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What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)

In Woody Allen's directorial debut, he took the Japanese action film Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi (1965) and re-dubbed it, changing the plot to make it revolve around a secret egg salad recipe.
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Woody Allen / Dub Voice / Projectionist
The Lovin' Spoonful ...
The Lovin' Spoonful
Frank Buxton ...
Vocal Assist (voice)
Len Maxwell ...
Vocal Assist (voice)
...
Suki Yaki (voice)
Mickey Rose ...
Vocal Assist (voice)
Julie Bennett ...
Vocal Assist (voice)
Bryna Wilson ...
Vocal Assist (voice)
...
Phil Moscowitz (archive footage)
...
Teri Yaki (archive footage)
...
Suki Yaki (archive footage) (as Kiko Wakabayashi)
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Storyline

Writer/director Woody Allen explains that when he was asked to supervise the making of the definitive spy thriller, what he decided to do was acquire the rights to a B-grade Japanese spy caper (Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi (1965)) filmed with Japanese actors in Japanese, delete the existing soundtrack, and redub into English and reorder select scenes to create an entirely new movie, a comedy, having nothing to do with the original story-line. The result... International spy Phil Moscowitz, working out of the Asia bureau, is a self-professed lovable rogue with sex always on his mind. He inadvertently gets involved in a mission, the client the Grand Exalted High Majah of Raspur. The success of the mission will determine if Raspur, a non-existent country that nonetheless sounds real, will indeed become real. Moscowitz is to retrieve something stolen from the Majah by criminal Shepherd Wong: the best ever egg salad recipe. Phil is to be assisted by two of the Majah's own agents,... Written by Huggo

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Taglines:

He's not the world's greatest lover... but 8th place is not bad! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

2 November 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lily la tigresse  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

American International Pictures bought the 1965 Japanese film "Key of Keys" for $66,000. However, the studio quickly realized that it was far too confusing for Western audiences. AIP president Henry G. Saperstein came up with the idea of turning the original inscrutable thriller into a comedy by dubbing it with different dialogue. As Woody Allen had just scored an unexpected hit with his screenplay for What's New Pussycat (1965), Saperstein hired him. See more »

Goofs

A glass filter is clearly seen being pulled away from the lens as Phil wakes up in the Sheik's palace. See more »

Quotes

High Macha Of Rashpur: They kill, they maim and they call information for numbers they could easily look up in the book.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Woody Allen is laying on a couch eating an apple while a woman stripper is taking her black dress and undergarments off in front of him. Meanwhile the end credits scroll up on the right side of the screen. The credits say: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. And if you have been reading this instead of looking at the girl, then see your psychiatrist, or go to a good eye doctor (the credits now scroll faster and give and eye test): E 1 FP 2 TOZ 3 LPED 4 PECFD 5 EDFCZP 6 FELOPZD 7 DEFPOTEC 8 LEFODPCT 9 FSFPTFED 10 ????????? 11 By this time, the stripper is about to remove her underwear. Woody stops her and says, "I promised I'd put her in the film somewhere." (only his voice is dubbed) THE END (appears in the lower left) See more »

Connections

References The Sound of Music (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Spy Who Dubbed Me
22 May 2005 | by (Long Island, USA) – See all my reviews

It's almost necessary to watch this with a friend or two. You'll need to make sure your friends are familiar with movie conventions of the mid-sixties. If they aren't, they might not laugh. If they are, you'll probably laugh at the same time and have fun. To be brief, WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY is a Japanese detective movie made in 1964 and dubbed into English two years later for comic effect. The perpetrators are Woody Allen, Louise Lasser and a few others. In an unusual move, Woody Allen sets up the joke at the beginning, explaining on camera that's he's removed the soundtrack to the original, rewritten the dialogue and made it a comedy. What makes WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY above-average, other than the fact that people don't just dub entire movies with gag-dialogue having nothing to do with the plot, is that it takes the humor which clearly already exists in the original and twists it. Although the original is foreign, it is very similar to any number of American or British detective movies of the time, such as OUR MAN FLINT or THE LADY IN CEMENT. Anybody who went to a double-feature in 1966 had sat through such a movie. The dubbed dialogue is not entirely removed from what is clearly the intent of the original dialogue. There are funny visuals in this movie. Woody Allen's dialogue spins on the visuals and makes fun of them up to a point, but it is, actually, a pretty good movie in the first place. It's not as if Allen took a bad movie and ridiculed it. The visuals are entertaining in themselves. Allen's plot involves a search for the world's greatest recipe for chicken soup. Every time the characters think they've found the recipe, we see them inspecting strips of microfilm. Obviously, the original involves a search for microfilm. So, the plot is obvious. Our maverick detective will track down the bad guys and win. Why not eliminate the original dialogue and treat us to a feature-film's worth of one-liners? If you like GET SMART, you'll probably like this movie. If you don't like GET SMART, you probably won't like it. But if you can't see why Allen bothered with this, you'll need to ask yourself why so many movies in the late sixties spoofed the spy genre. Woody Allen didn't operate in a vacuum here. A note on the recent altering of Woody Allen's dialogue: I have WHAT'S UP TIGER LILY on a DVD released by IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT. It contains both the soundtrack Woody Allen did for the 1966 release and what the packaging calls the "television audio" track. Very condsiderately, IMAGE provides an option for comparing the dialogue where Woody Allen's dialogue has been replaced by the dialogue of whomever has RE-RE-dubbed it for TV. I've compared some of them and am saddened to think that Allen's humor has been forcibly blunted for current broadcast. But IMAGE does let us hear the difference, and that's more than TV audiences may be getting. If you see this on TV and think the dialogue is strangely tepid, try the DVD. You'll be able to hear what Woody Allen intended. (I have to qualify this, though, because he seems to have had to put up with a certain amount of studio interference in 1966.) Finally, I'll say that you'll probably recognize a few of the actors in this movie. Two of the women appeared in a James Bond movie, and the main actor, Tatsuya Mihashi, who died only last year (in 2004) appeared in several prestigious films. Therefore, Woody Allen isn't trouncing on helpless fools here.


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