Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cinema Tuesdays {What's Up Doc?}

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This is Peter Bogdanovich's 1972 homage to Screwballs, specifically Bringing Up Baby. If you haven't seen Bringing Up Baby then there is something wrong with you and you simply must go and watch it now before continuing to read this post.
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Actually there are four identical plaid cases.
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Case #1 has some stolen classified government documents in it. He is naturally being followed by a man from the government.
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Case #2 is owned by this fabulous lady in leopard shorts. I'd wear them, would you?
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She is being followed by two criminals, who are moonlighting as hotel employees. Or is it the other way round?
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Ryan O'Neal has the third case. He plays Howard, a nebbishy musicologist who carries prehistoric rocks in his case. Madeline Kahn, in her first movie role, plays Howard's domineering fiancée Eunice Burns. Miss Kahn is so fantastically funny at playing someone so repulsive.
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Barbra Streisand has case #4. She plays Judy, the dizzy dame with a high IQ.
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By an act of sheer plot device, all four cases are staying in this hallway in the same San Francisco hotel.
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Howard and Judy meet in the hotel drug store. She calls him Steve and doesn't think he should marry a person named Eunice and decides to follow him since no one else is.
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"Oh you've torn your coat"
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Howard is in San Francisco to attend a convention and because he is in the running for the Larrabee Foundation grant.
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Kenneth Mars (you'll recognize him when you hear him) plays Hugh Simon, Howard's rival for the grant.
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Check out his cool hotel room.
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Meanwhile, back upstairs the cases are being switched around.
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Guess who Howard finds talking to Mr. Larrabee and being called Burnsie. It's not Eunice Burns, but she is securing the grant for Howard.
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But it does cause a slight problem when Eunice does show up at the banquet.
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Which may explain why they're all under the table. Actually they're just good friends.
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After the banquet, Howard and Eunice have a fight as Steve tries to keep Judy from being found in his room.
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By this time you'll have lost track of which case is which.
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I'm not going to explain this shot, since it's the funniest scene in the film.
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The picture of Seventies California Cool. She's going to sing. You can fast forward if you like.
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By this time, the fact that the cases have been switched is discovered, but not by Steve and Judy.
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Howard has won the grant and is going to lunch at Mr. Larrabee's house and is taking Judy to explain that she's not Burnsie and Eunice to explain that she's Burnsie Miss Burns. Judy calls Eunice and gives her the wrong address.
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During lunch Howard and Judy discover that their cases have been switched.
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And then the gangsters and the classified documents men show up with guns and then the fight starts.
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Whenever possible, always attack people with Post-Modern sculptures.
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Granny's got a gun! How awesome would it be to have her as your grandmother!
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Because this is San Francisco, there has to be a car chase scene, especially when Judy and Steve are using a delivery bicycle as a getaway car.
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Cool shot! They don't run into the fruit stand, just a parade in Chinatown.
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And then everyone drives into the Bay.
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That poor judge! Having to make sense out of a Screwball plot. You'd take little yellow and blue pills too.

I'm not allowed to embed the trailer, so click here to watch it.

2 comments:

Blondie said...

Babs looks fab in these stills. Love that outfit with the jeans. Don't forget to head over and enter my Christmas giveaway if you haven't already!

www.blondeepisodes.com

Kori xoxo

Bruce Partington-Plans said...

I've seen Bringing Up Baby but I'm afraid I haven't seen What's Up Doc? - yet.

By the way, I've given your wonderful blog a little award - congratulations!:

http://eclecticephemera.blogspot.com/2010/11/awards-time.html