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Comedy Movies - What's Up Doc?

BUY What's Up Doc? (dvd cover)
Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeleine Khan
Directed by Peter Bogdanovitch
Warner Home Video
1972

There are very few movies I remember when and where I was when I first saw it. What's Up, Doc? is one of those three or four. Kent Theatre, Sherbrooke Street, Montreal, 1972, balcony seat. It is the ultimate screwball comedy like they have not made in a long time although god knows they try. This is a funny movie with some very funny actors, and, yes, this includes her Ego Herself, Barbra Streisand (of the How-much-do-I-love-Myself-let-me-count-the-camera-angles-and that's why you do not get nominated as Best Director Mirror Has Two Faces fame). What's Up, Doc? is the funny story of a musicology professor, Ryan O'Neal, who gets caught up in a switched suitcases imbroglio and is always running into Baaaaaaaabra who plays a Mensa waif.

Although Baaaabra does sing in this movie (opening titles and a scene in the hotel), it is a very enjoyable funny comedy featuring the best comic chase scene ever filmed in the later half of the twentieth century. There are quite a few sight gags and running gags in this funny movie and quite an funny comment on erudite people of any kind. This is not a serious movie hiding behind a comedy. This is a sit back and relax, watch the funny pictures and the funny story roll along and go along with it. Ryan O'Neal is very funny as a befuddled and very naive musicology professor under the thumb of his fiancee, Eunice (a brilliant performance by Madeleine Kahn) who must present his research to get some kind of important grant. Throw in a spy looking for some secret documents hidden in a suitcase, a jewel thief who steals a similar looking suitcase full of jewels, and a couple of other similar looking suitcases, a posh hotel, and quite a few running jokes and you got yourself a gem of a comedy.

What's Up, Doc? is one of those overlooked comedies that few people have seen or seen again and it is a shame. What's Up, Doc? is not the kind funny movie that gets a cult following and only a few people will actually laugh at but the kind of funny dvd re-release that should definitely be on your "have to see that soon" list.

The extras on the DVD version of this classic comedy are few and far between. Baaaaaaaabra does say a few things, none of them important or interesting, but Peter Bogdanovich's comment is very interesting and gives you a short history of why he made this movie and how it is a tip of the hat to older funny comedies of his own youth.

Look, the funny car chase scene in the streets of San Francisco near the end of the movie is worth the price of this very funny movie.



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