HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  What's Up, Doc? That's The Dumbest Thing I Ever Heard
Year: 1972
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Austin Pendleton, Michael Murphy, Phil Roth, Sorrell Booke, Stefan Gierasch, Mabel Albertson, Liam Dunn, John Hillerman, George Morfogen, Graham Jarvis, Randy Quaid, M. Emmet Walsh, Kevin O'Neal
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: This is the story of a plaid suitcase. Or two. Or three, maybe four. One contains some top secret government documents, and the current holder of that is being followed by a man carrying golf clubs, while another contains the prized rock collection of a musicologist, Dr Howard Bannister (Ryan O'Neal), who is in San Francisco with his fiancée Eunice (Madeline Kahn) to attend an event. That event sees him pitted against a rival (Kenneth Mars) for the grant being given out by the patron, Larrabee (Austin Pendleton), but soon Howard has bigger worries when he crosses paths with a mysterious young woman (Barbra Streisand) who takes a shine to him.

The films of Peter Bogdanovich perhaps epitomise the nostalgia that American pop culture had for the Golden age of Hollywood during the seventies, and after he had made The Last Picture Show, he went on to take over a new project, an adaptation of Herman Raucher's novel-with-a-twist, A Glimpse of Tiger. However, what he really wanted to do was an homage to classic screwball comedies, so the project was quickly refashioned into a tribute to the likes of Bringing Up Baby and The Lady Eve, often with some of the same jokes.

Producer and director Bogdanovich hired the Bonnie and Clyde writers Robert Benton and David Newman to adapt his story into a script, then Graduate writer Buck Henry was brought in to polish it, though he actually rewrote significant parts. The result was a film which never escaped the shadow of its influences, but then, it was happier to be compared to them, flatteringly of course. Not all the reviews were kind, accusing the director of offering a carbon copy of the laughs of the originals, but who listened to them? What's Up, Doc? was a big hit in its day and if you're not too slavish in your admiration of the likes of Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges, then you should find much to enjoy here.

In fact, although she reportedly didn't like the film very much, it undoubtedly contains Streisand's best performance, at least in a comedy setting. For nearly half the film we don't even know her name, and the reason she latches onto Howard is never really cleared up - she's the antecedent to all those magical females who improve the hero's life for countless comedies to come. Of course, she was based on an archetype established decades before, but here she proved such a thing could be successful in a modern setting. Winningly, Streisand never overplays her character, acting as if what she is doing is perfectly sensible, and it probably makes perfect sense to her.

Without such a force of mayhem, the film would have trouble getting off the starting blocks, and O'Neal is perhaps not quite as convincing as a musicologist, but Bogdanovich wisely lets the comedy happen to him more often than not, rather than have Howard be the instigator. Along the way, his new admirer's attraction to him has her posing as the prim Eunice at the dinner in the hotel, something he has to comply with without making him sound crazy - which he does anyway, as she makes everyone sound crazy eventually. Streisand gets to sing two songs, overselling Cole Porter at the start and presenting a surprisingly sweet version of "As Time Goes By" with O'Neal at the piano, but the real highlight is the breathless chase through San Francisco streets, ending up in the bay with some terrific stuntwork. Far funnier than its detractors would have you believe, you can see why many take What's Up, Doc? to their hearts. Music by Artie Butler.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5831 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: