One of the Greatest Racing Films EVER!
To get this brand new blog off the ground, I’m not going to do any serious research, or watch more than I already have.
Instead, I am simply going to share with you a great suggestion for a film that you may have never heard of, or may have doubted before. But none-the-less, it is a wonderful and AMAZING film that is a must see for any film buff or enthusiast.
My first suggestion for you is:
“The Great Race” – 1965 starring….Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood, and Peter Falk
This film is simply amazing. I would have thought this film might turn out to be a dull feature, with nice cars, and some interesting locations, but with poor dialogue and a poor plot. That’s just based on the cover and the story. I mean I tried watching “Around the World in 80 Days” starring David Niven, and that was a very boring, poorly executed film, only made to show off exotic locations, people, music and dances to the audience. Possibly to compete with the similar Disney features of the time. I was however, shocked and excited to find out that this film was one of those lost gems that I had been missing out on.
“The Great Race” is an addition to the filmography of Blake Edwards, the director of The Pink Panther films. After seeing many 60s films and similar works fall flat on their rears, this film took risks with it’s looney toonish, Coyote/Roadrunner slap stick antics, and just won me over. The competition between the two greatest Dare-devils of the early 1900s; The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) and Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), is a fantastic display of clever photography, wonderful gags, and imaginative contraptions. As the feats of dare-devilry get bigger, the outlandish gadgets and vehicles get crazier and more bizarre. I was in awe at the inclusion of not only the extending wheels of Professor Fate’s giant tank vehicle, but of the rocket cart; and most of all, the helium powered flying bicycle. All the while, Fate is constantly annoyed and consistantly angry with his partner in crime, Max (Peter Falk), who never seems to do anything right. This is the movie where we get that lesser known, and yet famous line “Push the button Max.”
The main story of “The Great Race” is about the competition between Leslie and Fate getting so large, that Fate enters a contest that Leslie proposes to an automobile company, to race the greatest and fastest cars from New York to Paris, France. Fate takes care of the competition, except for Leslie and his partner Hezekiah. So the chase is on, through the great plains, the antarctic, and even Russia, ending the teams up in a European kingdom from another era, with a drunken prince who bears a striking resemblance to Professor Fate.
On top of all of this, the films takes the time to strongly establish the uprising of the Women’s Rights movement, and Miss Maggie Dubois (played by Natalie Wood) is headstrong in gaining the rights she is owed. She asserts herself into the race across the world, and gets picked up by Leslie when her car breaks down. Leslie is both interested and annoyed by throughout the entirety of the picture Miss Dubois. By the end, Leslie is stricken by her personality and her beauty, but it takes a great sacrifice for Maggie to truly understand Leslie’s sincerity and true love for her.
Along with all of that, including enjoyable slap-stick, impressive and imaginative visuals, and a few priceless shots of the lovely Natalie Wood in her unmentionables; this film is a marval. Don’t miss it =D.
Here’s a trailer for the movie> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ErYCh_2BFk
Rating: A Very HIGH 10/10 (in my opinion)