Forgotten Friday Flick - 'What's Up, Doc?'
With Hangover helmer Todd Phillips producing the party comedy "Project X" that hits screens today, it seemed right to go back to a past flick that guarantees its own gut-busting belly laughs...welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! We go way back to 1972 to one of my favorite comedies of all time. A zany and wacky laugh-a-minute movie complete with mistaken identity, slapstick humor and double, no make that triple entendre galore. And since every character within the world has such a unique style, appeal and even memorable lines were gonna go about this examination a tad differently - storybook style! So let’s get right to the big question..."What’s Up, Doc?"
Our tale of screwball antics begins like every great tale – from the beginning!
This is the stuffy and uptight Howard Bannister, Ph.D. He’s a straight-laced, easily led dud of a man who’s biggest enjoyment is the igneous “tambula” rocks he carries around to inspect their musical properties. For Howard, life can only go down from there.
Most Notable Feature: Ever present glasses and furrowed brow
Best Line: “We'll, there's not much to see actually, we’re inside a Chinese dragon.”
This is the pushy and overbearing Eunice Burns, Howard’s fiancée. Her sole purpose is to make sure that Howard is clean, prepped and ready for every task that may come his way and even those that don’t. She’s the loud and piercing woman behind the man - for his own good.
Most Notable Feature: Perfectly coiffed bouffant hairdo
Best Line: “What on earth are you doing with Howard Bannister’s rocks?”
This sexy lady is the frisky Judy Maxwell. Cunning and captivating, the clever Judy sets her sights on the hunky Howard and turns up the heat. Problem is the avalanche of trouble that follows her on a daily basis begins to rear its ugly head towards the unsuspecting Howard. Let the sparks fly!
Most Notable Feature: Mischievous glowing smile
Best Line: “How would you like to swallow one sandwich d’knucles?”
If arrogance had a face it would that of uptight aristocrat Hugh Simon. As Howard’s sole competition, the cunning Hugh looks for any way to destroy his competitor and win the famed Larrabee Grant for himself. All this villain is missing is the twisted mustache.
Most Notable Feature: His cocky hair flip
Best Line: “Who cares who she is – we’re going to be killed!”
As the sense of normality within the wacky world of "What’s Up, Doc?," Fredrick Larrabee is the heart of this askew gang. The head of the Larrabee Foundation, Fredrick is trying to give his grant to the most able candidate, but is soon taken aback by the force of nature that is Eunice Burns and lighting strikes – more then once.
Most Notable Feature: His love of adventure and danger
Best Line: “Don't you dare strike that brave unbalanced woman!”
And after all their antics and follies everyone ends up in front of the very cranky and very fed up Judge Maxwell. He’s a man who’s seen it all, taken enough pills to make a small clinic jealous and means to get to the bottom of things. Of course, it all stems from these four pesky identical plaid overnight bags, which carry everything from secret government documents to...underwear?
Most Notable Feature: Trusty gavel used to crack walnuts...and lifesavers
Best Line: “I’ll give you you’re bike back – I’ll give you a broken back if you don't be quiet!”
I’m not going to spoil any more of the hilarity that is "What’s Up, Doc?" except to reconfirm that this is everyone at their personal best. Actors (this was Madeline Kahn’s first full-length film role – what a home run!), writers (Buck Henry’s wry sensibility is all over this one!) and directors (Peter Bogdanovich, known more for his stellar dramatic work, is the true king of comedy!) all strut their stuff here and it’s a five star vehicle out of control for maximum laughs. (Plus is it just me or is the Streisand super uber-hot in this one?!) In the category of ‘they don't make them like this anymore’, "What’s Up, Doc?" stands alone. (After crashing through a glass pane, ripping through a parade float and going for a swim in San Francisco bay that is!)
Title: "What’s Up, Doc?"
Cast: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, Madeline Kahn
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Company: Warner Bros.