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Great Race, The (1965, Tony Curtia, Jack Lemmon)



A Blake Edwards period comedy about a transcontinental auto race with a raft of memorable characters. Along their way, they encounter a polar bear, get into saloon brawls, challenge each other to duels, and have a colossal pie fight–which involved more than 2,000 pies! This is a sporadically successful effort that makes you wish they’d drive a little bit faster.

After filming The Great Race, Jack Lemmon came down with hepatitis and was unable to work for 14 months. His next film was The Fortune Cookie (1966), which he made with frequent collaborators Walter Matthau and director Billy Wilder.

production details
USA | Warner Bros. | 160 minutes | 1965

Director: Blake Edwards
Producer: Martin Jurow
Original Story: Blake Edwards, Arthur Ross
Cinematography: Russell Harlan
Editor: Ralph E. Winters
Music: Henry Mancini
Script: Arthur Ross
Production Design: Fernando Carrere
Set Design: George James Hopkins
Choreography: Hermes Pan

Tony Curtis as The Great Leslie
Jack Lemmon as Prof. Fate
Keenan Wynn as Hezekiah Sturdy
Natalie Wood as Maggie Dubois
William Bryant as Baron’s Guard
Hal Needham as Saloon Brawler
Hal Smith as Mayor of Boracho
Arthur O’Connell as Henry Goodbody
Peter Falk as Max
Vivian Vance as Hester Goodbody
Dorothy Provine as Lily Olay
Larry Storch as Texas Jack
Ross Martin as Baron Rolfe Von Stuppe
George Macready as General Kuhster
Marvin Kaplan as Frisbee
Denver Pyle as Sheriff
Raoul Retzer as Mayor-Domo