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What's Up, Doc?
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Reviews & Ratings for
What's Up, Doc? More at IMDbPro »

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62 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

"What More Can They Do To Me?"

10/10
Author: mackjay from Out there in the dark
17 April 2000

Utterly hilarious is the best short description for "What's Up Doc?" This seldom-discussed, nearly forgotten hommage to screwball comedy is one of the most consistently funny, inspired, brilliantly realized ever made. There are no weak spots. Even if you are not a Streisand fan, it must be admitted that she has a gift for comedy (and she only stops the action once, to sing for five minutes). Ryan O'Neil is a perfect foil as an uptight college professor completely bamboozled by Streisand. Smaller roles are humourously portrayed by the likes of Austin Pendelton, Kenneth Mars and Mabel Albertson.

But, for those who love this movie, the real star of the show is MADELINE KAHN, as the all-time great comic character of Eunice Burns. Who can forget Eunice forcing her way into the hotel banquet hall, swinging her purse as a weapon? Or poor Eunice cowering on her hotel room bed, asking "what more can they do to me?"

Director Bogdanovich's version of the car chase which closes the film is so tremendously funny and entertaining that the viewer is sorry to see it end.

A richly comic feast.

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56 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

That's a person named Eunice?

Author: annmason1 from Bellingham, WA
21 January 2001

What's Up Doc is one of six movies I use to offset ANY bad mood. I have seen it countless times and still can't keep the suitcases straight.

This film is full of visual humor and one liners; Madeline Kahn screaming and taking on all comers while dragging the doorkeeper across the ballroom floor; the hotel crook using his "charm" to drop Mrs. Van Hoskins in her tracks; Eunice hiding in the bathroom because snakes "live in deathly fear of tile"; the promise of Howard conducting an avalanche in A Flat.

My only regret about this movie is that it began endless failed efforts by television and movie makers to replicate the chase through San Francisco. No one has. That sequence is the best example of humor, timing, backdrop, and action, of the chase genre. It has never been equalled by either serious or comedic directors.

Little mentioned in these reviews are Kenneth Mars and Austin Pendelton, two fantastic character actors who are the emeralds surrounding the diamonds of Streisand and O'Neal in the glorious setting of this jewel.

Thank goodness no one in What's Up Doc knows the meaning of the word "propriety!".

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45 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Superb 70s Screwball Comedy

10/10
Author: drednm from United States
14 August 2004

Great 70s comedy stars Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal in a remake of the classic Bringing Up Baby. Fun all the way in this updated story that has O'Neal playing a doofus professor up for a grant and Streisand as the madcap dropout who plagues him. A great team---and backed by Madeline Kahn, Michael Murphy, Sorrell Booke, Kenneth Mars, Mabel Albertson, Graham Jarvis, Austin Pendleton, John Hillerman, Randy Quaid, and especially Liam Dunn as the judge, in one of the best comedy performances ever. Great chase scene thru San Francisco. The court room scene is hilarious. Streisand sings "As Time Goes By." Funny film has perfect timing all the way, thanks to direction from Peter Bogdanovich. A must see.

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46 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Peerless contemporary looney-tune, a self-appointed comic valentine to the 30s served up in expert fashion by Peter Bogdanovich.

9/10
Author: gary brumburgh (gbrumburgh@pacbell.net) from Los Angeles, California
2 October 2001

Finally, a zany, riotous slapstick comedy that lives up to what it purports to be...a zany, riotous slapstick comedy! Silly, simple and superficial, with no lowbrow, leering takes or hidden moral messages lurking, `What's Up, Doc?' is pure, unadulterated fun. Bugs Bunny should be proud.

Saluting its classic screwball predecessors, this innocent send-up has all the joy, style and panache one could ask for, hitting its broad targets about 90% of the time. Director Peter Bogdanovich, (who also wrote the story and co-produced) was at his zenith when he made this in 1972. Thirty years later, I've yet to see anything comparable top it.

Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand recycle the wacky `Bringing Up Baby' characters created most famously by Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, then Hollywood's reigning king and queen of elegant farce. The madcap plot and situations may have been altered and updated, and the approach itself may be less than chic, but the results are still the same: non-stop hilarity.

Proving before her she had a nose for comedy (she was a hoot in `The Owl and the Pussycat'), Streisand outdoes herself here. She wisely (and generously) defers to the director and, in return, churns out her most engaging performance yet as a wacky, accident-prone, highly determined gal who creates utter chaos out of confusion while striving to win the guy. She proves once and for all she is a funny, FUNNY girl, her quicksilver timing a joy to behold. And, as a bonus, she sings!

Matching Streisand schtick for schtick, O'Neal is the perfect deadpan foil as the hapless but oh-so-handsome cluck she sets her unyielding sights on. His milquetoast musicologist, who has substituted rocks for brains and is about as exciting as plankton, is wonderfully maudlin -- a textbook performance in sad-sack comedy. Bogdanovich apparently brings out the best in O'Neal (`Paper Moon') who was often vilified for his lack of cinematic presence.

Madeline Kahn, in her film debut, is side-splitting as O'Neal's prodding, adenoidal, anal-retentive fiancee. Stealing scene after scene, she offers the most consistently funny character since Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont in `Singin' in the Rain,' and that's saying something. The late Ms. Kahn a sublime farceur who could probably draw laughs from a well, would never again be put to such good use as she was under the early 70s tutelage of both Bogdanovich and Mel Brooks. And how could a slapstick comedy be complete without the comicbook villainy of snooty Kenneth Mars and Austin Pendleton's inept, rumpled genius?

Be sure also to catch a number of familiar TV faces strewn about in minor roles: Mabel (`Bewitched') Albertson, John (`Magnum P.I.') Hillerman, Sorrell (`Dukes of Hazard') Booke, Graham (`Fame') Jarvis, John (`Soap') Byner, and Randy (`Davis Rules') Quaid. Best of all, however, is diminutive Liam Dunn, hilarious in the climactic courtroom scene, as a cranky, pill-popping judge.

The film receives a tremendous boost from other key creative hands, notably the fast and furious scriptwriter and the colorful production designer. Each help to amplify what's happening onscreen.

In a time of uncertainly and skittishness, `What's Up, Doc' is a refreshing reminder that laughter is still the best medicine. Th...Th...That's all, folks!

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38 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

I Always Wanted To Marry Eunice Burns

10/10
Author: Oggz from london UK
3 December 2004

Well I simply can't resist to join what at a glance seems to be a very affectionate army of fans of this film - which is not only in my top three favourites of all time, but most definitely the funniest hour and a half ever registered on celluloid. I first saw it in 1974 - I was nine - and instantly fell under the spell. Frisco never looked prettier, flairs were fluttering, volkswagen beetles were zooming around, the muzak coming out of lifts and hotel lobbies is just as I remember it, the hair was only beginning to get big, but the aspirins were already huge...in the midst of all this, Streisand delivers like a sniper and actually looks sexy and desirable, O'Neal does his bespectacled Iowa music professor with all the dizziness of sex on legs that he was, and the cast generally glide through two separate crescendos of stupid situations, fuelled by dialogue in break neck speed, each more hilarious than the previous, all inexorably slipping into general uproar and mayhem at every turn.

But it's due to Madeline Kahn's ability to send one into hysterics with as much as opening her mouth that the film is a screwball comedy masterpiece, far superior than "Bringing Up Baby" to which it's nauseatingly compared to. The relish with which she bites into the character of Eunice Burns, in a role made for her down to the last breath in the script - is spectacular, as is its result on screen. In my mind it only compares to Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont effort in "Singin' In The Rain" - the only other single funniest female episode on screen.

