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Movie Mom

The Great Race

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Fate and Max speculate mildly about Leslie's relationship with DuBois
Alcohol/Drugs:The prince has a drinking problem; Leslie frequently has champagne as evidence of his sophistication and elegance
Violence/Scariness:Slapstick punches and, of course, the pie fight
Diversity Issues:The reporter played by Natalie Wood is something of a caricature of feminism, more committed to shocking people than to any thoughtful concept of equality. But she has an unquenchable spirit, she is courageous and resilient, and, of course she is Natalie
Movie Release Date:1965
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: Fate and Max speculate mildly about Leslie's relationship with DuBois
Alcohol/Drugs: The prince has a drinking problem; Leslie frequently has champagne as evidence of his sophistication and elegance
Violence/Scariness: Slapstick punches and, of course, the pie fight
Diversity Issues: The reporter played by Natalie Wood is something of a caricature of feminism, more committed to shocking people than to any thoughtful concept of equality. But she has an unquenchable spirit, she is courageous and resilient, and, of course she is Natalie
Movie Release Date: 1965

Dedicated to “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy,” this movie is both a spoof and a loving tribute to the silent classics, with good guys, bad guys, romance, adventure, slapstick, music, wonderful antique cars, and the biggest pie fight in history. The opening credits are on a series of slides like those in the earliest movies, complete with cheers for the hero and boos for the villain, and a flickering old-fashioned projector that at one point appears to break down. Always dressed in impeccable white, the Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) is a good guy so good that his eyes and teeth literally twinkle. His capable mechanic and assistant is Hezekiah (Keenan Wynn). The bad guy is Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), assisted by Max (Peter Falk). Like Wile E. Coyote, Fate’s cartoonishly hilarious stunts to stop Leslie inevitably backfire.

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After a brief prologue, in which Fate tries to beat Leslie in breaking various speed records, literally trying to torpedo him at one point, they both enter an automobile race from New York to Paris. So does a beautiful reporter (Natalie Wood as Maggie DuBois) trying to prove she can get the story — dressed in an endless series of exquisite ensembles designed by Hollywood legend Edith Head. Great%20Race2.jpg

The race takes them across America, through the Wild West, to a rapidly melting ice floe in the Pacific, and into a European setting that is a cross between a Victor Herbert operetta and “The Prisoner of Zenda,” where a spoiled prince happens to look exactly like Professor Fate and it takes all of the stars to foil an evil Baron (Ross Martin) who wants to use Fate to take over the throne.

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