Film: "Speed Racer"

Speed Racer: The Cast

(Photo: left) EMILE HIRSCH as Speed Racer in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure “Speed Racer,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

EMILE HIRSCH (Speed Racer) was most recently seen in writer-director Sean Penn's critically acclaimed drama "Into the Wild," based on the best-selling book by Jon Krakauer. Hirsch starred as Christopher McCandless, the idealistic college graduate who abandoned civilization for the Alaskan wilderness. For his work in the film, Hirsch won the National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance by an Actor and received the Rising Star Award at this year's Palm Springs International Film Festival. He was also nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Critics Choice Award and a Gotham Award.

Previously, Hirsch starred in Nick Cassavetes' true-life crime drama "Alpha Dog," along with an ensemble cast which also featured Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

Hirsch's additional credits include Catherine Hardwicke's "Lords of Dogtown," with Heath Ledger; "Imaginary Heroes," directed by Dan Harris and also starring Sigourney Weaver and Jeff Daniels; "The Girl Next Door," with Elisha Cuthbert; the film festival favorite "The Mudge Boy"; "The Emperor's Club," with Kevin Kline and Embeth Davidtz; and "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys," co-starring Kieran Culkin and Jodie Foster.

Hirsch is currently in production in San Francisco on Gus Van Sant's biopic "Milk," in which he stars with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and James Franco. The film chronicles the life of Harvey Milk, a San Francisco city supervisor and the country's first openly gay elected official, who was assassinated in 1978. Hirsch is portraying gay rights activist Cleve Jones, a Milk ally who went on to found the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Born in Los Angeles, Hirsch grew up in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

CHRISTINA RICCI (Trixie) most recently starred in this February's offbeat, contemporary fable "Penelope," co-starring Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy.

Ricci was last seen in "Black Snake Moan," from director Craig Brewer, starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson. Prior to that, she co-starred in the critically acclaimed film "Monster," opposite Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, and earned an Emmy Award nomination for her guest role on the hit ABC show "Grey's Anatomy."

Ricci won over audiences and critics as a child actor, beginning with her debut in "Mermaids," opposite Cher and Winona Ryder. Especially memorable is her portrayal of the strangely adorable Wednesday Addams in Barry Sonnenfeld's "The Addams Family" and its sequel, "Addams Family Values." She starred in the summer '95 hit "Casper," which, like "The Addams Family," grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office. Ricci received the prestigious NATO ShowEast Star of the Year Award and the Star of Tomorrow Award from the Motion Picture Booker's Club for her work in those films.

Making a seamless transition to more mature roles in 1997, Ricci received acclaim in Ang Lee's ensemble film "The Ice Storm," co-starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen and Elijah Wood; then starred in Don Roos' scathing comedy "The Opposite of Sex," for which she received the Best Actress Award at the Seattle Film Festival, as well as Best Actress nominations for a Golden Globe Award, American Comedy Award and Independent Spirit Award. She appeared opposite filmmaker Vincent Gallo in his "Buffalo 66," earning a National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Award for her combined efforts in that film, "The Opposite of Sex" and John Waters' "Pecker." Ricci's other projects include Wes Craven's "Cursed," Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Anything Else," Sally Potter's "The Man Who Cried" and Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow," opposite Johnny Depp, in addition to a memorable cameo in Terry Gilliam's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Beyond her acting career, Ricci serves as the National Spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and is a member of the organization's National Leadership Council.

JOHN GOODMAN (Pops Racer) is one of the entertainment industry's most respected actors. He earned a Golden Globe nomination in 1992 for his chilling performance in the Coen brothers' heralded "Barton Fink," after delivering a breakthrough motion picture performance in the Coen brothers' earlier "Raising Arizona." He has since teamed with them in "The Big Lebowski" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Goodman was most recently seen starring opposite Steve Carrell in the comedy "Evan Almighty," the highly anticipated sequel to "Bruce Almighty." Last year, he also appeared in "Death Sentence," with Kevin Bacon, and "Drunkboat," opposite John Malkovich. Previously, he starred with Marisa Tomei and Danny DeVito in the romantic comedy drama "Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School."

He has lent his voice to numerous animated characters as well, with voiceover credits including "Monsters, Inc.," "The Emperor's New Groove," "Tales of the Rat Fink," "The Jungle Book 2" and, most recently, the Jerry Seinfeld-penned and produced "Bee Movie," opposite Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger. He also voiced one of the main characters in NBC's animated primetime series "Father of the Pride."

