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Rat Race

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jerry Zucker
Produced by Jerry Zucker
Janet Zucker
Sean Daniel
Written by Andy Breckman
Starring John Cleese
Rowan Atkinson
Whoopi Goldberg
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Seth Green
Jon Lovitz
Breckin Meyer
Amy Smart
Kathy Najimy
Lanai Chapman
Vince Vieluf
Dave Thomas
Wayne Knight
Kathy Bates
Dean Cain
Music by John Powell
Smash Mouth
Cinematography Thomas E. Ackerman
Editing by Tom Lewis
Studio Fireworks Entertainment
Jay Firestone
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) August 17, 2001 (2001-08-17)
Running time 112 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English
Budget $48,000,000
Gross revenue $85,498,534

Rat Race is a 2001 Canadian/American all-star cast comedy film directed by Jerry Zucker, starring Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jon Lovitz, Lanei Chapman, Seth Green, Kathy Najimy, Vince Vieluf, John Cleese, Breckin Meyer, Kathy Bates, Wayne Knight and Amy Smart.

The story is about six teams of people given a task of racing 563 miles (918km) from a Las Vegas casino to a train station in Silver City, New Mexico, where a storage locker contains two million dollars. The first team to reach the locker wins and gets to keep the money. Unbeknownst to them, however, they are actually just part of a betting game.

Rat Race was inspired by, and had the same basic plot of the 1963 comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Contents

Plot

Donald P. Sinclair, the eccentric billionaire owner of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, devises a new game to entertain the high rollers who visit his hotel. Six special tokens are placed in the casino's slot machines, and the winners of them are gathered together and told that two million dollars in cash are hidden in a duffel bag in a train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico. They are told it's a no-holds-barred race to get there first and claim the money. Each winner is given a key that will open the locker and they are sent on their way. Sinclair's patrons place bets on who will win the race.

The players alter their modes of transport over the course of the film and encounter different problems along the way. Merill Jennings and her estranged mother, Vera Baker, meet a squirrel owner who sends them careening down a pit when they refuse to buy a squirrel. They steal a rocket car and race across the desert until the car runs out of fuel. The women stumble into a bus of "Crazy Ladies" until they reach Silver City, choking the bus' leader until they get off. Blaine and Duane Cody sabotage an airport radar, and then decide to make a copy of their key to double their chances of winning. However, a locksmith overhears their conversation and the steals the key for himself. The brothers chase him as he tries to escape in a hot air balloon, but they get the key back and leave the locksmith and a cow to float away dangling from the balloon. They crash into a monster truck rally and steal a vehicle after being distracted by an attractive woman with many piercings.

Owen Templeton, an ashamed football referee is left stranded in the desert by a vengeful taxi driver after he lost a bet thanks to Owen's mishap involving a coin toss at the beginning of overtime during a pro football match. Owen finds a bus full of women going to an I Love Lucy convention, but the bus crashes thanks to an incident involving the cow stuck on the balloon, and Owen reveals he is not a bus driver before fleeing from the women, using a horse to reach Silver City. The Pear Family, consisting of Randy, his wife Bev, and their children, visit a "Barbie Museum" on the way, actually dedicated to Nazi Klaus Barbie. Their car is damaged by the Codys, so they steal Adolf Hitler's Mercedes-Benz car. Randy insults a group of female bikers, who attack the car and send it crashing into a rally of World War II veterans. Resembling Hitler due to a makeup smudge on his face - as well as having briefly had a cigarette lighter shoved down his throat -, Randy wanders to a podium and shouts out garbled English resembling German at the veterans and insults them further by flipping them off whilst trying to explain what happened. A war veteran produces a pistol at Randy but misses causing Randy to flee. He later drugs his family and loads them into a truck to continue the journey.

