The Rat Race


Comedy / Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 58%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1288

Plot summary

March 12, 2023 at 10:57 PM


Robert Mulligan

Top cast

Tony Curtis as Pete Hammond Jr.
Debbie Reynolds as Peggy Brown
Don Rickles as Nellie Miller
Norman Fell as Telephone Repairman
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
966.52 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S ...
1.75 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by planktonrules 8 / 10

A bit of strange casting, but still an excellent story about people

Why the producers decided to cast New Yorker Tony Curtis in the film, I just can't understand. Why would they cast him of all people considering he is supposed to be playing a guy from Milwaukee who gets lost in the big bad city of New York? With his very strong New York accent, it just didn't make sense. Listening to him, he sounded like he should have been perfectly at home in the Bronx or Brooklyn! Fortunately, the rest of the movie is so good that I really didn't mind the odd casting. In fact, Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds were excellent in the film--with acting and dialog that seemed pretty realistic. They both play "starving artists" who come to New York but find success is somehow always out of sight. I teach at an art school and would like to show this to my students so they can, perhaps, see what it usually is like on the slow road to making a living.

I also appreciated how the writers didn't allow the film to slide too far into sentimentality even though this was a romantic-comedy of sorts. That means when there can be a magical scene where things all work out perfectly, the writers chose instead to allow for a more realistic moment where things worked out,...somewhat. My favorite example was near the end when it appeared that Curtis' musical instruments unexpectedly re-appeared. This LOOKS like a "happily ever after moment" but there is a great twist--a twist that reminds us that in this film, just like in real life, Murphy's Law so often applies. To me, the real magic in the film is how despite all these setbacks and problems, the couple STILL manage to find each other and some shred of happiness. And, if you think about it, this is a great lesson for everyone.

A nice, romantic, funny but occasionally sad and cynical little film about life and little people.

By the way, look for Don Rickles in one of his earliest roles. He plays a guy who is amazingly creepy and cruel--quite a change from his later comedic roles. Also, the sweet guy behind the bar is Jack Oakie in one of his later roles

Reviewed by Doylenf 6 / 10

Good comedy/drama on the hardships of survival in the big city...

DEBBIE REYNOLDS and TONY CURTIS are excellent as two young people in 60's-era New York City facing adversity with street smart skills developed after abuse from thugs like DON RICKLES (a savage performance), and other so-called big shots.

Curtis takes pity on Reynolds and invites her to share his flat--but his luck fades when his musical instrument is stolen. True love blossoms as Reynolds tries to help him with lots of obstacles thrown in their way by assorted no-gooders.

Garson Kanin directed from his play and he keeps the action moving and the stylish backgrounds show New York City scenes that would make any New Yorker nostalgic for "the way it was".

A downbeat, sometimes bitter dose of comedy/drama that has so much energy and such appealing performances from Reynolds and Curtis, that you'll be drawn into it from the start. Well worthwhile.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

If I Can Make It There

In watching The Rat Race today, I was struck by the fact that this film did not lead to any more parts like the one she played here for Debbie Reynolds. She was quite a revelation as the girl who's been around the block a few times and just struggling to stay alive in that meat grinder called New York.

By the time The Rat Race came out, Tony Curtis was already being taken quite seriously as an actor with The Sweet Smell Of Success and The Defiant Ones behind him. But Reynolds was America's sweetheart, still basking in the sympathy of the American public when Elizabeth Taylor stole husband Eddie Fisher. She played good girl roles almost exclusively, but here she takes on a part that you would have more readily cast Elizabeth Taylor.

Curtis is from the Midwest and an aspiring jazz musician who comes to New York, but gets quickly victimized by a cruel city. Reynolds is a woman who is an aspiring model who does what she has to in order to survive. But that's coming to an end as landlady Kay Medford wants her money and thug Don Rickles who she's into wants something else and quick.

The two of them decide to move in together without benefit of clergy, something that was still quite daring with the Code firmly in place. It's strictly economic at first, but you know these two people living one step from the gutter would fall for each other.

The film was based on a play that Garson Kanin wrote and ran 84 performances in the 1949-50 season on Broadway. It starred Betty Field and Barry Nelson on stage and repeating his role from the original cast as a musician con man is jazz great Joe Bushkin.

Besides Reynolds the performance to really watch out for is Don Rickles as murderous hood Nellie. For those of you who think of Rickles as insult comedian to the stars, his performance will knock your socks off. He far more than Debbie was the real surprise here. Jack Oakie has one of his last roles as a philosophical bartender, serving drinks in the downstairs of Kay Medford's boarding house.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Debbie Reynolds might have taken this part to prove she had every bit the acting chops Elizabeth Taylor did. She certainly proved it to me and The Rat Race ranks as one of the best performances by either of the two stars.

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