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quinta-feira, 19 de maio de 2016

Puxe a Alavanca, Max! Professor Fate e a vilania

Pull the Button, Max! Professor Fate and villainy

Um grande filme de comédia feito por um dos melhores diretores do gênero. Um filme que é, além do mais, uma ode ao cinema mudo. Um vilão que é simplesmente mau – e adora isso. E mais: um vilão que serviu de molde para outros tantos. A atuação que Jack Lemmon considerava sua melhor. São estes os ingredientes de “A Corrida do Século”, um filme dominado pelo maravilhoso vilão Professor Fate.

A great comedy movie made by one of the best directors in the genre. A film that is also an ode to silent film. A villain that is simply up to no good – and loves it! And more: a villain that was an inspiration to many others. It’s the performance Jack Lemmon considered his best. These are the ingredients of “The Great Race”, a film dominated by the wonderful villain Professor Fate.
O Grande Leslie (Tony Curtis) entra em uma corrida transcontinental de Nova York a Paris. A repórter Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood) faz de tudo para cobrir o grande evento, como jornalista e como participante. Quem quer atrapalhar a proeza de Leslie é o Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), e ele será capaz de todas as trapaças imagináveis, sempre com a ajuda (ou os atos atrapalhados) de Max (Peter Falk).

The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) joins a transcontinental car race from New York to Paris. Journalist Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood) also wants to take part in the event, both as a reporter and a competitor. And to stop Leslie from winning we have Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), a man willing to do any kind of cheating, always with Max’s (Peter Falk) help (or rather the confusing acts).
O filme é ambientado em 1908, e foi concebido por Blake Edwards como uma homenagem às comédias do cinema mudo. A grande guerra de tortas, a confusão das portas e os créditos são as homenagens mais óbvias. Entretanto, o que não ajuda muito na reputação do cinema silencioso é a construção estereotipada do Professor Fate como vilão. Ele é uma cópia óbvia de Snidely Whiplash, o antagonista de Dudley Do-Right criado em 1961, em uma paródia dos filmes mudos. É de Snidely que vem a imagem errada de que os vilões dos filmes de 100 anos atrás se limitavam a amarrar moças na linha do trem.

The film is set in 1908 and was envisioned by Blake Edwards as a tribute to silent film comedies. The huge pie fight, the confusion of the doors and the credits are the most obvious tributes. However, something that does not help with the reputation of silent films is the stereotyped construction of Professor Fate as a villain. He is an obvious copy of Snidely Whiplash, the villain who fought Dudley Do-Right since 1961, in a silent film parody. From Snidely we see coming the wrong image of silent film villains tying girls to railroad tracks.
E Maggie está muito longe de ser uma donzela indefesa. A personagem é a mais bem construída do filme, e sua independência ressoa bem tanto em 1965 quanto hoje.

Maggie is far from being a damsel in distress. Her character is the best one in the movie, and her independence makes a good impression both in 1965 and nowadays.

Talvez mais interessante ainda que “A Corrida do Século” seja o desenho animado que ela inspirou. Sim, eu estou falando da inesquecível Corrida Maluca. O Professor Fate inspirou Dick Vigarista, seu incompetente capanga Max deu origem a Muttley, o grande Leslie se tornou Peter Perfeito e, obviamente, Maggie DuBois foi a inspiração para Penélope Charmosa.

Even more interesting than “The Great Race” is the cartoon it inspired. Yes, I'm talking about the unforgettable Wacky Races. Professor Fate inspired Dick Dastardly, his incompetent minion Max originated the dog Muttley, the Great Leslie became Peter Perfect and, obviously, Maggie DuBois was the inspiration for Penelope Pitstop.
Professor Fate e Dick Vigarista nos ajudaram a acostumar desde cedo com a ideia de que os vilões podem também ser os personagens mais importantes. Para quem cresceu, como eu, cercado de Disney, contos de fadas, lutas do bem contra o mal e esperanças de “felizes para sempre”, torcer para o vilão era um ato de rebeldia. Mas torcer para um vilão que humano e bastante atrapalhado é totalmente aceitável.

Professor Fate and Dick Dastardly helped us get acquainted since an early age with villains that are also the most important characters in a film or cartoon. If you, like me, grew up with Disney, fairy tales, bad against evil and hopes of “happily ever after”, rooting for a villain was an act of rebellion. But rooting for a human, goofy villain is perfectly OK.  