Goodman's many additional film credits include "Beyond the Sea," "Masked and Anonymous," "Storytelling," "One Night at McCool's," "Coyote Ugly," "What Planet Are You From?," "Bringing Out the Dead," "The Runner," "Blues Brothers 2000," "Fallen," "The Borrowers," "Mother Night," "Pie in the Sky," "The Flintstones," "Born Yesterday," "Matinee," "The Babe," "King Ralph," "Arachnophobia," "Stella," "Always," "Sea of Love," "Everybody's All-American," "Punchline," "The Wrong Guys," "The Big Easy," "Burglar," "True Stories," "Sweet Dreams," "Maria's Lovers," "C.H.U.D.," "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Eddie Macon's Run."

A St. Louis native, Goodman studied drama (with fellow students Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper) at Southwest Missouri State, graduating in 1975 with a B.F.A. degree in Theatre. His stage credits include regional theatre productions of "Henry IV, Parts I and II," "Antony and Cleopatra" and "As You Like It." He performed in a touring production of "The Robber Bridegroom" and starred in three Broadway shows: "Loose Ends" in 1979, "Big River" in 1985 and "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" in 2002. In 2001, he starred with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in the Shakespeare-in-the-Park production of "The Seagull."

Goodman will next be seen onscreen in the drama "In the Electric Mist," opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Peter Sarsgaard. He is currently in production on two films: director P.J. Hogan's "Confessions of a Shopaholic," based on Sophie Kinsella's acclaimed novel, and the indie romantic comedy "Gigantic," with Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel.

SUSAN SARANDON (Mom Racer) brings her own brand of fierce intelligence to every role she plays, from her acclaimed, fearless portrayal in "Bull Durham" to her Academy Award-nominated performances in "Atlantic City," "Thelma and Louise," "Lorenzo's Oil" and "The Client," and her Oscar-winning and SAG Award-winning work in "Dead Man Walking."

Sarandon was recently seen as the villainous queen in the blockbuster live action-animated hit "Enchanted" and in director John Turturro's musical comedy "Romance and Cigarettes," opposite James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet and Steve Buscemi. Her other recent credits include the drama "In the Valley of Elah," opposite Tommy Lee Jones, and the comedy "Mr. Woodcock," with Billy Bob Thornton.

Sarandon made her acting debut in the movie "Joe," which she followed with a continuing role in the daytime drama series "A World Apart." Her early film credits include "The Great Waldo Pepper," "Lovin' Molly," "The Front Page," the 1975 cult classic musical "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and Louis Malle's controversial 1978 film "Pretty Baby."

Among Sarandon's many other film credits are "Elizabethtown," written and directed by Cameron Crowe; "Alfie," opposite Jude Law; "Shall We Dance?," with Richard Gere; "Noel," with Robin Williams and Penelope Cruz; Brad Silberling's drama "Moonlight Mile," opposite Dustin Hoffman and Jake Gyllenhaal; "The Banger Sisters," with Goldie Hawn; the comedy "Igby Goes Down"; Stanley Tucci's "Joe Gould's Secret"; Wayne Wang's "Anywhere But Here," with Natalie Portman; Tim Robbins' drama "Cradle Will Rock"; the poignant comedy "Stepmom," with Julia Roberts; the erotic farce "Illuminata," directed by John Turturro; and "Twilight," opposite Paul Newman and Gene Hackman.

In addition to her many on-screen credits, she has lent her vocal talents to the animated features "Rugrats in Paris," "James and the Giant Peach" and "Cats & Dogs," and served as narrator for Laleh Khadivi's documentary "900 Women," which dealt with female prison inmates. Her additional feature credits include "King of the Gypsies," "The Hunger," "The Buddy System," "Compromising Positions," "The Witches of Eastwick," "Sweet Hearts Dance," "The January Man," "A Dry White Season," "White Palace," "Light Sleeper," "Bob Roberts," "Little Women" and "Safe Passage."

For television, Sarandon starred as Dr. Jerri Nielson in the 2003 CBS movie "Ice Bound" and as Princess Wensicia Corrino in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries "Children of Dune." She appeared in the telefilm "The Exonerated," directed by Bob Balaban, and starred in HBO's "Earthly Possessions," based on Anne Tyler's novel and directed by James Lapine, as well as in the CBS movie "Women of Valor" and the HBO miniseries "Mussolini and I," opposite Bob Hoskins and Anthony Hopkins.

On Broadway, Sarandon appeared in Gore Vidal's "An Evening with Richard Nixon" and received critical acclaim for her performances off-Broadway in "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking" and the thriller "Extremities." She also appeared off-off-Broadway in the moving post-9/11 play "The Guys."

