Alphabetical movie – The Great Race
For anyone out there looking for “classic” movies to show their kids, I give you The Great Race. The movie fulfills the important task of letting kids know they made films prior to Star Wars while also introducing them to important concepts like “Jack Lemmon” and “Tony Curtis.”
Let’s not forget about “Peter Falk.”
As a film lover, though, this film raises a serious “ethical” question with which I frequently grapple. Is it OK to skip a part of the film if you don’t like it?
Here’s the thing about The Great Race…I love it. My kids love it. Four fifths of the movie are comedy gold.
Then there is a point where the movie stops being a race movie and turns into another movie entirely. It isn’t a bad movie, per se, is just isn’t the same movie.
If you’ve seen the movie, I think you know what I’m talking about. For about twenty minutes, the movie ceases to be about a race around the world and turns into “The Prisoner of Zenda.”
I’m embarassed to admit that this segment, while it includes a wonderful swordfight with Tony Curtis, puts me right to sleep every darn time. I’m loving the movie right up to that point. I’m even enjoying Jack Lemmon playing an obnoxious secondary character.
And come on – there’s a pie fight! A pie fight!!!!!!
But…the whole thing takes to long and detracts from the wacky race that had been our primary focus.
So the question is, if you are watching a movie you’ve seen a bunch of times and you come to a part that just doesn’t do it for you, do you skip it?
In the case of The Great Race, you could skip the Pottsdorf section and barely notice. Oh sure, Mrs. DuBois would be back with The Great Leslie instead of Dr. Fate and you wouldn’t know why but other than that, nothing that is relevant to the central plot happens.
So what would you do? Would you skip it?
I gotta be honest here and say that I really find it difficult to skip any part of a film. Even if that part puts me to sleep.
It just feels wrong to me. I may think that the Pottsdorf section is a weak point in The Great Race but the damn thing is there and if I’m going to watch the movie, I’m going to watch the whole damn movie.
In fact, when I choose a movie to watch (assuming that I’m not following Alphabetical movie protocol), I’ll avoid a film if I find myself thinking something to the effect of “oh, I like this movie but I don’t really need to watch the Pottsdorf segment…”
Now let’s be clear – I have no problem with hitting the bathroom without pausing during the Pottsdorf segment. Or playing Angry Birds during the Pottsdorf segment.
But I just can’t bring myself to skip it.
I wonder if it has something to do with the pie fight….?