Nick Schaffer, an attorney, at first refuses to participate but changes his mind when he is offered a ride by helicopter pilot Tracy Faucet; the Codys' earlier actions have grounded the planes, but helicopters operate on a different system, which gives Nick an advantage. On the way, they pass over the house of Tracy's boyfriend only to discover he is having an affair with his ex-girlfriend. An enraged Tracy attacks and chases her boyfriend, and then steals his pickup truck with Nick, continuing the journey with little incident other than car trouble. Enrico Pollini, a narcoleptic man, falls asleep at the start but later hitches a ride in an ambulance, its driver Zach delivering a preserved heart. Enrico fiddles with the heart and then flings it out of the window. They find the heart but fear it is damaged. Zach decides to take Enrico's heart, but the latter flees onto a passing train, and the heart is fixed when Zach touches an electric fence. Enrico gives his key to a baby but has to retrieve it when the train nears Silver City, thrown off when mistook for a pedophile. He finds himself in the station where the money is, but falls asleep before he can open the locker.

The other players arrive and discover the money missing, stolen by Sinclair's assistant Mr. Grisham and a hooker named Vicky who was involved in an earlier bet. The locksmith and cow land in their getaway vehicle, resulting in the money getting swept away with the balloon, and causing their car to crash. Sinclair and his men take a plane to Silver City. The players use a bus to pursue the money, finding it at a charity concert hosted by Smash Mouth, and end up accidentally donating it all to charity, but decide to leave the matter alone after seeing some of the children the money will be helping. Sinclair appears, and Nick, guessing what he and his patrons have been up to, tells the audience that Sinclair and his friends will double whatever total of money is given to the charity in question.

The film ends with Sinclair throwing a tantrum whilst the players dance, sing and perform, as Smash Mouth performs their hit single "All Star".

Cast

Box office and reception

Rat Race took in $11,662,094 USD in its opening weekend at the U.S. Box office, landing at the #3 spot.

The film opened to mixed to negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a certified 43% on the Tomatometer.

Locations

  • The climactic railroad station scenes for Silver City, New Mexico were filmed at the restored train station at East Ely, Nevada, a popular tourist destination, as Silver City has no real train station.
  • The scene with the coin toss by Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character) was filmed at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Production and casting notes

  • Lawyer Gloria Allred is featured in two cameos. The first is when she happens to be nearby when a woman slips on an overturned empty shot glass (meant for Blaine Cody) and injures herself after falling down a flight of stairs, prompting her to decide to take up the woman's case against the hotel. The second is when she is sitting on her balcony when Enrico Pollini is hit by Zack, during which she tries to take up Pollini's case against Zack.
  • Sinclair and the gamblers' eccentric gambling habits are even further exaggerated in deleted scenes, where they partake in many more ridiculous bets, including playing Monopoly with real money. In another deleted scene, one of the high rollers pretends to find what they are doing as immoral.
  • John Cleese's character of Donald Sinclair may be a reference to Donald Sinclair, a hotel owner and the inspiration for Cleese's Fawlty Towers character Basil Fawlty.
  • Professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page and his wife, Kimberly Page, had a cameo in the film that was cut when test audiences failed to give his appearance any reaction. The scene is available on the DVD release.
  • Actor Vince Vieluf lost billing due to an overzealous agent who attempted to secure star-billing for Vieluf. As a result, Vieluf was left out of all promotional material even though his character was seen in a majority of the film. Vieluf has since fired that agent.
  • Jerry Zucker's mother, Charlotte Zucker, made a cameo appearance as one of the Lucy women. She is the one who says "You shouldn't be so hard on yourself." during the scene when Owen Templeton reveals he is not a bus driver.

