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Why isn't Blake Edwards given more credit..?
on June 6, 2002
The DVD version of "The Great Race" is long overdue. It's silly and fun; reunites Lemmon & Curtis; it's an homage to all the great slapstick that EVERYONE loves. What's wrong with having fun? I truly believe that Blake Edwards deserves more consideration that he's been given. Anyone remember "Operation Petticoat" or "The Pink Panther"? We're talking about a career of almost 50 years...and Hollywood doesn't take him seriously. Anyone remember "Victor/Victoria" or "That's Life"? How about "Breakfast at Tiffany's"? These are all films that are respected and admired, but Edwards seems to be on the back-burner when awards are handed out. It's a shame; Edwards has given us no more than pure entertainment, well-presented. His most nominated film is "The Great Race", so purely devoted to period detail, though it received no Oscar nominations for sets or costumes (it was nominated for Cinematography, Sound, Music, Song, Editing, and won for Sound Effects). Indeed, Mancini's score was gorgeous; the song, "The Sweetheart Tree" has become a standard/classic. The Oscar should have gone to Peter Falk. I saw this as a kid in its initial release, and, when I told my friends how much I liked it, my teenage peers told me how shallow I was, that I should see "The Pawnbroker" or "Ship of Fools". Well, for God's sake, I was a kid (and I did see and admire those films) but the pure, grand display of craziness that Blake Edwards presented to me has never been forgotten. I've gotten older, and have been subjected to a whole bunch of stuff in the meantime, and I've waited for the DVD release of "The Great Race". Let's not forget that Blake Edwards also directed "The Days of Wine and Roses" and "Experiment in Terror". He is not frivolous nor is he simple. He does crazy comedy as well as riveting drama. His comedies are wonderful, but none as totally overwhelming and enjoyable as "The Great Race". See and enjoy!!