Frank Tashlin may have been more original, Jerry Lewis more outrageous, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks more intellectual, but there’s a case to be made for Blake Edwards (1922-2010) as the pre-eminent Hollywood comedy director of his generation… A live-action cartoon, full of jokey names (a lustful Baron von Stuppe, a Western town called Boracho), “The Great Race” is surprisingly light on its feet.
Blake Edwards’s parody of/tribute to slapstick comedy is obscenely overlong and insistently hammy, but so what? It’s highly inventive, self-conscious camp, made in 1965, well before the genre wore itself out in superciliousness.
The film is disappointing enough; yet The Great Race is the film of which Edwards has been dreaming for a very long time, the pure animated cartoon that the earlier films foretold. Was he wrong to tend always more towards the cartoon? …Edwards, who always liked lightness and unconstraint in his characters, this time wanted them insipid and inconsistent, less important than their colours, their costumes, their machines.
I even wrote a Christmas composition in Kindergarten oh-so inspired after having watched this. That big of a deal, huh? Indeed! Everything in this film sums up my childhood that is why i'm extra careful when looking back at it. I try not to. Maybe a sequence here and there. I rather remember it hazily than ruin it by being a "grown-up" about it.
I do think the whole prince story arc could have been cut (they could have fit the pie scene somewhere in there). Jack Lemmon stole this film(like he does with most films) and Edith Head's costumes were flawless. It was too long but did enjoy myself most of the time.
Cent-soixante minutes de délire et de gags en cascades durant l'incroyable course automobile reliant New-York à Paris, qui oppose parmi les favoris de la folle épreuve, le grand Leslie et l'ingénieux professeur Fatalitas, concoctés par l'inspiré Blake Edwards ..... www.cinefiches.com