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The Great Race Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Tony Curtis stars as The Great Leslie, a hero among heroes whose purity of heart is manifested by his spotlessly white wardrobe. Leslie's great rival, played by Jack Lemmon, is Professor Fate, a scowling, mustachioed, top-hatted, black-garbed villain. Long envious of Leslie's record-setting accomplishments with airships and sea craft, Professor Fate schemes to win a 22,000-mile auto race from New York City to Paris by whatever insidious means possible. The problem is that Fate is his own worst enemy: each of his plans to remove Leslie from the running (and from the face of the earth) backfires. Leslie's own cross to bear is suffragette Maggie Dubois (Natalie Wood), who also hopes to win the contest and thus strike a blow for feminism. The race takes all three contestants to the Wild West, the frozen wastes of Alaska, and, in the longest sequence, the mythical European kingdom of Carpania. This last-named country is the setting for a wild Natalie Wood spoof involving Professor Fate and his look-alike, the foppish Carpanian king. When Leslie and Fate approach the finish line at the Eiffel Tower, Leslie deliberately loses to prove his love for Maggie. Professor Fate cannot stand winning under these circumstances, thus he demands that he and Leslie race back to New York. The supporting cast includes Peter Falk as Fate's long-suffering flunkey Max, Keenan Wynn as Leslie's faithful general factotum, Dorothy Provine as a brassy saloon singer, Larry Storch as ill-tempered bandit Texas Jack, and Ross Martin as Baron Von Stuppe. The film also yielded a hit song, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's The Sweetheart Tree. Johnny Mercer was dedicated to "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:July 1, 1965

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Johnny Mercer Best Original Song 1965 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Johnny Mercer Best Song 1965 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ralph Winters Best Editing 1965 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Treg Brown Best Sound Effects 1965 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Henry Mancini Best Original Song 1965 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Henry Mancini Best Original Score 1965 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Henry Mancini Best Song 1965 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jack Lemmon Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1965 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Russell Harlan Best Color Cinematography 1965 Nominee

Cast

Jack Lemmon
as Prof. Fate
Tony Curtis
as The Great Leslie
Natalie Wood
as Maggie DuBois
Peter Falk
as Max
Keenan Wynn
as Hezekiah
Arthur O'Connell
as Henry Goodbody
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 Gen. Kuhster
Marvin Kaplan
as Frisbee
Denver Pyle
as Sheriff
Ken Wales
as Soldier
Richard Alexander
as Extra
Greg Benedict
Paul Bryar
as Policeman
Blake Edwards
Clegg Hoyt
as Man
Frank Kreig
as Starter
Francis McDonald
as Russian
Joyce Nizzari
as Women in Western Scene
Joe Palma
as Conductor
Hal Riddle
as Baker
Johnny Silver
Paul L. Smith
as Employee
John Truax
as Prison Guard
Art Stewart
as Man
Chester Hayes
as Man in Bear Suit
Hal Smith
as Lord Mayor
Paul L. Smith
as Employee
Frank Kreig
as Starter
Joe Palma
as Conductor
Richard Alexander
as Extra
Art Stewart
as Man
John Truax
as Prison Guard
Joyce Nizzari
as Women in Western Scene
Clegg Hoyt
as Man
Paul Bryar
as Policeman
Chester Hayes
as Man in Bear Suit
Hal Riddle
as Baker
Francis McDonald
as Russian

Crew

Blake Edwards
Director
Russell Harlan
Cinematographer
Johnny Mercer
Songwriter
Henry Mancini
Composer (Music Score)
Ralph Winters
Editor
Fernando Carrere
Production Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Hermes Pan
Choreography
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