External links


Template:Infobox Film

Rat Race is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Jerry Zucker, and stars an ensemble cast featuring Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jon Lovitz, Lanei Chapman, Seth Green, Kathy Najimy, Vince Vieluf, John Cleese, Breckin Meyer, Kathy Bates, Gloria Allred, Wayne Knight, Amy Smart, and an uncredited Pierce Brosnan. The story is about six teams of people given a task of racing 563 miles (918 km) from a Las Vegas casino to a train station in Silver City, New Mexico (which is, in reality 573 miles), where a storage locker contains two million dollars. The first team to reach the locker wins and gets to keep the money. Unbeknownst to them, however, they are actually just part of a betting game. Rat Race was inspired by, and had the same basic plot of the classic comedy film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Contents

Plot

Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), the eccentric billionaire owner of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, devises a new game to entertain the wealthy gamblers that visit his hotel. Six special tokens are placed in the casino's slot machines, and the winners of them are gathered together and told that two million dollars in cash are hidden in a duffel bag in a train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico. They are told it's a no-holds-barred race to get there first and claim the money. Each winner is given a key that will open the locker and they are sent on their way. Sinclair's patrons place bets on who will win the race.

Vera Baker and Merrill Jennings

The first team consists of Vera Baker (Whoopi Goldberg), who went to the casino to meet her adult daughter, Merrill Jennings (Lanei Chapman). Vera had not seen Merrill since she was put up for adoption as a baby. Although Merrill is sure that the race is a scam, her mother is excited and convinces her to join the race. They book a private jet, but due to brothers Duane and Blaine Cody, their flight is canceled. They rent a car and while searching for the interstate, they meet an eccentric woman (Kathy Bates) who is selling squirrels. When Merrill persistently refuses to buy one, the Squirrel Lady gives them directions that, instead of leading them to the interstate, sends them through a group of signs reading "you" "should" "have" "bought" "a" "SQUIRREL!" and off a cliff onto a pile of cars. After wandering in the desert, they stumble upon a scientific site and steal a rocket car set to break the land speed record by masquerading as auto-show models. They zoom through the desert past a gas station (which happen to be the one Nick and Tracy were at), knocking it down in the process, although the scientists appear fairly calm about the whole thing as the car still breaks the record. When the car runs out of fuel, they are mistakenly placed on a bus bound for a mental hospital that happens to pass by their destination. They have to hold the hospital's supervisor (Colleen Camp) hostage to be let out at Silver City.

Duane and Blaine Cody

The two inept Cody brothers, Duane (Seth Green) and Blaine (Vince Vieluf) make up another team. Duane is the "sensible" one, while Blaine mumbles incoherently due to a swollen and badly infected tongue — the result of his attempts to pierce it himself. They attempt to get rich by faking an injury and suing the casino. Having discovered that there are no more tickets left to get to New Mexico, they clumsily sabotage the airport radar system to prevent anyone from flying to Albuquerque. When they go past the "Barbie Museum", they see the Pears' van in the parking lot and destroy the engine. They soon decide to split up and go separately to increase their chances of winning, by getting a second key made. When the locksmith overhears the two talking about the race, he steals the key and leaves them with blanks. A chase ensues with the locksmith trying to escape in a hot air balloon over a cow pasture. Duane manages to retrieve the key before he and his brother are thrown from the balloon. Close to the movie's end, Blaine flirts with a similarly pierced girl who shocks them by ripping her shirt off, showing off her own piercings. Distracted, the Cody brothers drive off the road and crash. They eventually end up at a monster truck rally and end up stealing one to drive to their destination.

Owen Templeton

A much-hated NFL referee, Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), is accused of botching the coin-flip. He is stranded in the desert by an irrate cabbie (Paul Rodriguez) who lost a large bet due to Owen's call. After wandering in the desert, Owen comes across a bus station and tricks the driver into giving him his uniform and hat. The bus is full of Lucille Ball look-alikes on the way to an I Love Lucy convention. After being startled by a male Lucy and the hot air balloon that had carried the Codys- the cow that became entangled with a rope hitting the front of the bus-, Owen struggles to regain control of the bus. It runs off the road and gets a flat tire. While Owen fixes it, the Lucys roll away the spare and the bus flips over. Later, Owen admits to the Lucys that he is not a bus driver. This causes the women to chase after him in anger. He finds a horse to take him to Silver City while stealing the clothes from a scarecrow (Deleted scenes show him sneaking on board a house that is being moved to another location before he is kicked out by an enraged husband when he accidentally shares a bed with the man's wife). At the end, he jumps into the crowd at the donation event holding hands with Merrill.

