Customer Reviews: The Rat Race (1960)
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on January 13, 2013
I saw this movie years ago and loved it. And seeing it now I still loved it. Debbie Reynolds as a now street wise would be dancer trying to survive in a harsh world and Tony Curtis playing a naive midwestern sax player are engaging from the beginning of the movie till the end. The other major character is New York City. Additional performances by Don Rickles as a loan shark and pimp and Norman Fells as a love hungry telephone man are great. Debbie is at her best and Tony never more adorable. This is solid film.
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on April 26, 2016
I am watching, and it is heart breaking. I came to see reviews because I hate the gritty truth seen here. BUT my daughter wanted so badly to follow the footsteps of Sarah Jessica Parker into NYC BIG APPLE and I had been there three times without catching any "fire or energy" as a tourist. I love Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds. I respect the honesty that this does portray; and i am so glad my daughter was unrealistic and failed in her desire to go-be-DO NYC.
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on January 16, 2016
Been searching for this movie! As a playwright, I love film adaptations from the stage and this Garson Kanin adaptation is such a classic! Of course, the New York street and the apartment looks like a stage set, but I lived in Brooklyn, and I felt I was living on stage! The performances are also classic but not stereotyped because the cast is so great. Tony Curtis is superb in the scene in which he discovers something horrific; he's an underrated actor. Debbie Reynolds as a redhead is wonderful and the supporting cast including Don Rickles and Kay Medford are, again, classic New York characters.
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on May 3, 2016
What a good film. I first saw it about ten years ago after a late night and was drawn in by the opening score. What a way to introduce a movie...this is an Elmer Bernstein un-appreciated gem. Right up there with The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, The Ten Commandments, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Tony and Debbie do a great job and I watched the film again and paid attention to the score and how it helps the movie flow.
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on September 28, 2014
I came to Manhattan in 1968, eight years after this movie was made. I went through much of the same exploitation, I was prey as many newly arrived are.There were many times I thought I wouldn't survive and yet couldn't go back home. I somehow made it through and NYC is still happily my home. I'm one of the lucky ones. This is a movie well worth watching.
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on January 7, 2015
Very good film! It captured the underbelly of NYC perfectly. Curtis and Reynolds are perfectly matched. It is a pity that they did not become a team like Hepburn and Tracy. They could have made it work well.
I really enjoyed this film. Don Rickles was the perfect bad guy.
I would definitely purchase this film for my personal library
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 28, 2013
Tony Curtis stars as a naive musician from Wisconsin, who quickly learns that life in New York City can be rather cruel, in The Rat Race (1960), a drama that also features strong performances from Debbie Reynolds, and Don Rickles.

Jazz saxophonist Pete Hammond Jr. (Curtis) leaves Milwaukee, and comes to the Big Apple to try and make it as a musician. Looking for a place to stay, he winds up sharing an apartment with Peggy Brown (Reynolds), a dancer who is also struggling to survive.

Lacking street smarts, Hammond gets scammed several times. When all his instruments are stolen, he is unable to accept a job offer to perform on a cruise ship. Peggy, who works at a dance hall, is already in hock to her sleazy boss, Nelly Miller (Rickles), but she goes out on a limb for Hammond. In return for a loan, Peggy agrees to act as an escort for Miller's friends. She uses the cash to buy a saxophone and other instruments, so Pete can take the gig.

While Pete works on the cruise ship, Peggy tries to stall Miller, who continues to become more displeased with her. This eventually leads to a tense and humiliating incident, where Miller has Peggy strip off her clothes. Hammond arrives back in town, just as Miller and his hired goon are about to extract payment in blood. Quelling Miller's wrath, will take everything that Pete has.

Tony Curtis (The Boston Strangler,Houdini,Boeing Boeing) gives a solid and winning performance, as a good hearted guy who learns some hard lessons. Debbie Reynolds (Singing In the Rain) who usually plays the "good girl", is very watchable, playing a character flirting with the dark side. What separates The Rat Race from your typical feel good 1960 romance, is the chilling performance of Don Rickles (CPO Sharkey, Kelly's Heroes), as a coldhearted operator who values money over people. Rickles would become an icon in comedy, for his "put down" style of comedy, but he is excellent here, in a straight dramatic role. While there are some in New York City who display kindness, Nelly Miller personifies greed and cruelty, and it is only by good fortune, that a much greater tragedy is averted. With a 3.5 star rating, The Rat Race is recommended viewing for fans of the primary stars, particularly Don Rickles.
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on April 17, 2013
First saw this move in 1960 and found it on Amazon while browsing the prime video section and enjoyed as much as the first time.
While my favorite Tony Curtis move is "Some Like It Hot" this one is a close second.
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on October 7, 2015
This movie highlights both Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis' wonderful acting ability, especially Reynolds. I think most people think of Reynolds in comedies or fluff, but this movie is neither. The movie has a good supporting cast and characters that aren't overused as it focuses on these two individuals, one hardened and cynical, the other one eager, confident and optimistic. The Rat Race is not a movie that I will watch over and over, but I will probably watch it again in a few years.
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on March 9, 2013
An old movie that passes the test of time. I enjoyed it as much this time as I did the first time around back in 1960.
Tony Curtis will remind you of a young Tom Hanks in this movie. Young and naive...
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