Sarandon can currently be seen starring opposite Ralph Fiennes in the highly acclaimed HBO biographical telefilm "Bernard and Doris," which premiered on HBO in February.

MATTHEW FOX (Racer X) currently stars as the conflicted, heroic Dr. Jack Shepherd on the hit ABC series "Lost." For his work on the Emmy-winning Best Drama, Fox shared the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award and was also nominated for Golden Globe and Television Critics Association Awards.

Fox was most recently seen in the February release "Vantage Point," a political thriller in which he starred opposite Dennis Quaid, Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker and William Hurt. Previously, he starred with Matthew McConaughey in the sports drama "We Are Marshall," playing a football coach in the inspiring story, based on true events, of a small town's struggle with devastating loss. His feature credits also include writer-director Joe Carnahan's crime thriller "Smokin' Aces," in which he joined an ensemble cast featuring Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds.

In 1999, he appeared in a touching turn opposite Donald Sutherland in the made-for-television drama "Behind the Mask." In 2002, he starred as a private investigator whose near-death experience bridges a gap to the spirit world in the UPN series "Haunted."

Fox first came to national prominence and received critical acclaim as Charlie Salinger, eldest of five orphaned siblings, in the hugely popular "Party of Five," which ran on the FOX Network from 1994 to 2000. The series received Golden Globe Award nominations as Best Drama for two years in a row, winning the award in 1996.

ROGER ALLAM (Royalton) recently played Sir Robin Janvrin opposite Helen Mirren's Oscar-winning performance in Stephen Frears' acclaimed biopic "The Queen." His screen credits also include the wartime Irish drama "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," Michael Winterbottom's "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" and the comedy caper "The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt." "Speed Racer" reunites him with filmmakers the Wachowski brothers and producer Joel Silver, with whom he previously worked on the action thriller "V for Vendetta."

Allam's extensive work in British and American television includes appearances in such series as "The Thick of It," "MI-5," "The Catherine Tate Show," "Waking the Dead" and "Between the Lines." His telefilm credits include Showtime's "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone," with Helen Mirren; HBO's "RKO 281," in which he played Walt Disney; Hallmark Entertainment's "Stranded"; the BBC's "A Landing on the Sun"; and HBO's "The Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing." He can currently be seen in the biographical drama "The Curse of Steptoe," which premiered on the BBC in March.

Allam is also a distinguished stage actor, best known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. He is the recipient of two Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards: Best Supporting Actor for "Money," in 2000 at the Royal National Theatre, and Best Actor for "Privates on Parade," in 2002 at the Donmar Warehouse. He originated the role of Javert in the long-running hit musical "Les Miserables," and recently received acclaim in the West End for his role opposite Jodhi May in David Harrower's dark psychological drama "Blackbird."

PAULIE LITT (Spritle) has appeared in the feature films "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, and "Jersey Girl," with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Litt is perhaps best known as the quirky little brother in the popular ABC sitcom "Hope and Faith," for which he received a 2006 Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actor in a TV Comedy Series. Previously, Litt appeared on the NBC drama "Third Watch" and had a recurring role on "Sesame Street" for two years. He teamed up with Regis Philbin to sing on "Live with Regis & Kelly's 2004 Christmas Eve Special."

Additionally, Litt has appeared in more than 20 national TV commercials and PSA's.

He has appeared as a featured vocalist on "Showtime at the Apollo," and is a featured artist on Radio Disney's "Incubator" program. He has performed at various Radio Disney shows and enjoyed more than 16 weeks of top ten chart success with a song on XM Kids Radio.

BENNO FÜRMANN (Inspector Detector) is an acclaimed German actor who has appeared in several international English-language film and television productions, including "The Order,” opposite Heath Ledger and directed by Brian Helgeland; HBO’s acclaimed "My House in Umbria, starring Maggie Smith and directed by Richard Loncraine; the miniseries "Ring of the Nibelungs/Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King”; "Merry Christmas," with Diane Kruger; "Crusade in Jeans"; and, most recently, "The Mutant Chronicles," starring Thomas Jane and John Malkovich; Marc Rothemund’s "Pornorama"; and Leander Haußmann’s "Warum Männer nicht zuhören und Frauen nicht einparken können."

In 2005, Fürmann, with actress Nina Hoss and writer-director Christian Petzold, received the coveted Adolf Grimme Prize for "Wolfsburg." In 2001, the Berlin International Film Festival honored him as a Shooting Star. For his performance in "Freunde" (Friends) he won the 2000 Bavarian Film Award.

