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The Rat Race

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Director  Robert Mulligan
Music director  Elmer Bernstein
Language  English
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Drama, Romance
Screenplay  Garson Kanin
Country  United States
The Rat Race movie poster

Release date  July 10, 1960 (1960-07-10) (U.S.)
Writer  Garson Kanin (screenplay), Garson Kanin (play)
Cast  Tony Curtis (Pete Hammond Jr.), Debbie Reynolds (Peggy Brown), Jack Oakie (Mac, Owner of Macs Bar), Kay Medford (Mrs. 'Soda' Gallo, Landlady), Don Rickles (Nellie), Marjorie Bennett (Mrs. Edie Kerry)
Similar movies  Collateral, Jazzclub - Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm, Blues in the Night, The Color Purple, Le Samouraï, The Cotton Club

Joe bushkin the rat race 1960

The Rat Race is a 1960 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds as struggling young entertainment professionals in New York City. Filming took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sam Butera and Gerry Mulligan have minor roles as saxophonists.


The Rat Race movie scenes

The rat race 1960 trailer


The Rat Race movie scenes

Wishing to pursue a career as a jazz saxophonist, Pete Hammond Jr. (Curtis) takes a bus from his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to New York City and optimistically begins looking for work. However, jobs are extremely hard to find.

The Rat Race movie scenes

He crosses paths with Peggy Brown (Reynolds), a model and dancer who has become jaded and cynical after years of struggling to survive in the city. She has just been evicted from an apartment rented to Pete, and because she is penniless and has no home to return to, he offers to let her stay with him. She is forced to rely on his generosity, and as the two of them work at various low-paying jobs, they stay together in the apartment as friends.

Peggy warns him that people can't be trusted, but Pete is encouraged when a band auditions him for a job. When the other musicians send him out for beer, Pete returns to find that they have stolen his instruments and that he is the victim of a scam. Peggy grimly but reluctantly tells him "I told you so."

Pete lands a 30-day job as an "alto man" on a cruise ship but has no instruments. Peggy goes to the abusive taxi dance hall owner she works for, Nelly Miller (Don Rickles), to whom she is already in debt, for another loan to give to Pete and agrees to prostitute herself with his patrons to pay back her debts. Maintaining a cynical front, Peggy convinces the suspicious Pete that she got the money with "no strings attached."

Pete writes Peggy daily while on the cruise. When she stalls at fulfilling her end of their deal, Nelly strips Peggy of her dress and shoes to make his point that he owns her. She runs out on their deal again the night Pete returns, and Nelly threatens to disfigure her. In love with Peggy and afraid for her, Pete gives up all his wages, his wristwatch and his new instruments to pay off Nelly. Later Pete tells Peggy that he loves her and confesses that he "mixed" with three women as part of his cruise job. Peggy agrees to stay with Pete but tells him "no more cruises."


  • Tony Curtis as Pete Hammond Jr.
  • Debbie Reynolds as Peggy Brown
  • Jack Oakie as Mac
  • Kay Medford as Mrs. 'Soda' Gallo
  • Don Rickles as Nelly Miller
  • Marjorie Bennett as Mrs. Edie Kerry
  • Hal K. Dawson as Bo Kerry
  • Similar Movies

    Elmer Bernstein composed the music for The Rat Race and Love with the Proper Stranger. Punchline (1988). Elmer Bernstein composed the music for The Rat Race and Legal Eagles. Mr Saturday Night (1992). Easter Parade (1948).

    The rat race 1960 trailer


    The Rat Race Wikipedia
    The Rat Race IMDb The Rat Race