Other than that, one liners, with which this stuff is packed to the rafters are still in circulation today - kept alive by enthusiast fans of seemingly all generations. This is a true comedy classic that hasn't lost any of it's breeziness, funk, sexiness and freshness with years. Dumb, twisted and invigorating all at once it's a true gem. Watch it and feel your I.Q. drop, and get hooked by all means. Or miss at your own peril.

In fact, I think I might just watch it again - now.

10/10, full on. :-)

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26 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Silly slap stick humour at its best

Author: James Foster from London, England
20 July 2000

This film really does make the equivalent Carry On movies extremely juvenile. Very rarely, if at all does this film delve into lavatorial/innuendo humour. All of its humour is based on slapstick and a terrific script full of one-liners that you never tire of viewing. They could have made a sequel, but then the humour would have soured in the same way that the Naked Gun or Airplane films did. All the characterisations are spot on, everyone except Striesand is portrayed as being bumbling unsubtle fools including the CIA and Russian spys. It's basically a change to see the Americans not taking themselves seriously for once. Kenneth Mars is very amusing as O'Neal's opponent for the music grant. Of particular note is the car chase in San Francisco in an exaggerated Bullitt style. Granted, it is very dated - it's 1972 and chequered flares and velvet is much in evidence, but this adds to the film's charm. It is one of the few films that I was sad to see ending...

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

This film IS funny!

Author: carey62 from University Heights, OH
1 May 2004

A friend of mine recently recommended this film to me. I am not a big Barbra Streisand fan so it took me about 20 minutes to get into this film. Once I was in, I was hooked! So rarely do I laugh out loud at comedies from this time period. I especially liked the hotel detective using his "charm" to delay Mrs. Van Hoskins. Kenneth Mars and Liam Dunn were hilarious, too. If physical comedy is not your bag, you may not like What's Up, Doc? But this is definitely one of my favorite comedies...even better than the old comedies to which it is supposed to be an homage. I'm glad someone listed many of the funny quotes from the film in Message Boards. I want to buy this DVD!

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23 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Fun Movie - Great Visual Comedy and Memorable Lines

10/10
Author: grimzap from Ohio, USA
30 April 2004

I can't count the number of times that lines from this movie come into mind. There are only a few more movies that do this for me: Arthur, Blazing Saddles, and The Princess Bride are examples and this gives you an idea of the company this film keeps. It is somewhat dated now with the strange fashions and what not but I still enjoy the visual comedy and frenetic pace. It is full of old gags that you can watch over and over. Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand deliver fascinating performances and you will not forget Madeline Kahn as Eunice, the controlling, easily-flustered wife. Even the minor parts are played perfectly such as those of the scheming hotel manager and house detective who plan to steal a guest's diamonds. This is an example of a very simple plot (6 identical travel cases get mixed up) made great by excellent writing, direction, casting, and acting. Share this one with a friend!

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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The most fun I've ever had in front of the TV set!

Author: MAX80
3 November 1999

I think this film is the funniest movie I have ever seen. No matter how many times I see it, I always find surprisingly fresh and completely hilarious. Barbra Streisand's performance is the centerpiece of the whole film. She simply glows with warmth, sexiness, and humor. There isn't a moment when we don't find her completely believable. Ryan O'Neal adds a great physical presence and is gloriously restrained. The film also contains some great supporting turns from Ken Mars, Liam Dunn, and especially Madeline Kahn, who nearly steals the movie in her film debut.

On a scale of 10, WHAT'S UP, DOC? receives a perfect 10!

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely ZANY!

7/10
Author: grahamsj3 from United States
6 February 2003

I won't give away too much of the plot, but let's just say 5 identical bags get mixed up in San Francisco. Barbra Streisand hasn't been in a lot of films and after seeing this, I have to say, more's the pity. She sparkles in this film! Of course, the film itself is a madcap adventure and she just fit right in. Ryan O'Neal and the always-hilarious (unfortunately, late) Madeline Kahn also make this movie just a hoot to watch! Watch a lot of comedy before you watch this one so your laughing muscles will be in shape - that way you won't hurt yourself! This is a funny funny movie!

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