AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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The Great Race
Director: Blake Edwards (Dir)
Release Date:   1965
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 1 Jul 1965
Duration (in mins):   157
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Cast:   Jack Lemmon (Professor Fate)  
    Tony Curtis (The Great Leslie)  
    Natalie Wood (Maggie DuBois)  
    Peter Falk (Max)  
    Keenan Wynn (Hezekiah)  
    Arthur O'Connell (Henry Goodbody)  
    Vivian Vance (Hester Goodbody)  
    Dorothy Provine (Lily Olay)  
    Larry Storch (Texas Jack)  
    George Macready (General Kuhster)  
    Ross Martin (Rolfe von Stuppe)  
    Marvin Kaplan (Frisbee)  
    Hal Smith (Major of Boracho)  
    Denver Pyle (Sheriff)  
    William Bryant    
    Ken Wales (Baron's guards)  
    J. Edward McKinley (Chairman)  
    Robert S. Carson (Vice chairman)  
    Paul Smith (1st employee)  
    Frank Kreig (Starter)  
    Charles Fredericks (M. C.)  
    Clegg Hoyt (Man)  
    Charles Seel (Freight agent)  
    Joe Palma (Conductor)  
    Paul Bryar (Policeman)  
    Chester Hayes (Man in bear suit)  
    Chuck Hayward    
    Greg Benedict (Soldiers)  
    Ken Wales    
    Robert Herron (Palace guards)  
    William Bryant (Guard)  
    John Truax (Prison guard)  
    Johnny Silver    
    Hal Riddle (Bakers)  

Summary: In 1908 in New York City, the villainous Professor Fate challenges The Great Leslie to a New York-to-Paris automobile race. Fate and his assistant Max enter their black Hannibal 8 against the white Leslie Special. At the starting line, Fate sets boobytraps for the other competitors and destroys their cars, except for Leslie's and the Stanley Steamer of Maggie DuBois, a feminist reporter for a New York newspaper. Her car breaks down, and she (with pigeons that send dispatches to New York) is picked up by Leslie and leads him to some gasoline that Professor Fate overlooked when he destroyed the supplies. They meet again in Alaska as both cars come to rest on an ice floe. They drift across the Bering Strait to Siberia; Fate then kidnaps Maggie; and both parties make their way to the Baltic republic of Carpania, ruled by Prince Hapnick (who looks exactly like Fate). Evil Baron von Stuppe uses Fate's likeness to begin a revolution. Fate escapes, however, and the race continues into France. Maggie has again joined Leslie, who proves his love for her when he stops his car a few feet from the finish line to kiss her. Fate, some distance behind, catches up with Leslie and is the first to cross the finish line; but he realizes that Leslie was the real winner. The three turn around and head back to New York. 

Production Company: Patricia  
  Jalem Productions, Inc.  
  Reynard Co.  
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures  
Director: Blake Edwards (Dir)
  Mickey McCardle (Asst dir)
  Jack Cunningham (Asst dir)
  Dick Landry (Asst dir)
Producer: Martin Jurow (Prod)
  Dick Crockett (Assoc prod)
Writer: Arthur Ross (Scr)
  Blake Edwards (Story)
  Arthur Ross (Orig story)
Photography: Russell Harlan (Dir of photog)
  Harold Wellman (2nd unit photog)
Art Direction: Fernando Carrère (Prod des)
Film Editor: Ralph E. Winters (Film ed)
Set Decoration: George James Hopkins (Set dec)
  Reg Allen (Dec cons)
  Jack Stevens (Dec cons)
Costumes: Don Feld (Cost des)
  Edith Head (Miss Wood's clothes)
Music: Henry Mancini (Mus)
Sound: M. A. Merrick (Sd)
Special Effects: Danny Lee (Spec eff)
  Linwood Dunn (Spec photog eff)
  James Gordon (Spec photog eff)
Dance: Hermes Pan (Choreog)
Make Up: Gordon Bau (Makeup supv)
  Sydney Guilaroff (Hairstyles for Miss Wood created by)
  Jean Burt Reilly (Supv hairstylist)
Production Misc: Clem Beauchamp (Unit prod mgr)
  Jack McEdward (Unit prod mgr)
  Charles Hansen (Unit prod mgr)
  Betty Abbott (Scr supv)
  Ken Wales (Dial supv)
  DePatie--Freleng (Main titles)
Country: United States

Songs: "He Shouldn't-a Hadn't-a Oughtn't-a Swang on Me," words and music by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, sung by Dorothy Provine; "The Sweetheart Tree," words and music by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, sung by Natalie Wood.
Composer: Henry Mancini
  Johnny Mercer

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Patricia--Jalem--Reynard Co. 15/6/1965 dd/mm/yyyy LP32421

Physical Properties: col: Technicolor
  Widescreen/ratio: Panavision

Genre: Comedy
Subjects (Major): Alaska
  Automobile racing
  Bering Strait
  Automobiles, Antique
  Ice floes
  Mines, Military
  Paris (France)
  New York City

Note: Location scenes filmed in Salzburg, Vienna, and Paris. Also reviewed at 150 min and copyrighted at 180 min. 

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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