2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Big Ole Moose Butt
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...
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by D. Eichholz
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD version is fullscreen not widescreen
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!
Published on Sept. 16 2003 by No longer in OZ!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray For Fate!,
This flick originally hit the streets about the same time as Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. A local critic here in Minneapolis compared Race with Magnificent Men in a somewhat unfavorable vein. One evening I found myself casting about for a movie to see and found nothing more interesting than The Great Race available; I went in with that review somewhat souring my attitude. When I left the theatre almost 3 hours later my ribs literally ached from having laughed so hard and often. All I can ask today is, "So who watches Those Magnificent Men . . . once or twice a month?"
A few years back I got the VHS and introduced my then 5 year old daughter to The Great Leslie, Maggie DuBois, Professor Fate, and Max. She laughed about as much I had the first time and the pie fight nearly finished her off. Recently my 3-year-old son saw it for the first time and watched enraptured. Now he understands "Push the button, Max."-Before this he'd always respond with "I'm not Max!"
One thing I don't think I've seen mentioned in any other reviews is the uncanny impression of Richard Nixon that Jack Lemon seems to be doing in his portrayal of Professor Fate--and this before we got to see [him] at his best during his presidential reign.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie of All time,
By A Customer
This review is from: Great Race,the (VHS Tape)
First off I wanted to say I am in my late teens and I loved this movie. It is great for all ages if you ask me. Jack Lemmon does a great acting job as Professor Fate! He makes the movie so funny. I also love his sidekick Max "Push the button, Max!"
And the great leslie and maggie dubois are great too. Trust me, and buy this movie!
4.0 out of 5 stars PUSH THE BUTTON, MAX !,
At last this 1965 slapstick goodie from the pen of Blake Edwards has made it to widescreen DVD! I first saw it when I was a kid, and I've never forgotten one of my all-time favorite comedic moments: Jack Lemmon, as the dastardly, nefarious Professor Fate, his faithful manservant and whipping boy Max (played wonderfully by Peter Falk) arrive at one of their stopover towns for refueling and refreshment. Lemmon sees that their arrival is going improperly unheralded, so he rises slowly, majestically, removing his tall black hat, and announces, "I. . .AM PROFESSOR FATE!"
He perfectly reverses the rise, as if he is being agonizingly rewound, the hat going back on his head. His handlebar moustache, which all true Villains must have, twitches slightly.
Max tells the villagers that they are connected with the Great Race, and happy pandemonium erupts.
Some may say that the movie is too long, that it's too big, that it's too over the top, but that is the point. Edwards wanted to pay tribute to his comedic heroes, most especially Laurel and Hardy, and this is his love letter. And don't forget to listen for one of Hank Mancini's funniest scores.
Highly recommended to those with a bent toward divine silliness. Ya gotta love a movie in which the hero's teeth literally glint at you!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Gaggle of Gags,
By A Customer
This is a fantastic video party movie! Fresh and funny even after almost 40 years. My family had the privilege of seeing it first-run in one of Chicago's fabulous theaters. Who can resist Henry Mancini's genius soundtrack, or the beyond-slapstick sound effects (especially with Max as a friar). And the sight gags: look for the mounted back end of a moose in Fate's mansion, and watch for Fate to light a match with his teeth. The way I describe this film to friends? It's like the best WB cartoons all mixed together but done with real people. What other movie can deliver a saloon brawl, a fencing duel, and a pie fight, as well as some of the funniest punchlines in film history? If you want your own variation on more than 2000 pies flying around, try watching the pie fight backwards. And be sure to follow the bouncing ball and sing along with "The Sweetheart Tree." (FYI: I own the VHS, not the DVD.)
5.0 out of 5 stars question about the dvd sound,
Love the movie, but don't yet own the dvd. I've read some reviews saying the picture and sound on the dvd are great BUT a number of other reviews say some sound effects in the first reel are out of sync ("boos" for Leslie and "cheers" for Fate) and also that the dialogue is barely audible for the first twenty minutes.
Which is it?
Are there some defective dvd copies and some good ones? If anyone has a dvd with correct sound sync in the opening titles, please mention it here so I know I can purchase a copy and have a chance to get the right audio. Thanks!
