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The Great Race (Widescreen)

Jack Lemmon , Natalie Wood , Blake Edwards    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Frequently Bought Together

The Great Race (Widescreen) + Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (Ces merveilleux fous volants dans leur drôles de machines)
Price For Both: CDN$ 28.98

Product Details

Product Description

Product Description

Great Race, The (DVD)


Director Blake Edwards, fresh from the success of the first two Pink Panther movies, indulged his love of classic slapstick comedy with this long free-for-all, which throws in everything but Laurel and Hardy's kitchen sink. The film reunites Some Like It Hot stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, ably aided by a spunky Natalie Wood. The subject is a New-York-to-Paris auto race in the early years of the 20th century, pitting the Great Leslie (Curtis), a goody-goody dressed all in white--even his teeth sparkle--against the malevolent Professor Fate (Lemmon), whose coal-black heart is reflected in his handlebar mustache. He looks like a bill collector from a silent- movie melodrama. Lemmon does double duty, also playing the pampered, drunken king of a small European country, whose laugh sounds like the wail of a cat in heat. The film may be too long for its own good, and you really have to love Jack Lemmon to put up with his over-the-top performance, but it's side-splitting in spots. It's one of those movies, if seen in childhood, that stays in your mind for years afterward. Some of the bigger routines, such as a pie fight of epic proportions, don't work as well as the simple chemistry between the perpetually exasperated Professor Fate and his much-abused assistant, Max (a terrific Peter Falk). Push the button, Max. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Big Ole Moose Butt Jan. 25 2004
A classically structured old time villian vs the good guy film, with the obligatory sidekicks and the beautiful love interest, who will eventually succumb to the charms of The hero. More about that later. OK, the stereotypes are there, but that's what the movie was about. Charging from the gate with the player piano, boos and hiss when the cast boards are shown, the movie brings the viewer up to speed very fast with humor and great slapstick. Following a PR auto race in the early days of the 20th century, the film follows the main characters through the landscape of the US and Europe. Sight gags abound and the scenery is often breathtaking. The plot is easy to floow and it's good fun. For the movie fan who doesn't want to disect a movies' every nuance, this is especially fun and worth seeing time and again. The characters will keep you laughing long after the soundtrack has ended,. I would comment more on the plot, but nearly 100 people already handled that - look, just take a chance on it. It's great fun.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD version is fullscreen not widescreen Sept. 16 2003
The movie is spectacular. This DVD version is a bomb. Shame on Warner Brothers for their greediness and lack of effort to bring widescreen versions to the masses including updated soundtracks and clean film reels!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun, but not what it should have been. Jan. 1 2004
Epics were in vogue in the Sixties, and even the early Seventies(although I can't really see a hippie watching any of them), and it was only natural that comedies would get the "big" bug. IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL make up two of the big three. The other is THE GREAT RACE, Blake Edward's 159 minute slapstick excursion, restored on DVD in complete roadshow fashion, with overture, intermission, entr'acte, and exit music. And yet, for a film of this type, it is less about the race than about the rivalry between Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon) and the Great Leslie (Tony Curtis). There is precious little racing, and though the film is far from boring and has much going for it (the finale to Part One is brilliant) one can't help but wonder what it would have been like if the other entries in the race regrouped after being snuffed out and made their mad dashes for the forefront. That would make it THE GREAT RACE. Also, the lack of other challenge leaves a depressing side effect; the film seems mildly unfinished and undernourished, like 2 hours and 40 minutes of a 3 plus hour movie. And yet, the film has so much going for it that to ignore it is rather unfair. What there is (I should note that due to the previously noted flaws, the chapters on the disc make it a more pleasing experience) is very well made, and one can appreciate what they put into it.
If only they put more.
Jamie Teller
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THE GREAT RACE may not be a masterpiece--but it is a perfect choice for a cold and rainy night: stylish, frothy, and often flatly hilarious, it makes for "comfort viewing" at its best.
One of the movie's several charms is that it draws heavily from Victorian cliches that still linger in the public mind, gives them a gentle comic spin, and then drops them into the tale of an early 1900s auto race from New York to Paris by way of Siberia. Add to this a heap of favorite character actors, a big budget, flamboyant period costumes, and the biggest pie fight ever filmed, and you have a movie where there is always something to enjoy on the screen.