Pear family

Randy Pear (Jon Lovitz) is on a family vacation with his wife, Bev (Kathy Najimy), son, Jason (Brody Smith), and daughter, Kimberly (Jillian Marie Hubert). Desperate to get rich so he can leave his job, he joins the race. Sworn to secrecy by Donald Sinclair, he tells his family that he has a job interview in Silver City for filling ink pens. He is so desperate to get there that he does not stop to allow the kids to go to the toilet, having Kimmie go out the window, where it hits a police car. Kimmie then spots a sign saying "Barbie Museum", and Bev insists that they have to stop and give the kids a break. Randy reluctantly agrees. The Barbie museum turns out to be a shrine to Nazi Klaus Barbie. The Pear Family flees in terror, only to find their car has been sabotaged (by the Codys). Randy then steals Adolf Hitler's car from the museum. While the family is mucking around with the various things they find in the car, Randy burns his middle finger on the cigar-lighter and waves it around to cool it. A female motorbiker he didn't notice sees this and thinks he is giving her the finger. Angered, the female biker signals and an entire, all-female biker gang appears behind them, and proceeds to smash the car. They drive off the road, and crash into a convention of surviving World War II veterans. Randy, who burnt his tongue after swallowing the cigar-lighter in the bout with the biker gang and smeared some black lipstick under his nose after trying to grab it from Bev, looks and sounds like Hitler while mumbling in front of the crowd. The veterans are furious, one fires a pistol at the family, and they flee. Later, at a gas station, Randy finally confesses to his family why they are really going to Silver City, and reluctantly says he will take them back to Las Vegas. When he notices some sleeping medicines in the gas station shop, he decides that he won't give up, and puts some of the medicine in his family's milkshakes so they fall asleep. He then gets a truck driver to take him and his family to Silver City after discovering that the museum's staff has found the car.

Enrico Pollini

The narcoleptic tourist Enrico Pollini (Rowan Atkinson), despite being the most enthusiastic about the race, falls asleep for a few hours before even leaving the hotel lobby, much to the frustration of those who had bet on him to win. When he eventually wakes up, he gets a ride with a medical services driver Zach (Wayne Knight), who is delivering a human heart for a transplant in Texas. On the way he loses the heart, which is later found badly damaged and dirty. Pollini catches a ride on a train while a desperate Zach contemplates killing Enrico to use his heart as a replacement. Fortunately, Zach grips the electric fence, which acts as a defibrillator and gets the heart beating again. After offering the key to a baby sitting next to him on the train, the baby loses it while napping. Enrico tries to get it back, only to be fought off by the outraged parents. He is thrown off the train at the Silver City station, making him the winner of the race, but he falls asleep as he is putting his key into the lock.

Nick Schaffer and Tracy Faucet

The final race member, Nick Schaffer (Breckin Meyer), is a lawyer from Chicago. At first, he declines to participate, but rethinks his position after he meets Tracy Faucet (Amy Smart), who is a helicopter pilot flying to New Mexico. He discovers that Duane and Blaine only damaged the airport's ground radar, so Tracy's helicopter is available and he is the only racer who would be able to fly. While making a detour to drop in on Tracy's boyfriend Shawn (Dean Cain), they spot his ex-girlfriend's car in the driveway and the two carrying on. Tracy uses the helicopter to terrorize her boyfriend, trashing his truck and then chasing him. After it develops engine trouble, Nick and Tracy abandon it and take the truck Tracy had tried to destroy a few minutes earlier, Nick subsequently telling her the truth about his intentions and enlisting her assistance to get to their destination. They run out of gas and siphon gas from a nearby police vehicle. The sleeping officer inside wakes up and catches them, but is distracted by the Cody brothers speeding past. He is unable to pursue them as the gas has been siphoned out. The truck's radiator conks out and they are forced to stop at a gas station. A maniac mechanic fixes their radiator but overcharges and holds them at gunpoint for refusing to pay. The station is unexpectedly demolished by Vera and Merrill's rocket car, allowing Nick and Tracy to escape to Silver City. At the end of the film, Nick and Tracey share a kiss before Nick cons Donald Sinclair out of his money.