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent live-action cartoon.,
I first saw this movie on network TV when I was a kid back in the 60's. They aired it over two nights due to length. I've seen it again a few times since then and, unlike a lot of movies and TV from childhood, this one was actually as good as I remembered it.
Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis are absolutely hilarious in their roles as Professor Fate and The Great Leslie. Natalie Wood and Peter Falk are equally delightful in their supporting roles as a reporter and Professor Fate's not-very-bright henchman. One of the other pleasures this movie offers is spotting all the movie and TV stars in small roles. Keenan Wynn, Vivian Vance, Larry Storch, and Ross Martin are among the faces you might recognize.
To people whose ideas of movie comedies have been shaped entirely by such fare as "Airplane" or "Me, Myself, and Irene" this flick may seem kind of leisurely in its pacing and tame in its jokes. What can I say? If you think somebody getting slugged with a sex toy is funny, but a pie fight isn't, then you may not enjoy this movie. It is, though, an excellent movie that one can sit down and watch with kids without fear of inappropriate material.
Big budget comedies like this are not something produced very often these days. Buy this one and see how it used to be done.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Villain of all time. Awesome Movie and Cast.,
You won't ever see a film like this one again. One of those times when the phrase "they don't make em like that anymore" applies in every sense. Super cast from top to bottom. A story told plenty of times but done in such an excellent way as to make it seem to be the one and only, or at least the top of the list.
Jack Lemon is brilliant. Natalie Wood is the sexiest person I have ever seen wearing custard pie. Tony Curtis is, well, Tony Curtis. Super. Top 10 on my list of movies.
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Transfer,
This is a reference quality transfer - simply gorgeous video! OK, a bit long and some sequences work better than others but, hey, Natalie Wood emerging soaked from a pond in a negligee? STUNNING!
Good, clean, family fun and great supporting actors. Larry Storch (F-Troop) and ??? (Artemus Gordon from WWWest).
Buy this DVD and soak up the beautiful video imagery!
3.0 out of 5 stars A painful review to write,
I have loved "The Great Race" since I first saw it on network TV sometime in the early 1970. And I still enjoy it in spite of its flaws I couldn't detect when I was younger -- it's just too darn long, the Prisoner of Zenda takeoff needs to be edited more tightly, and the Maggie DuBois character is just plain annoying. But when it's funny, it's hilarious, with one of the most underrated punchlines in film history (the response to the line "Leslie just left town with a friar.").
So I'd love to be able to recommend the DVD, but I can't give it more than a passing grade.
First, the pluses. It's nice to have it presented in a roadshow format, with an overture, intermission and exit music. And it's past time this movie was released in widescreen (you can see the stack of pies before the fight breaks out, where I've seen cropped versions that leave you wondering where all the pies came from). The digital transfer produces a clean, sharp picture. And I'm not a stickler for pristine sound, so the remix of what is, after all, a nearly 40-year-old movie is serviceable enough. The performances (save Natalie Wood's) are quite good. And I've always thought this was one of Henry Mancini's best scores, especially the theme that plays over the beginning and end of the race.
But the minuses are huge. The movie cries out for commentary, if not from Blake Edwards, then at least from Tony Curtis and Peter Falk. The making-of feature is from 1965 and is representative of the studio hype of the time, but it adds nothing to the enjoyment of the film. A documentary about the making of the film (and the real-life 1908 race New York to Paris race that inspired it) are sorely missed. And I hope whoever screwed up the sound cues during the opening credits (cheers for Professor Fate???) had their mustache snapped off.
If you like the film, buy it. The price is right and this is likely to be the only DVD edition we're going to get. If you're only mild about the film, never mind. There's nothing here to change your mind.
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful classic that endures year after year...,
The Great Race is one of those great Hollywood spectacles that defines the great American movie. I've been able to watch it year after year and still been greatly entertained. The performances are campy and delightful. The lavish sets and wonderful score by Henry Mancini create a wonderful mood for this cheerful romp across the globe. This is what Hollywood used to be all about - dazzling Technicolor, gorgeous costuming with a sprinkling of song and big-name stars. No silly computer generated this or that. Real actors, real sets and locations.
This classic comedy is a must-have for REAL entertainment...
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Great Race,the by Blake Edwards (VHS Tape - 2001)
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