A persona do vilão todo vestido de preto, com capa, cartola e bigode, e sempre pronto para vilanias vem de 1940, da sátira “O Vilão Ainda a Perseguia”. Silas Cribbs, interpretado por Alan Mowbray, quer destruir o personagem de Richard Cromwell, quebrando com frequência a quarta parede para compartilhar seus planos malignos com a plateia. Todas as atuações neste filme são muito exageradas e Silas definitivamente não é um vilão para ser levado a sério.
The image of the villain all dressed in black, with cape, top hat and a moustache, always ready to be bad, comes from 1940, from the satire “The Villain Still Pursued Her”. Silas Cribbs, played by Alan Mowbray, wants to destroy Richard Cromwell’s character, and frequently breaks the fourth wall to share his evil plans with the audience. All the performances in this film are much exaggerated, and Silas definitely isn’t a villain to be taken seriously.
Silas Cribbs, Snidely Whiplash, Dick Vigarista, Professor Fate: quatro vilões com muito em comum. São carismáticos, engraçados e fadados ao fracasso. São vilões que são simplesmente maus – não há explicação para a vilania. Eles nasceram vilões, morrerão vilões e farão maldades enquanto viverem. Agora, se o plano maligno vai ou não funcionar, esta é outra história.

Silas Cribbs, Snidely Whiplash, Dick Dastardly, Professor Fate: four villains with a lot in common. They are charismatic, funny and always fail. They are simply mean villains – there is no explanation for their preference of evil. They were born villains, will die villains and will do villainies as long as they live. But, will the evil plan work? That’s another story!

This is my contribution to the Third Annual Great Villain Blogathon, hosted by evil trio Ruth, Kristina and Karen at Silver Screenings, Speakeasy and Shadows and Satin.

12 comentários:

Silver Screenings disse...

I love the costumes in this film. They themselves are a loving tribute to the silent era, as you pointed out. And the old cars are really fun, too!

Jack Lemmon is the perfect choice for Professor Fate. I think he relished the role – but who wouldn't?

Thank you for joining the blogathon, and for bringing Professor Fate with you!

Caftan Woman disse...

Watching Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate is so much fun. And so was reading your article for this year's blogathon. Well done, my friend.

The Metzinger Sisters disse...

I love this film! Jack Lemmon is so good being bad and I can see how he considered this his best role. Great post, and thank you for introducing me to a new film title ( The Villain Still Pursued Her )...I'll have to check that out. Two years ago, I chose Professor Fate for the Great Villain Blogathon myself. He's a great one!

http://silverscenesblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/professor-fate-of-great-race.html

Meredith Leonard disse...

What a fabulous post! Jack Lemmon had fun with the Professor Fate role and I had fun watching the movie. Thanks so much for your excellent and kind comments about Dracula (1931).

Quiggy disse...

I think I remember seeing this on Saturday Night at the Movies on TV when it came out. It sounds familiar, anyway. Good review.

Lesley disse...

I have never watched The Great Race. This is because 1) I am not good with chases, and I somehow thought (probably wrongly) of this as an extended chase, sort of like 2) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, a movie I know millions love, and that I have tried to watch, but cannot for the life of me do so.

You, Le, have made me interested in this movie. I finally saw Victor Victoria a few months ago, and I LOVED it. Also The Americanization of Emily. So Blake Edwards is of interest.

Then there's the cast: Lemmon, Wood, Falk, Curtis...

Then there are the cartoon references—you had me at Penelope Pitstop.

Anyway, great post, and thanks for the insights!

crystalkalyana disse...

Hey Le. Excellent post. I must admit that I have never seen this film but after reading your article I must change that. Thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Don't forget to check out my contribution to the blogathon.

https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/joan-crawford-versus-sydney-greenstreet-flamingo-road-1949-the-great-villain-blogathon/

crystalkalyana disse...

Hey Le. The above link for my entry got deleted, so here's the correct link. You can check my post out here. Loved your entry. Have to see that film.

https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/joan-crawford-versus-sydney-greenstreet-in-flamingo-road-1949-the-great-villain-blogathon/

KC disse...

I love the historical detail and the photos showing similar dastardly dudes. Though I can understand why Lemmon loved his performance in this movie, I'm surprised to hear it was his favorite. I feel like nothing can match what he did in Some Like it Hot! Really nice post Le. I enjoyed reading it.

Kristina Dijan disse...

Never seen this one but you remind me to get it on my list. Interested to hear this was Lemmon's favourite! Makes me extra curious. Thanks for being part of the blogathon, we always love having you take part!

Terence Towles Canote disse...

I love The Great Race and I must confess I always root for Professor Fate and Max! It is such a funny movie. It is so cool that it inspired Wacky Races and Dick Dastardly!

Domonkos Polonyi disse...

Your article was great - I'm also surprised to hear that Lemmon thought this was his best movie, it's good to know about that! Though I've never seen it either, I'm really interested in this movie, it looks like a goofy ride all along, and I think it's lovely that you compare it with a cartoon!
Domi (Little Bits of Classics)

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