty, but that's not why I like it). Also, when they are sinking, and Professor Fate is complaining, that's funny too. Plus the line about what's going to happen to car number five ("Max, WE'RE car number five") is a classic. But if you want to see something alomst as good as the pie fight in this movie, pay attention when Max and Fate are going to the garage. Look at the moose head on the dining room wall, especially. Follow the spot where that shows up, and look at that! It's the rest of the moose on the other side of the wall! All in all, a classic, and funny movie.

The Best

This is quite simply the funniest movie ever made. You cannot get all the humor by watching it once. There is a great deal of subtle humor which you will miss the first time. "Throw more brandy"!

Push The Button, Max!

Love this movie. I remember seeing it when I was 9 and couldn't wait for it to be on again. A few months ago I Tivo'd it and watched it with my kids over and over again. They love it too. Jack Lemmon is awesomely over-the-top as the Professor.