Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two Kwakiutls in the same blanket... were warmer.

I fell behind in reading and writing blog posts in the past few days. I'm only now catching up! Phew! Some quick business before I launch into my post: Thank you again to all who voted in this week's poll! The results were a landslide, which rather surprised me, to be honest. In the question, who is your favorite regular in the Fred and Ginger series, Edward Everett Horton scored a whopping 64% of the votes (11)! Helen Broderick had 3 votes (17%), Eric Blore had 2 (11%) and Erik Rhodes had 1 (5%). I'm still brainstorming about this week's poll. I'll let you know at the end of the post what I've decided to ask.

I realized that I promised to theme all of my posts romantically but that hasn't really been happening, so I don't think you will mind too terribly when this next post doesn't quite fit into the Valentine's Day setting. The photo above may have tricked you into thinking this is an ultra-romantic post with a very clever tie-in to the insanely cold weather everyone has been having. Unless, of course, you recognize the photo, in which case, you weren't tricked at all and can probably guess what's next on my count-up of 100 movies:

#15 The Great Race (1965)

(There were several posters for this film but I picked this one because I think it captures the zaniness best. Just check out that list on the left-hand side! Classic!)

I rewatched this film the other day and fell back in love with it. I loved it years ago when I was a kid (although I suppose some would still consider me a kid), but this time around I appreciated the over-the-top, campy, crazy hilarity that is this film.

The basic plot is as follows: The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) is a champion daredevil who constantly breaks records, wins lady loves, and wears white. His arch-nemesis, Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), constantly (and unsuccessfully) attempts kill Leslie so that he, Fate, can be the champion, fails at all of his own daredevil attempts, and wears black. When Leslie suggests an automobile race stretching from New York to Paris, Fate is the first one to accept the challenge. Shortly behind Fate in rising to the challenge is journalist, suffragette, female emancipator, Maggie Dubois (Natalie Wood), who is out to prove that she can be any man's equal, particularly if the man is Leslie. Along for the ride are Leslie's assistant, Hezekiah (Keenan Wynn) and Fate's cohort, Max (Peter Falk). So, there you have it, in a semi-nutshell. A crazy race across the globe that includes everything from a sing-along song (complete with lyrics and bouncy ball) to a coronation (not to mention everything on the list in the poster!). If you have not yet seen this film, I highly and thoroughly recommend it. I'll link to the trailer here in case you need your appetite whetted (whettened?) even more.

The movie includes many hilarious lines. One of my favorites is in the title of the post.
Here are a few others:

Max: Come on, Professor, rise and shine!
Fate: Rise and shine?!
Max: Yeah. 7:30.
Fate: Then you rise, you shine!

Fate: Bury the hatchet.
Leslie: And we know who has the hatchet.
Max: He doesn't have a hatchet, I promise you.

Leslie: Are you a native of Boracho?
Lilly: I ain't no native! I was born here!

Prince Hapnik: Rah! Oh rah!

What are your favorite lines from the film?

I've been trying to make my 100 movies posts a little bit more interesting so I looked up some trivia for this one before I wrote it up. There were some very interesting bits and pieces but the most interesting ones, I thought, were the ones that involved the major pie fight towards the end of the movie. Here's what I found out:

- the pie fight is the largest one ever staged
- the pies used were real and contained real ingredients (including fruit, custard, and whipped cream)
- there were more than 300 leftover pies after the scene, which the crew proceeded to eat
- the running gag in this scene that Leslie walks through the kitchen and remains unblemished was pretty tricky to film (which is something I've always wondered). Tony Curtis had to change costumes several times when debris from other pies got on his suit and messed up the gag.

I really did go a bit overboard with the pictures this time, didn't I? But they were all so irresistible! Ah well. Pictures are fun. Now for the aforepromised poll. This will require you to have seen the movie, so if you haven't seen it, go see it so that you can vote! Jack Lemmon plays two characters in the film, the devious Professor Fate and the drunken Prince Hapnik. Which of these two roles do you like better?

P.S. I have a new banner at the top of my blog. Go check it out! The plan is to change it every week in honor of Valentines Day month.


  1. Love your new banner!

    I love how Prince Hapnik calls Leslie "Oh you great Leslie, you." So cute. This movie is ridiculously funny. You can see Blake Edwards all over it!

  2. I haven't seen this one yet, but I'll have to very soon. It looks like great fun! I love all the principal actors in it.

  3. Hi, Sally! Oh, I've never seen this picture... I'm going to look for it. Many of this gems weren't released in Brazil yet.
    I wish to thank you for visiting my blog. I added a gadget there that might help the reading of it. It is a translator that does a reasonable - sometimes rather funny - job (anyway, it does a better job than the ones invented 10 years ago did). I'd like you to go there when you have time, hit "inglês" on it and see if it makes the text comprehensible, and then tell, me, would you?

    Many thanks

    PS: By the way, I love Myrna Loy and William Powell!

  4. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE The Great Race!

    It's such a hysterically over-the-top amazing movie!

    A really great review by the way!

    Jack Lemmon was just genius in this movie. Really. And Natalie was amazing. Peter Falk hilarious. Keenan Wynn so good...and it even has ROSS MARTIN (AKA like THE coolest person...EVER!)

    Gosh, so many great lines.

    Two that I use often in every day life:

    "More brannnnndy...ahaha...more brandy!" [Must be said in Jack's voice]

    And, "This time we're gonna win it MY way....PUSH THE BUTTON MAX!"

    But, really this entire movie is SOOO quotable.

    Wow, LOVED the post! :-D

    P.S. Header = amazingness.

  5. Been a favorite of mine for nearly 50 years. I've watched pretty much every year since VCRs came out...I've corrupted my kids as well and they can quote well nigh 90% of the entire movie.


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