The Great Race

Continuity mistake: When the Leslie Special is rolled out to be presented to the Great Leslie the red carpet in the front view starts at the building alignment. The aerial shot as seen from Professor Fate shows a wide gap between the building alignment and the red carpet.

Continuity mistake: This takes place at the beginning of the race, right after Prof. Fate's car breaks down. Maggie Dubois drives up, then she gets out of her car to take a picture of Prof. Fate and Max. After Maggie takes the picture, she goes to her car and sends a bird off. Then when she climbs back into her car, the camera is conveniently folded and lying in her car, although no one ever put it back.

Revealing mistake: When Leslie is fighting the soldiers, one soldier hits a second soldier with his rifle. The rifle can be seen to bend around the soldier's body and then straighten again. (02:12:10)

Continuity mistake: In the movie the race goes through a town called Boracho. While both Prof. Fate and Leslie are in Boracho there is a celebration at the local pub (Silver Palace). In the pub there is a singer who is singing about her ex boyfriend, or someone of that nature. Well, she goes up to Prof. Fate, who is in disguise, and blows foam from his beer in his face. When you see her going up to him, his beer glass has little to no foam in it, she blows and the glass is mostly all foam. When she turns away the glass is practically full again with beer.

Continuity mistake: This takes place at the beginning of the movie, in the balloon scene. When Leslie is hanging from the balloon, we see the balloon soaring over the land very quickly. However, when Leslie climbs up to the balloon to parachute out, he is still right where he started.

Revealing mistake: As the Leslie Special nears Paris, shots of Natalie Wood in the passenger seat show no wind effects. The shots are rear projected and there is no motion in her hair or hat. Later in Paris her hat has changed and now blows in the wind.

Continuity mistake: You can clearly see TV antennae on the Eiffel Tower ... supposedly in 1908.

Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the pie fight, Jack Lemmon says, "You wouldn't dare." and George Macready hits him with a pie. Very little of it sticks to Lemmon's face; most of it falls off. There's a quick cut to a shot of Tony Curtis, then another cut back to Lemmon, whose face is now totally covered with pie.

Revealing mistake: In the shot of Prof Fate evading the Indians while heading into Boracho, the long view shots show his "smoke screen" encompassing the car. In the close ups (obvious blue screen type shot) there is no smoke in the car.

Visible crew/equipment: When Prof Fate sends the torpedo after the Great Leslie at the water speed record attempt you can see the wire just under the water pulling the torpedo towards Prof Fate's car when it detects his cars' exhaust explosions.


Continuity mistake: When Professor Fate tries to bomb the Leslie Special at its unveiling, his dirigible is directly over the car. When the bomb gets stuck on the dirigible's wheel and subsequently explodes, the people on the ground look up, wondering what has happened. The dirigible is now in shreds, and falls straight down. Wouldn't it then severely damage the car beneath it on the ground that it was directly over just moments before?

Continuity mistake: This takes place during the blizzard scene. When Prof. Fate and Max are in their car, you can plainly see that Prof. Fate's mustache is frozen. However, when Fate falls out of his car into Leslie's car, all the ice is off of Fate's mustache.

Continuity mistake: After Fate and Max have left Boracho, having destroyed the remaining gasoline stocks there, they are seen on railway tracks, where we learn that this will cut 15 miles off their journey. They travel around a bend in the track facing forward, but when the train comes towards us with the car now being pushed back the way it came, when we cut to a close up of Fate and Max in the car, the train is now pushing the car from behind (not from the front as it should).

Continuity mistake: When the lady is singing in the bar in Boracho she wraps her hands around herself, but in the next shot they are down at her side.

Continuity mistake: During the pie fight in one of the shots Hezekiah has lots of pie on his pants but in the next shot his pants are almost totally clean.

Continuity mistake: After Professor Fate and his assistant arrive in Boracho first and learn that the townsfolk expect him to wait for their celebrations and gasoline, they both get back into their car, with Fate carrying the ceremonial key they were presented. As they try to get away, the Mayor calls out to stop them, and Fate hits him with the key, breaking the end quite noticeably. When the Great Leslie arrives soon after, the key has magically repaired itself (it's not the sort of key that you usually carry a spare of).

Audio problem: When Prof Fate gets up from the organ it continues to play the Bach Toccata, but the keys and the pattern in the piano roll controlling the organ are not the same as the music.

Revealing mistake: During a bar fight about 50 minutes through the film, loads of punches can be seen to miss their target. However the recipients always react as if they're hit.


The Great Race mistake picture

Revealing mistake: In the final shot of the film the model makers neglected to include the antenna at the top of the Eiffel Tower, seen previously on the real tower in the establishing shot of Paris. (02:31:20 - 02:37:10)

Revealing mistake: The rock behind Tony Curtis while he is standing in his car to the left of him has a horizontal line across it where the two fake pieces fit together. (01:05:00)


More quotes from The Great Race

Trivia: The name 'DuBois', the character played by Natalie Wood, actually means 'Wood' in French.

More trivia for The Great Race

Question: How exactly did Leslie initially intend on crossing the Bering or Chukchi Sea from Alaska into Russia? I know he and Professor Fate end up floating on a large mass of ice to do so, but that's not exactly something you can plan for.

Phaneron Premium member

Chosen answer: The cars and drivers were supposed to make the trip by ship from North America across the Bering Strait to a Russian port, where they would resume the race. As it happened, Leslie and Fate were stranded in a blizzard on the North American side before they reached the ship. The ice beneath their cars unexpectedly broke away and drifted across the Bering Strait, improbably arriving at the intended destination port in Russia. As they drift into port, we see Leslie's right-hand man, Hezekiah, waving at them from the Russian dock, which is only possible if Hezekiah made the journey by the very ship that Leslie and Fate missed.

Charles Austin Miller

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