Trivia / The Great Race

  • Big Budget Beef-Up: While crafted as a loving tribute to the often-dirt cheap medium of silent film, the sheer scale, ambition, and length of Edwards' story made the film, at the time, the most expensive comedy in history (roughly $90 million when adjusted for inflation).note 
  • Dueling Works: The far more commercially and critically successful Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines had been released not a month prior by Fox, which hurt the film in both departments (though it still made over double its budget at the box office).
  • Enforced Method Acting: When Professor Fate uses the railroad rocket-car for his second stunt, depending on who you ask either Blake Edwards decided not to tell the extras just how large of a pyrotechnic load was packed in the engine, or he didn't realize it himself. When the crowd scatters, what you see is genuine shock and terror on the faces of the extras.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Robin Ward sang "The Sweetheart Tree" instead of Natalie Wood. Wood sang "My Country 'tis of Thee" herself earlier can tell because she sounds off-key.
  • Production Posse: Blake Edwards, director and co-writer, apparently brought along a good number of the personnel he'd previously worked with on his television shows, most prominently Henry Mancini and Ross Martin.
  • Those Two Actors: Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood in their third (and final) film together, and Curtis and Jack Lemmon in their second of two. Although, ask anyone to name a Tony Curtis/Jack Lemmon film, they'll probably think of the other one.
  • What Could Have Been: Charlton Heston was originally offered the role of The Great Leslie. He considered it a "funny script" but had to turn the part down when the production schedule for The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) was delayed.