Donald Sinclair

Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) is the owner of the casino and the one who sets up the race. Unbeknownst to the racers, Sinclair has created the 2 Million Dollar Race for his high roller guests. During the course of the movie, he runs various smaller (but increasingly daft) bets to keep the obsessive multinational gamblers satisfied while awaiting the end of the race, including which gambler will vomit first on a turbulent airplane, which hotel maid can hold onto the curtains longest without falling, and how much money will a hooker (Brandy Ledford) accept to shave Sinclair's attorney's (Dave Thomas) buttocks in a jacuzzi filled with Pepto-Bismol while he clips her toenails, all while naked in sailor hats.

When the teams finally reach the locker, they find the money's gone, Sinclair's attorney and the hooker having decided to go to Silver City themselves and steal the money. The teams pursue them, and finally get the money. They decide to share it equally around. Suddenly, spotlights light up around them and they find themselves standing on a stage at a "Feed the Earth" charity concert fronted by Smash Mouth. The people at the concert think that the teams are donors who are giving the money to the charity. When the teams realize what is happening, their initial reaction is anger as they want to keep the money, but after seeing some of the children the money would help they decide to put all the money in the charity bag. At the last minute, Donald and his gambler clients turn up, and Nick tells the crowd that Sinclair and company has agreed to match all donations dollar for dollar (as payback for all the horror, pain, and suffering he has put the teams through). The movie ends with the teams crowd surfing while Donald sobs over the rapidly increasing donation ticker and Smash Mouth plays All Star.

Locations

  • The climactic railroad station scenes for Silver City, New Mexico were filmed at the restored train station at East Ely, Nevada, a popular tourist destination, as Silver City has no real train station.
  • The scene with the coin toss by Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character) was filmed at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Production notes

  • Lawyer Gloria Allred is featured in two cameos. The first is when she happens to be nearby when a woman slips on an overturned empty shot glass (meant for Blaine Cody) and injures herself after falling down a flight of stairs, prompting her to decide to take up the woman's case against the hotel. The second is when she is sitting on her balcony when Enrico Pollini is hit by Zack, during which she tries to take up Pollini's case against Zack.
  • Sinclair and the gamblers' eccentric gambling habits are even further exaggerated in deleted scenes, where they partake in many more ridiculous bets, including playing Monopoly with real money. In another deleted scene, one of the high rollers pretends to find what they are doing as immoral.
  • Professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page and his wife, Kimberly Page had a cameo in the movie that was cut when test audiences failed to give his appearance any reaction. The scene is available on the DVD Release.
  • Actor Vince Vieluf lost billing due to an overzealous agent who attempted to secure star-billing for Vieluf. As a result, Vieluf was left out of all promotional material even though his character was seen in a majority of the film. Vieluf has since fired that agent.
  • Jerry Zucker's mother, Charlotte Zucker, made a cameo appearance as one of the Lucy women. She is the one who says "You shouldn't be so hard on yourself." during the scene when Owen Templeton reveals he is not a bus driver.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Rat Race (film) article)

From Wikiquote

Rat Race is a 2001 Amercian comedy film about six teams of people racing to a remote location to win a large sum of money in a locker.

Directed by Jerry Zucker. Written by Andy Breckman.
563 miles. 9 people. $2 million. 1001 problems! taglines

Contents

Donald Sinclair

  • I can do anything I want, Owen. I'm eccentric. Rrrow.
  • And, they're off!
  • Theoretically, you have been racing for about forty seconds now, and so far, Mr. Schaefer is winning, because he's nearest to the door!

Enrico Polinni

  • It's a race! It's a race! I hope I win!
  • Now, I know what you are thinking. Enrico is a girl's name.
  • Hey look! A drifter! Let's kill him!
  • I am getting goose pimples.
  • I make a joke to help you forget how screwed you are.

