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S.O.B. (1981)

 -  Comedy  -  1 July 1981 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,701 users  
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A movie producer who made a huge flop tries to salvage his career by revamping his film as an erotic production, where its family-friendly star takes her top off.

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Title: S.O.B. (1981)

S.O.B. (1981) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Tim Culley
...
Mavis
...
Dick Benson
...
Herb Maskowitz
...
Gary Murdock
...
Felix Farmer
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Dr. Irving Finegarten
Craig Stevens ...
...
Polly Reed
...
David Blackman
...
Ben Coogan
...
Eva Brown
Jennifer Edwards ...
Lila
...
Babs
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Storyline

A film-within-a-film: a fading movie producer has a plan for a successful movie: get a actress famous for her wholesome image to appear in the nude on the screen.... much like this film itself. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The director who made the panther pink and taught you to count to 10 coins a new term for comedy See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The S.O.B.  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,446,703 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the famous scene where actress Julie Andrews bares her breasts, comedian Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) thanked Andrews for "showing us that the hills were still alive" referencing Andrews' famous song lyric from The Sound of Music (1965). See more »

Goofs

When the nurse enters the hospital room to give Polly Reed a shot, something falls off the tray she's carrying. See more »

Quotes

Felix Farmer: Can she work?
Dr. Irving Finegarten: Is Batman a transvestite? Who knows? I was specifically requested to alleviate her anxiety. Work was never mentioned.
Felix Farmer: Irving, she's got a very big scene to do!
Sally Miles: [laughing] I'm going to show my boobies. What do you think, Irving, you've seen my boobies. Hmm, are they worth showing?
Dr. Irving Finegarten: Well, since I can only render an evaluation based on a completely impersonal, purely professional examination of the subject, uh, subjects, I would have to say that in my humble opinion you've got a ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Lethal Weapons (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

So True, It's Scary
15 April 2001 | by (Western NY) – See all my reviews

This is a Hollywood movie about Hollywood that was ahead of its time twenty years ago. For people who read their movie reviews from this site, it gives a nice behind-the-scenes twist to what it takes to get what you want in the motion picture business. There are many who felt it was too over-the-top when first released, but as the years go by, it becomes more and more a reflection of how real life is in the dream factory. Back in 1981, there was much less interest among the non-glitterati for what happened to get films made. With the advent of more and more movie magazines trying to dig up dirt on the cogs that turn to keep Tinseltown running, a housewife in Oklahoma can now know the grosses of the latest blockbuster and who stands to gain from them. All this can be gleaned while waiting to check-out at the grocery just by reading the headlines.

The studio owners and their investors are represented well in SOB. From the lowliest security guard to the producers, actors, agents, directors, writers, score composers, costumers and anyone else who is looking to improve their status in the movie biz. Everyone here has an angle, just trying to get through the film they are currently working on, making deals, selling out and generally living day to day and jumping from bedroom to bedroom in an attempt to hold on to what they think is happiness and success. The empty shell of reality is a theme we see throughout this Blake Edwards masterpiece.

The running story behind the main plot concerns an actor, past his marketable prime, who collapses while jogging on a Malibu beach. The callousness of the residents of this community is played for laughs but it is tinged with a knowing wink that this is what becomes of those former stars who have nothing more to give their public. A forgotten actor lay dead in the sand for days while hundreds of people walk by, enjoying the sun, oblivious to this shell of an old man who was once a well-known talent, but is now no longer one of the beautiful people. Yet on this very beach in a later scene, Felix Farmer, the director who is the center of the story tries to kill himself and ends up driving his Cadillac into the Pacific Ocean. Because of the grand spectacle of this possible death, the masses come to the rescue and save him. A quiet humble passing is contrasted with rousing flamboyant suicide attempt and who gets noticed?

The whole movie concerns a very serious frame of reference but the characters surrounding the situation are not playing it straight; they are silly and exasperated. This same plot could have easily been a humorless drama with almost an identical script. A movie costing $30 million, already a pittance by today's standards, flops at the box office and the major players try to turn it to their advantage as best they can. Everyone involved has an axe to grind and the motion picture in question almost becomes a character itself. It prompts greed, jealousy, lust, back-stabbing and even death. It is an evil thing which can engulf those who possess it, as it keeps getting bigger, more expensive and further out of control.

There are some really nasty people here and they do terrible things without conscience. Some do them to make money and fame; others do them for art's sake. But I can't think of a single character who is completely upstanding and righteous, despite their redeemable qualities. The ones we think are heroic and good are just less terrible in comparison with the others. Really thinking about what is being said in this story can make your skin crawl. If it wasn't played for humor the result may have been too horrifying to create, let alone watch.

I don't want to give the impression that I disliked this film. It is right on target. But I have seen it many times and with each viewing, another layer of its veneer slips off and I see the meaning behind the actions and words as presented. If you're really into the goings-on in today's Hollywood, take a look at its past in S.O.B. and maybe you'll think a little bit about what's happening on those sound stages and in those executive meetings behind closed doors. Today, it could have only gotten exponentially worse.


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