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Rat Race (2001)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Comedy | 17 August 2001 (USA)
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A Las Vegas casino magnate, determined to find a new avenue for wagering, sets up a race for money.

Director:

Jerry Zucker

Writer:

Andy Breckman
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Popularity
730 ( 5)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Breckin Meyer ... Nick Schaffer
Jenica Bergere ... Hotel Clerk
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Owen Templeton
Carrie Diamond Carrie Diamond ... Casino Bartender
Douglas Haase ... Guy at Bar
Chris Myers Chris Myers ... Fox Sportscaster
Kevin Frazier Kevin Frazier ... Fox Sportscaster
Seth Green ... Duane Cody
Gloria Allred ... Gloria Allred
Vince Vieluf ... Blaine Cody
Renée Lee Renée Lee ... Witness in Crowd
Corinna Harney Corinna Harney ... Cocktail Waitress (as Corinna Harney Jones)
Jane C. Walsh Jane C. Walsh ... Cocktail Waitress
Lanei Chapman ... Merrill Jennings (as Lanai Chapman)
Whoopi Goldberg ... Vera Baker
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Storyline

Donald P. Sinclair has placed six separate gold coins in different slot machines in his casino. The lucky six who find these coins discover an opportunity of a lifetime. The chance to own $2 million. Locked up in a locker in New Mexico, these six contestants must now race each other, to be the first to the cash. There are no rules in place and everything that could possibly happen, does. Whilst, behind the scenes, Sinclair's associates are placing their bets. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

563 miles. 9 people. $2 million. 1001 problems! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual references, crude humor, partial nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rat Race See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,662,094, 19 August 2001

Gross USA:

$56,618,055

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$85,498,534
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Professor Ken Freedman, mentioned in the speech by the jet car driver before the women steal the car, is a reference to Ken Freedman, the station manager of WFMU where the writer and he do a weekly radio show, 7 Second Delay. See more »

Goofs

As Duane drives through a wooden fence into the 4-wheel drive race we see the grill of the car intact, but it was destroyed several scenes earlier. See more »

Quotes

Lloyd: [inside a hardware store] You just want one copy? 'Cause you get an extra one for half price.
Duane Cody: Just one.
Blaine Cody: And hurry.
Duane Cody: [quietly to Blaine] This is the best idea you ever had: we split up, we take two keys, we double our chances of winning.
Blaine Cody: It can't fail.
Duane Cody: You remember where we're going?
Blaine Cody: [mumbles] Silver City, New Mexico.
Duane Cody: Right, train station, locker zero-zero-one.
[Lloyd quietly eavesdrops on the conversation while making the duplicate key]
Duane Cody: [mumbles] 'Ero ero one.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Randy Pear plays the harmonica found in Hitler's Mercedes-Benz. See more »

Alternate Versions

The KLM (Royal Dutch Airline) Version has had all views of a Saudi Arabian gambler (with Donald Sinclair at the concert at the end of the film) digitally "speckled out". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dhamaal (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Chain of Fools
Written by Don Covay (as Donald Covay)
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. by arrangement with
Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Refreshingly inventive comedy
3 January 2002 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

I haven't seen "It's a Mad ... etc. World" (is it four Mads or five? I can never remember), so it's not fair to make comparisons - but the changes I know about sound as though they're improvements. The sum of money in the original film was $350 000; this time it's $2 million, which (adjusting for inflation) is considerably less. In the original the money was a fifteen-year-old buried treasure; here, it's just money. An eccentric squillionaire has put it in a locker without explanation. WE get an explanation, of sorts, but the racers do not - so there is no romance attached to the prize, which means that all of their actions are PURE expressions of greed. (John Cleese is the squillionaire, and while his cameo in "The World Is Not Enough" proved that he could, with the right material, fail to be funny, he and his coterie of wealthy compulsive gamblers are hilarious here. It's good counterpoint humour, since they're actually the least greedy, most disinterested people involved in the chase.)

A criticism levelled at the original was that innocent, well-meaning bystanders got hurt - that it was meant to be a joke when their property was destroyed, but the joke wasn't funny. "Rat Race" avoids being open to the same charge by making the world an even more venal one. The ambulance-chasing lawyer, the live organ courier, the quirky roadside squirrel-seller, the key-cutter, the garage mechanic, the neo-Nazis, the vengeful taxi driver ... all these people have less attractive personalities than any of the racers. Only a few of them are punished, but among them are the only outsiders to be punished at all. (With the exception, I'll admit, of people we never see, like the anonymous owners of cars that are run over in the parking lot.)

Whoopi Goldberg plays it straight, which suits her. I can't fault the acting anywhere, but I do wish that Rowan Atkinson hadn't been cast as the loopy, dim-witted Italian (I can't see this picture playing in Italy at all). To be sure, he brings the role off, and he's the only person who could have done so - but he would have been funnier if he'd been allowed to be more intelligent, to have a little more rat cunning hiding beneath the surface. (For half a second, he DOES exhibit cunning: it's by far his funniest moment.)

All scenes before the race is announced fall flat. Timing and motivation just weren't there, and I even wondered afterwards if Zucker had handed his establishing scenes to an ungifted underling. But I don't want to carp at a funny film by saying it could have been funnier. Things pick up considerably as soon as John Cleese outlines the central premise; from then on the film is never less than inventive, and even if (for some reason) you don't find it funny, you must admit that those involved at least had the right IDEA about comedy.


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