Following his feature debut in "Einfach nur Liebe" (Simply Love), Fürmann appeared in director Til Schweiger’s feature debut "Der Eisbär" (The Polar Bear). Among his other film credits are Caroline Link’s "Pünktchen und Anton" (Annaluise and Anton), based on Erich Kästner’s novel; Sönke Wortmann’s "St. Pauli Nacht" (St. Pauli Night); Stefan Ruzowitzky’s "Anatomie" (Anatomy); Doris Dörrie’s "Nackt" (Naked); Tom Tykwer’s "Der Krieger und die Kaiserin" (The Princess and the Warrior); and "Kanack Attack."

Fürmann began his career in 1991, appearing on German television in Edgar Reitz’ miniseries "Die zweite Heimat" (2nd Heimat) and the telefilm "Schuld war nur der Bossanova" (Blame It on the Bossanova). His other television credits include the RTL series "Und Tschüss!" (Bye Now); his starring role as German boxing legend Bubi Scholz in Roland Suso Richter’s miniseries "Die Bubi Scholz Story" (The Bubi Scholz Story), for which he received the German TV Award as Best Actor in a telefilm; and the popular miniseries "Die Sturmflut" (Storm Tide).

Fürmann will next be seen in writer-director Philipp Stölzl’s upcoming feature "Nordwand."

HIROYUKI SANADA (Mr. Musha) has impressed international audiences with his versatility in such acclaimed films as "The Last Samurai," with Tom Cruise, Yoji Yamada's 2004 Oscar-nominated film "The Twilight Samurai" and "Sharaku," an official selection at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Sanada also starred in the original Japanese version of the modern horror-classic "The Ring."

Most recently, Sanada was seen in the science fiction adventure film "Sunshine," directed by Danny Boyle, opposite Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans and Michelle Yeoh, and in "Rush Hour 3" as the lead villain, opposite Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Previously, he starred in Chen Kaige's epic fantasy romance "The Promise," a role which required him to learn Mandarin phonetically, and in 2005 made his English language film debut in the Merchant Ivory film "The White Countess," opposite Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson.

He will next be seen starring opposite Anthony Hopkins in the drama "The City of Your Final Destination," which reunites Sanada with director James Ivory.

Also an internationally celebrated stage actor, Sanada starred as Romeo in an acclaimed Japanese production of "Romeo & Juliet," after which he starred as the title character in an acclaimed production of "Hamlet." On the London stage, he starred as the Fool, alongside Nigel Hawthorne, in the Royal Shakespeare Company's millennium production of "King Lear," for which he was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

RAIN (Taejo Togokahn) is a top Korean R&B/pop singer whom TIME Magazine named one of the "100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World" in 2006; in 2007 PEOPLE Magazine included him in their annual "Most Beautiful People" issue.

After debuting with the 2002 album "Rain," which spawned the hit single "Bad Guy," Rain starred in the 2003 drama series "Sang Doo! Let's Go To School." His second album, "How to Avoid the Sun," followed, and scored a hit single with the title track.

He subsequently starred in the 2004 drama series "Full House," which became one of the highest-rated Korean dramas of all time, enjoyed broadcast exposure in many countries and brought him the Best Actor Award at that year's KBS Acting Awards. While shooting the 2005 miniseries "A Love To Kill," Rain's headstrong approach to the challenging role made him a more versatile actor.

Rain's third album, "It's Raining," sold over one million copies in Asia, making it his most successful album to date both domestically and internationally, and the subsequent "Rainy Day" concert tour was a success in Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States, featuring two shows at New York City's Madison Square Garden. "Rain's World," the performer's fourth album, was released in 2006 and led to the highly acclaimed "Rain's Coming" World Tour.

In 2005, Rain became the first Asian performing artist invited to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards. His other music industry honors include the MTV Asia Grand Slam. He was named Favorite Korean Artist at the 2005 MTV Asia Aid, held in Bangkok, and won the Most Popular Asian Artist Award from Channel [V] Thailand, as well as the Best Buzz Asia Award at the 2005 MTV Japan Video Music Awards and the Best Korean Singer Award at the MTV-CCTV Mandarin Music Honors in Beijing.

Rain made his feature film debut in "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK," directed by Chan-wook Park. The film and its director won the Alfred Bauer prize at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival, and Rain was named Best New Actor at the 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards.

Rain is currently shooting the action film "Ninja Assassin," which re-teams him with producers Joel Silver, Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski.

RICHARD ROUNDTREE (Ben Burns) has been a leading actor for more than thirty years. He recently won a Peabody Award for his narration of the PBS documentary "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow."