Vera Baker

  • I know you, you're the referee, the bonehead!
  • Oh good! A scam!!

Duane Cody

  • You might break your neck, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
  • What are you talking about, brother? I'm not giving up and neither are you. And neither am I! If we're not flying out of here, nobody's flying out of here!

Randy Pear

  • Are you insane?! This is Hitler's car!
  • You drink these up, then we're gonna return the Nazi-mobile. And then we'll get the van fixed and we'll go back to Vegas and see David Copperfield!
  • Honey, wake up! Third Reich's here! You wanna have a good life, right? Okay, let's see. SS in the parking lot! Not good! Not good!
  • They're always pissed honey.. They're Nazis, it's like it's their job.
  • I do NOT want to work at Home Depot!

Kimberly Pear

  • Look dad, I'm Mrs. Hitler!

Owen Templeton

  • I am not a bus driver! I do not work for the bus company! All right?! I--I needed a ride to New Mexico, so I stole this uniform! See this jacket? This is not my jacket! Remember Marty, the bus driver? Huh?! This is his shirt! I stole it! And these pants, you think I'd wear these pants?! These aren't my pants! These are Marty's pants! I stole them! I am not...a bus driver!
  • (Talking about the coin he used to flip at the Super Bowl) You know what this is...its actually a commemerative coin.

Other

Squirrel Lady: I wasn't talkin' to you, was I? I was talkin' to Vera!

Dialogue

[A hotel employee hands Nick Schaffer his bill.]
Nick Schaffer: Wait - what's this $110?
Employee: Oh, those are your in-room movies.
Nick Schaffer: Oh, I didn't watch any movies.
Employee: Let's see..."Afro Whores".
Nick Schaffer: "Afro Whores"?
Employee: It says you watched it... 11 times.
Nick Schaffer: No, I didn't watch that.
Employee: 2:00 "Afro Whores", 3:30 "Afro Whores", 5:00 "Afro Whores"... It says in the morning you watched "The Grinch" for ten minutes, then switched back over to "Afro Whores".
Nick Schaffer: I swear I didn't watch it. Okay? I was at a bachelor party. There were 35 people there. You can ask any of them. You have to take that off my record.
Hotel Clerk: This is not a record, sir.
Nick Schaffer: It... It's a delete.
Hotel Clerk: Okay, fine. How many times *did* you watch it?
Nick Schaffer: None! I didn't watch it!
Hotel Clerk: Are you sure? "Sizzling, three-way, backdoor action featuring two sexy soul sisters...”
Nick Schaffer: [screaming] I don't need to know what it's about! I did not watch it! I didn't.
'[hotel clerk raises her eyebrows]

[Sinclair has told the teams repeatedly to "go", to no avail.]
Merrill : So, when you say "go", you mean, just go?
Donald Sinclair: Uh, begin, commence, start moving... theoretically you have been racing for about forty seconds now, and so far Mr. Schaffer is winning because he's nearest to the door.

Vicki: So, what can I do for you, Harry?
Harold Grisham: Okay... here's what I want. First... we both get naked.
Vicki: So far so good.
Harold Grisham: Except... we're both wearing sailor hats. Then we get into a jacuzzi filled with Pepto-Bismol, I clip your toenails, and you shave my buttocks.

Kimberly Pear : Dad, I'm prairie dogging back here!
Randy Pear : Well, what the hell does that mean?
Jason Pear : You know, like when a prairie dog sticks his head in and out of the ground.
Randy Pear : Oh. [Five seconds later]
Randy Pear : Ohh, god, I do not wanna picture that!

Randy Pear : You're playing Hitler's harmonica!
Jason Pear : Well, you're driving his car.
Randy Pear : Yeah, but I'm not touching it with my mouth! I'm not suckin' on the dashboard! I'm not getting his germs!

Taglines

  • 563 miles. 9 people. $2 million. 1001 problems!

Cast

External links

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