Episode 84: The Great Race (1965)

Greetings, sports fans, and welcome back to “Max, Mike; Movies!” series “When We Wuz Kids.” This week we delve into a cinematic semi-precious gem that is solidly wedged into the psyche of one Max. This Max, to be more specific.  Yes, by golly we’re taking on “The Great Race,” a zany comedy from the mind of Blake “The Pink Panther” Edwards, involving a turn-of-the-twentieth-century automobile race (those dang horseless carriages will never catch on) from New York to Paris. Yes, I know. Try not to think about the geography too much.  But never mind geography! We’ve got Tony Curtis as the always well-coifed Great Leslie and his arch-nemesis Professor Fate, played with scenery-chewing relish by Jack Lemmon, as well as the stunning Natalie Wood as a plucky suffragette/journalist/damsel in distress. As a kid, I remember this being a great deal of fun, rather like a live-action cartoon (and it did end up being the inspiration for “The Wacky Races”).  Does it remain joyfully chucklesome? Or has it aged poorly, like mayonnaise left out overnight? Mmmm . . . overnight mayonnaise . . . Join us and find out! Click the link, Max!

4 thoughts on “Episode 84: The Great Race (1965)”

  1. Just for you guys I watched The Cheap Detective (which is on Prime, btw – don’t know why Max couldn’t find it). It was written by Neil Simon – not Blake Edwards. It’s much like Simon’s other foray into mysteries – Murder by Death. I like Murder by Death way more. This one is one of those so dumb it’s actually funny in places. Amazing cast – Madeline Kahn, James Coco, tons others. Much the same as MBD, come to think of it…

    1. Yeah, I have to agree that “Murder By Death,” despite similarities to “Cheap Detective,” is a much funnier movie. Much more quotable, too.

  2. I have only the vaguest of memories of this and the last movie you covered. I am pretty sure i saw them at the local theatre…but they were probably on a double feature with a Godzilla or steve reeves movie and they did not make an impression on me! I am still enjoying hearing about them, though and you made me laugh.

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