6.8/10
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The Owl and the Pussycat (1970)

R | | Comedy | 3 November 1970 (USA)
Can a bickering odd couple in Manhattan become friends and maybe more? Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a ... See full summary »

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(play), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Barney
...
Dress Shop Proprietor
Roz Kelly ...
Eleanor
Jacques Sandulescu ...
Jack Manning ...
Grace Carney ...
Barbara Anson ...
...
Theatre Cashier
Stan Gottlieb ...
Coatcheck Man
Joe Madden ...
Old Man Neighbor
Fay Sappington ...
Old Woman Neighbor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Barney's Girl (as Evelyn Lang)
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Storyline

Can a bickering odd couple in Manhattan become friends and maybe more? Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a neighboring flat takes the occasional payment for sex. She's Doris, more wildcat than pussycat, and when Felix's peeping-tom-tattle-tale routine gets her bounced from her apartment, she knocks at his door at 3 AM, aggressive and ticked off. They yell, lose another apartment, and pick up where they left off in a friend's flat and beyond. Dancing by the light of the moon seems unlikely for this owl and pussycat. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The Owl and the Pussycat is no longer a story for children. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 November 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El búho y la gatita  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cinematographer Andrew Laszlo replaced Harry Stradling Sr. as director of photographer when the latter passed away during production. See more »

Goofs

When Doris is playing the piano at the Weyderhaus', her hands do not match the music. See more »

Quotes

Doris: Who gave you permission to read my panties?
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Connections

Featured in Casting By (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Seduction
(uncredited)
Performed by Blood Sweat & Tears
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User Reviews

BEST OF 1970 #10- a romantic comedy done right
6 July 2002 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

TEN BEST OF 1970

#10- The Owl and the Pussycat

Herbert Ross' "The Owl and the Pussycat" is a prime of example of how to do a "Battle of the Sexes" romantic comedy right. Most modern romantic comedies are either drowning in their syrupy sentimentality ("Serendipity")or in crude hatred of one and/or both sexes ("Tomcats", "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood").

The film stars Barbra Streisand as Doris, a part-time hooker/actress who doesn't go anywhere without her TV. George Segal plays Felix Sherman, a would-be writer whose life consists of writer's block and rejection slips. One fateful evening, Felix complains to the landlord about the constant noise coming from Doris' apartment. He goes to bed and is awakened by a loud knock. It's Doris, who was evicted from her apartment and has several bones to pick with Felix. It's the beginning of a battle that lasts for most of the film's 97 minute running time.

What makes The Owl and the Pussycat such a standout film is the care that went into the production. Buck Henry has successfully transplanted Bill Manhoff's play from L.A. to New York and the film is better for it. New York is a much livelier town than L.A. and the city itself becomes a character that the others bounce off from. Herbert Ross proves he can handle comedy as well as he can handle musicals and choreography. His direction doesn't overwhelm the script and acting but compliments it in a way most people write off.

On paper, I suppose the Barbra Streisand-George Segal pairing doesn't look promising. But when you see the film, you will not think of more perfect casting. Streisand and Segal have good chemistry together and it makes some of the later events of the film more believable. Streisand has a gift for delivering brisk, snappy dialogue. Segal has a gift for being able to make his characters instantly likable.

The score is by Blood, Sweat and Tears. Made in between their second and third albums, the score doesn't feel like a time-filler throwaway. Dick Halligan's music fits the film like a well worn glove. I cannot imagine the movie without the music. It does like all good scores do, enhance the movie without giving it away. There is a mix-up in regards to the lyrics (credited to BS&T, but David Clayton-Thomas has said they were given to BS&T before the music was composed), but still, as sung by DC-T, the songs have a wonderful quality to them.

All people who even want to attempt a romantic comedy should watch "The Owl and the Pussycat". It shows how to make a movie like this without resorting to misogyny, chauvinism or drippy sentiment.

**** out of 4 stars


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