There aren't many movies that fit into our original criteria as well as 'The Great Race' from 1965, directed by Blake Edwards, and the then most expensive comedy epic to date. It's all of flawed and innovative, creative and bloated, chaotic and highly controlled and more, but little discussed so once again we give it the Film Bin treatment, with guest Tysto (www.tysto.com) in the mix, and try to work out what's going on and where the good is. So join Oli, Rich, Abi and Tysto as they whitter away, call out the good things, and in some cases spend far too much time thinking about Natalie Wood.
It's a toughie. On the one hand, it's a movie that is visually impressive with a veritable ton of isolated sketches and bits that work magnificently, which draws upon some of the best of slapstick and 'Looney Tunes' and partially inspired 'Wacky Races', but on the other it is incredibly long and does include at least one extended sequence which is problematic. There's a magnificent pie fight though, and Tony Curtis does glint on at least three separate occasions.
So, the end result is that everyone liked it at least as an influential artefact from a bygone era, and Oli especially as the chooser of the film. It might be a tad simplistic, but there are things to like and that's the main thing. Also, there's a torpedo with a shark face, a bicycle-powered mini-zeppelin, a shrinking ice floe, and a double role for Jack Lemmon, so how can it be bad really?!
We were watching region 1 NTSC dvd versions of 'The Great Race', synched to start at black at 00:03:44, after the overture. For more fan commentaries from the world over, check out www.zarban.com, Zarban's House Of Commentaries, which is a massive directory of such nonsenses.
Recorded: 02 August 2014.