The Great Race (1965) ALL
Professional daredevil and white-suited hero, The Great Leslie, convinces turn-of-the-century auto makers that a race from New York to Paris (westward across America, the Bering Straight and Russia) will help to promote automobile sales. Leslie's arch-rival, the mustached and black-attired Professor Fate vows to beat Leslie to the finish line in a car of Fate's own invention. The Blake Edwards style of slapstick and song originated with this movie. A dedication to Laurel and Hardy appears at the beginning of the film. Edwards' tribute to Stan and Ollie can be seen most clearly in the interaction between Professor Fate and his cohort Max, as well as in the operatic Pottsdorf pie fight.
In the early twentieth century, the Great Leslie - daredevil and all 'round Renaissance man always clad in white - has several world records to his name in daring feats of courage, always with the faithful Hezekiah by his side. Leslie's arch enemy is the dastardly Professor Fate - always clad in black - who is always trying either to outdo Leslie or thwart Leslie's attempts of daring, without success. Leslie suggests to the Webber Motor Car Company that they show their engineering expertise by building the supreme motor car for a New York to Paris race, that car which they ultimately name the Leslie Special after their inspiration. Not to be outdone, Fate, with his equally dastardly sidekick Max, also enters the race with what he considers his motor car masterpiece, the Hannibal Twin-8. Nothing is too dastardly an act in Fate's goal of winning. One of the other entries is the beautiful Maggie Dubois, a reporter covering the race for the New York Sentinel newspaper. An emancipated woman, Maggie initially tried to convince both Leslie and Fate to use her as their driving partner, both who refused, considering her among the weaker sex. Maggie however convinced the newspaper both to hire her and to sponsor their own car with her as the driver based on the internal struggle within the newspaper's ownership, which is similar to Maggie's own struggles. Maggie expects to win: in her logic, she is covering the entire race (which she does with the use of some primitive but effective technology), meaning she needs to be first at the finish line. Despite being emancipated, Maggie is not averse to using her feminine wiles to her advantage. Through the race, they come across a few adventures and obstacles. But being a long race with much interaction between the racers, their mindsets and priorities may change based on their time together.