Roundtree is perhaps best known to audiences for his starring role in Gordon Parks' 1971 action film "Shaft." The film catapulted him into the world arena, and he continued the franchise with the features "Shaft's Big Score!" and "Shaft in Africa" and the television series "Shaft."

Roundtree has starred opposite some of Hollywood's most well-known actors, including Clint Eastwood, Robert Shaw, Peter O'Toole, Richard Harris, David Niven, Tony Curtis and Laurence Olivier. Among the more than 70 feature films in which he has appeared are the smash hit thriller "Se7en"; the critically acclaimed "Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored"; the 2000 remake of "Shaft," in which he reprised his star-making role; "Steel," with basketball superstar Shaquile O'Neal; "George of the Jungle," with Brendan Fraiser; and "Corky Romano," with Chris Kattan.

Roundtree's television credits have included regular roles on the CBS series "Outlaws"; "413 Hope Street," for which he garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Series; and ABC's "Buddies," with Dave Chappel. He has also appeared in many television movies, including the top-rated "Having Our Say," in which he portrayed Booker T. Washington; "Christmas in Connecticut," directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger; and the Starz! production of "Joe and Max."

Roundtree began his career as a model before joining New York's acclaimed Negro Ensemble Company. A succession of off-Broadway performances followed, leading to his starring role as Jack Johnson in "The Great White Hope."

A dedicated advocate for the fight against breast cancer, Roundtree remains active on the lecture circuit and consistently takes part in events to help raise awareness and funds towards finding a cure for the disease.

KICK GURRY (Sparky) began his film career in Australia by starring in the Australian Film Institute's Best Film of 2000, "Looking for Alibrandi," opposite Anthony Lapaglia.

Gurry has subsequently worked alongside some of the most acclaimed directors and actors working in film today, with feature credits including Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line"; "Buffalo Soldiers," with Joaquin Phoenix; David Mamet's "Spartan"; and executive producer Quentin Tarantino's "Daltry Calhoun."

Back in Australia, Gurry shot the lead role in acclaimed director Alex Proyas's "Garage Days," as well as Rachel Ward's AFI Award-winning "The Big House."

"Speed Racer" Index

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Film Entertainment Magazine

Speed Racer - Episodes 1-11 (1967)

Starring: Katsuji Mori, Michiko Nomura Director: Hiroshi Sasagawa One of the first "Japanimation" series to air in the U.S., Speed Racer (Mach Go Go Go) debuted in syndication in September 1967. Eighteen-year-old Speed Racer wants to become a race car driver, but his father, automotive engineer "Pops" Racer, "blows a gasket" at the idea. Pops, who designed the amazing Mach 5, relents when Speed demonstrates his extraordinary driving skills. He embarks on a series of fantastic adventures that pit him and his friends against Skull Duggery, Snake Oiler, Mr. Wiley, and the Alpha Gang. With their wide chins, large mouths, and small eyes, the Speed Racer characters reflect the influence of contemporary Hanna-Barbara series, rather than the indigenous style the Japanese animation industry would later develop. Members of Gen-X who grew up watching the original show will enjoy this "collector's edition" that offers the first 11 episodes, a theme song sing-along, a villains' gallery, and an interactive demonstration of controls of the Mach 5. (Unrated: suitable for ages 6 and older: mild cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon

Product Description: The world's favorite high-octane animated hero is back! Roaring into action aboard his trusty Mach-5, it's the intrepid young race car driver who sparked an international cult phenomenon: the one-and-only Speed Racer!

Now, for the first time ever, the first eleven episodes of this classic, hugely popular "Japanimation" series are brought together in this special limited edition DVD. Turbo-charged with all of Speed Racer's trademark animated thrills, offbeat humor, unforgettable characters and cliff-hanger action, these collectible, specially rematsered episodes are the stuff of every fan's dreams.

So fasten your seatbelts-and join Speed, girlfriend Trixie, Speed's two brothers, one mischievous monkey and an outrageous assortment of villains for one fast-lane, no-brakes, nonstop adventure after another! Ready...Set...Go, Speed Racer, Go!

The Great Plan Part 1
The Great Plan Part 2
Challenge of theiMasked Racer Part 1
Challenge of theiMasked Racer Part 2
The Secret Engine Part 1
The Secret Engine Part 2
The Race Against theiMammoth Car Part 1
The Race Against theiMammoth Car Part 2
The Most Dangerous Race Part 1
The Most Dangerous Race Part 2
The Most Dangerous Race Part 3

Speed Racer - Episodes 12-23

Speed Racer , Vol. 3 - Episodes 24-36

Tatsuo Yoshida Books

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