What's Up, Doc? (1972) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Two researchers have come to San Francisco to compete for a research grant in Music. One seems a bit distracted, and that was before he meets her. A strange woman seems to have devoted her life to confusing and embarassing him. At the same time a woman has her jewels stolen and a government whistle blower arrives with his stolen top secret papers. All, of course have the same style and color overnight bag.

    - Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>
  • This is the comic tale of four identical pieces of red plaid luggage and one San Francisco hotel, in the spirit of Howard Hawks but made by Peter Bogdanovich. One bag contains secret government files, another has expensive jewels and a third has igneous rocks. It is unclear what is in the fourth bag, carried by the would-be erudite Judy Maxwell...but all four bags end up at the Hotel Bristol. Judy has a yen for food and Dr. Howard Bannister and no "off" button. Dr. Bannister (deliciously deadpan and hunky, Ryan O'Neal) has a yen for igneous rock formations. When all four bags are hopelessly mixed up and Eunice, Howard's prim and bossy fiance (unforgettably played by Madeline Kahn) is kidnapped, only the long arm of the law, (i.e. the judiciary), can make any sense of the chaos. There are no palaeontologists or tigers but there are madcap antics, the obligatory San Francisco chase scenes and several clever one-liners.

    - Written by LA-Lawyer
  • Howard Bannister travels to San Fransisco with his fiancé to compete for a musicology research grant, when he runs into a wild, unpredictable college drop out who brings "havoc and chaos everywhere (she) goes." Add to this a case of mistaken luggage, a jewel theft, and some government spies, and several plot twists.

    - Written by Ken Carson <kcarson@efn.org>
  • Mild mannered Dr. Howard Bannister is a professor of musicology at the Ames Conservatory of Music in Ames, Iowa. With his straight laced and controlling fiancée Eunice Burns, Howard is in San Francisco to attend the Congress of American Musicologists convention hosted by Frederick Larrabee. The Larrabee Foundation has shortlisted two finalists for the $20,000 Larrabee Grant, the two being pompous Hugh Simon and Howard, whose research involves prehistoric man making music with igneous rocks. Howard's life in San Francisco is turned upside down when he meets Judy Maxwell, a klutzy, directionless but brilliant young woman whose life is spent studying at one educational institution after another, her stint at each being until she's kicked out. It's love at first sight for Judy, who does whatever she can to insinuate herself into Howard's life. Further complications ensue as Howard, Judy, wealthy Mrs. Van Hoskins and reporter Mr. Smith - the latter two who are staying at the same hotel as Howard - all have the identical red plaid overnight bag respectively carrying Howard's igneous rocks, Judy's clothes, Mrs. Van Hoskins jewels and top secret government documents, the latter two which are eyed by others who are trying to get their hands on the contents.

    - Written by Huggo
  • The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid overnight bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations.

    - Written by David Rush


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