The great thing about THE GREAT RACE are the performances, which are very broad but endowed with a sly humor. The comedy accolades here go to Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk as the notorious Dr. Fate and his bumbling sidekick Max--wonderful bits of acting that will have you hooting with laughter in every scene--and Dorothy Provine scores memorably in a cameo as Lily Olay, the bombshell singer who presides over the most rootin'-tootin' saloon this side of the Pecos.
But every one, from Tony Curtis and the lovely Natalie Wood down to such cameo performers as Vivian Vance, get in plenty of comic chops as the film drifts from one outrageous episode to another: suffergettes crowding a newspaper, the biggest western brawl imaginable, polar bears, explosions, daredevil antics, and a subplot lifted from THE PRISONER OF ZENDA agreeably crowd in upon each other. True, the film does seem over-long and may drag a bit in spots, but it never drags for very long, and it's all in good fun--and the production values and memorable score easily tide over the bare spots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Aug. 6 2003
By A Customer
The race of "The Great Race" is nothing more than a clotheslines for hanging a magnificent series of set pieces in many filmatic styles. A mixture of early twentieth century daredevil thrill work combined with slapstick early in the movie gives the erroneous impression that it's what the movie's about. Some viewers who don't like that sort of Wile E. Coyote doings tune the movie off at that point. Others, who want it to continue throughout the movie, become bored. In fact, comedy is hard to sustain, so working the movie out through largely self-contained episodes was probably a good idea. The slapstick sections give way to a lighthearted western romp with a notable saloon brawl, then to an interlude on an ice floe that strengthens the bonds between the characters and allows character development that was impossible thus far, and finally to a subtle and mature adventure story largely based on "The Prisoner of Zenda". The controversial "Zenda" spoof dominates the second act (after the intermission). Some see the Pottsdorf segment as a huge mistake, while others view it as the point which the first act inextricably led. The culminating pie fight of this episode, the largest in history (and not particularly funny in itself, though it does provide more character development), gives some credence to the latter school. Perhaps Edwards created the whole segment, the whole movie, to give us the pie fight. The whole "Prisoner of Zenda" spoof is itself a remarkable achievement. The episodic quality of the movie made "The Great Race" one of the movies that worked best back in the 1960s and 70s when networks broke it up and aired it over two nights in prime time (as they used to do very long movies). Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk are wonderful
A very good film to watch for pure entertainment. Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk are wonderful as the dastardly duo trying to thwart Tony Curtis in a trans-continental auto race... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Nostalgia Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Movie Buffs alert!!
Good movie - great sendup of the "knight" and damsel in distress. Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk as the baddies are just plain wonderful. Those cars are pretty glorious too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ann Hadaway
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Great Race" is great for all.
Love, love, love this movie.
My whole family, & their families all love it. A true classic that will entertain all generations. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R6
5.0 out of 5 stars I really like it.
It's a favorite of the family. I was happy to see that they had it on dvd. I recommend it anyone who like classic movies.
Published 22 months ago by Ruth Carleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality
Image and sound in french and english are excellent, The film was restored digitally. This is one of the best funny movie ever created. Read more
Published on July 2 2011 by ardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service. . .
This is a hard movie to aquire, so pleased that Amazon had it, and now I have it as part of my classics collection, and digitally reformatted to enhance its viewing. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Great Race" is Great Sh*t
I am not a man of comedy. More specifically, I don't often enjoy comedy because I don't find the jokes in movies to be funny. Read more
Published on July 28 2003 by A. Lansky
2.0 out of 5 stars "The Great Race" was funnier when I was a kid...
As a kid, I remember seeing "The Great Race" at least twice on those long Sunday afternoons after football season, usually when there was nothing else to put on TV. Read more
Published on May 31 2003
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