HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
   
 
Newest Articles
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
   
 
  Great Race, The Drat And Double Drat!
Year: 1965
Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn, Arthur O'Connell, Vivian Vance, Dorothy Provine, Larry Storch, Ross Martin, George Macready, Marvin Kaplan, Hal Smith, Denver Pyle, William Bryant, Ken Wales
Genre: Comedy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: During the early twentieth century, there was a rivalry between two American daredevils, The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis), who was championed by the people as his stunts were seen as the apex of their form, and Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), a conniving schemer who was forever trying to sabotage Leslie's acts of derring-do while still trying to steal the limelight from him with his own spectacles. Unfortunately for the Professor, but fortunately for Leslie, he was more inept that capable, often ending up crashing and wrecking his equipment. But then an opportunity arises for him to truly get even...

The Great Race was proudly proclaimed as the most expensive comedy ever made, and if it wasn't that it was certainly one of the longest, as if offering the audience this much bang for their buck was an end in itself, no matter what the quality of the humour was. And anyway, if it didn't make you laugh as much as it was obviously straining to do, there was no getting away from the impressive scale of the production, which boasted a globetrotting plot not dissimilar to Around the World in Eighty Days which had been so successful back in the previous decade, though if anything in tone this was closer to Stanley Kramer's superproduction It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World of then-recent vintage.

The fans of The Great Race compared to the Kramer may have been fewer in number, but they were vocal about how this really should be mentioned in the same breath as other, more enduring classic comedies, though the fact remained that while the film was dedicated to "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy" there was not quite enough of the genuine laughter generated by that famed duo to be found in director Blake Edwards' efforts here. Nor was it quite the same type of humour, as while Stan and Ollie would create mayhem on a smaller scale - it would be harder to create it on a larger scale than this, granted - they had very specific character roles to play, whereas almost everyone here verged on the shrill.

Not Curtis, who remained admirably stoic throughout, but his co-stars fell back on yelling when they felt the wit of the broad jokes they had to deliver was not quite up to snuff. So there may have been very amusing lines and setpieces, but to be heard over the general blare the cast was forced to overact wildly, with Leslie as the cool, calm and collected centre of this movie hurricane. Certainly Lemmon was never as over the top as he had been here, it's exhausting watching him sustaining his incredible energy levels for over two and a half hours, and all credit to him for managing it as Professor Fate is beset with indignities as befitting his sneaky personality - sneaky yet bombastic, if such a combination were possible.

And viewing Lemmon's strength of performance, you'd better believe it was. As to the story, it was all there in the title: a newspaper arranges a cross-continent contest which Leslie and Fate enter, though the former barely acknowledges the intensity of competition felt by the rival he hardly notices. There are other drivers but Fate's right hand man Max (Peter Falk) sees to it that they fall by the wayside early on, leaving our main characters joined only by Natalie Wood's suffragette Maggie Dubois who is obsesssed with proving women the equal of men, and considers this the ideal arena. Predictably, she may be talking the emancipation talk, but her car soon breaks down and she teams up with Leslie for the love interest angle, though they have enough on their plates as you soon see. Passages centering on the Wild West, an Arctic ice floe (to carry the characters from Alaska to Siberia), and even a whole subplot spoofing The Prisoner of Zenda ensue, along with a massive custard pie fight, because why not? Some of it is funny, but mostly it's loud, brash and lavish. Without it there would be no Dick Dastardly. Music by Henry Macnini.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2458 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: