Edit
What About Bob? (1991) Poster

Trivia

The vacation house where this was filmed was actually in Virginia on Smith Mountain Lake.
Jump to: Spoilers (2)
According to interviews, both of the film's lead stars, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss, admit that they both did not get along during the movie's filming. This has been said to have contributed to the film as the characters they play become antagonists.
When Fay Marvin was tucking in Bob and her son Sigmund, on the night of the Bob sleepover, she holds the sheets up to allow Bob to climb into his bed. Bill Murray improvises in the scene and comedically crawls under the sheets head first, cracking up actress Julie Hagerty.
Robin Williams was the first choice for the role of Bob Wiley, as he had just starred in an Oscar nominated performance two years earlier in screenwriter Tom Schulman's Dead Poets Society (1989), also distributed by Touchstone Pictures. However at the time filming was to begin for this movie, Williams had just barely finished filming The Fisher King (1991), and he was forced to turn down the role. Williams and Charlie Korsmo, who plays Richard Dreyfuss's son in this movie would go on to star in Steven Spielberg's Hook later the same year.
Director Frank Oz wanted Patrick Stewart to play Dr. Leo Marvin, which in the end was cast with Richard Dreyfuss.
Julie Hagerty is only ten years older than Kathryn Erbe, who played her daughter Anna Marvin.
Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) is a psychiatrist whose childrens' names are "Anna" and "Sigmund". They are named respectively after the very famous psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his daughter, child psychologist Anna Freud.
Richard Dreyfuss in an article published on 8th October 2009 by Nathan Rabin in 'The A.V. Club' said of this film : "How about it? Funny movie. Terribly unpleasant experience. We didn't get along, me and Bill Murray. But I've got to give it to him: I don't like him, but he makes me laugh even now. I'm also jealous that he's a better golfer than I am. It's a funny movie. No one ever comes up to you and says, 'I identify with the patient'. They always say, 'I have patients like that. I identify with your character'. No one ever says that they're willing to identify with the other character".
The asylum where Dr. Marvin tries to have Bob committed, is actually the Elks' National Home in the City of Bedford in Bedford County, Virginia. It is locally known because every Christmas the front lawn is lit with thousands of Christmas lights and draws nearly 100,000 spectators from the surrounding areas.
Star Bill Murray said of this film as published in 'Entertainment Weekly' on 19th March 1993: "It's entertaining - everybody knows somebody like that Bob guy. [Richard Dreyfuss and I] didn't get along on the movie particularly, but it worked for the movie. I mean, I drove him nuts, and he encouraged me to drive him nuts".
At the age of twenty-six, Kathryn Erbe played Anna Marvin, the teenage daughter of Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss).
The two buildings shown when Bob arrives at the Lake from New York are in Moneta, Virginia near Smith Mountain Lake. The blue building really was a general store and coffee shop. The red building that was used as the bus station in the movie, is in real life a produce warehouse called Moneta Produce.
Garry Marshall was considered to direct prior to Frank Oz being hired.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Woody Allen was suggested for the role of Dr. Leo Marvin which in the end was cast with Richard Dreyfuss.
The picture was "originally discussed as a pairing of Bill Murray and Woody Allen" according to show-business trade-paper 'Variety'.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture is ranked at the No. #43 spot on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies" list.
In a 2000 interview with IGN, director Frank Oz recalled that "...it was a tense time [shooting the film] because [Bill Murray]...and the writer and the producer...and Richard Dreyfuss...and me...and Disney (although less so Disney, I must say they were more supportive)...all had our view on how to make the script better. It wasn't out of mean-spiritedness, it was just that everybody felt strongly about how to make the movie better. That caused friction and a lot of tension, and that's what I remember, but it also caused the movie to be better. It turned out okay, I think."
The picture was the 19th ranked box-office hit of 1991 in the U.S..
Both Tom Aldredge (Mr. Guttman), and Aida Turturro (the prostitute), would later appear on HBO's hit series "The Sopranos", as Hugh de Angelis and Janice Soprano, respectively.
Woody Allen and Patrick Stewart were both considered to play psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Final credited theatrical feature film of actor Roger Bowen.
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The psychiatric diagnosis of Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) diagnosed by psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) was "multi-phobic personality characterized by acute separation anxiety and extreme need for family connections".
According to show-business trade paper 'The Hollywood Reporter', in an article "Richard Dreyfuss Sues Disney Over 'What About Bob? (1991)'", the star filed suit against the studio because 'according to a complaint filed on Thursday [09/04/2015] in [the] LA {Los Angeles] Superior Court, Disney has refused a demand by Dreyfuss . . . to hire their chosen auditor - Robinson Inc., founded by David J. Robinson''. The article goes on to say: "In a potentially watershed case from attorney Neville Johnson, the complaint lays out how profit participation auditors are called upon to find monies due to profit participants and how studios are 'make auditing as onerous as possible'. Often, when big stars do battle with studios over auditing, it never gets reported publicly because of confidentiality agreements and disputes adjudicated in closed door arbitration. According to the lawsuit, the arbitrators don't wish to upset the studios for fear of losing repeat business. 'It's a one-sided world where corporations assert their control over talent who do not have the leverage to otherwise protect themselves'."
8 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At one point in the film's development, "Woody Allen was considered, in that he could do triple duty as star, director, and possibly co-writer, if he can arrange for some freedom from his exclusive deal with Orion Pictures", according to Leonard Klady in the June 25, 1989 edition of The Los Angeles Times. Woody Allen turned down the co-starring role of the psychiatrist in this film, did not direct, nor co-write it either.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At one point in the picture, Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) thinks Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) is in Martha's Vineyard. Martha's Vineyard was the key filming location posing as Amity Island in the blockbuster movie Jaws (1975) which co-starred Dreyfuss.
The movie's trailer features shots and footage that don't appear in the final finished film.
6 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Chevy Chase, Kevin Kline and James Caan were considered for the role of Dr. Leo Marvin.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Three minor cast members in this film have appeared on PBS children's shows: Marcella Lowery (Ghostwriter (1992)), Reg E. Cathey (Square One Television (1987)) and Fran Brill (Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow (1983)). Director Frank Oz himself was a member of Jim Henson's team of Muppeteers on PBS' Sesame Street, operating and voicing such beloved characters as Bert, Grover and Cookie Monster (amongst many others).
Richard Dreyfuss and Charlie Korsmo were in 4 movies directed by Steven Spielberg. Korsmo would appear in Hook (1991). Dreyfuss had appeared in Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Always (1989).
6 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Debut writing credit of producer Laura Ziskin who was co-credited for the movie's story.
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Of the two pictures released in 1991 where Laura Ziskin acted as a producer, both featured medical practitioners, this film featured Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss), whilst in the other movie, William Hurt portrayed The Doctor (1991) Jack MacKee.
4 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Both Kathryn Erbe and Reg E. Cathey would later have roles in the HBO prison drama, "Oz," Erbe as a death-row inmate and Cathey as one of the wardens.
2 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to show-business trade-paper Variety, star "Richard Dreyfuss generally repeats the role he played in Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)" which was also produced by the Touchstone Pictures division of the Walt Disney Studios.
1 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The film's closing epilogue states: "Bob [Bill Murray] went back to school and became a psychologist. He then wrote a best seller: 'DEATH THERAPY'. Leo [Richard Dreyfuss] is suing him for the rights". Years later, Dreyfuss would sue the Walt Disney Pictures Studio over the picture's profit participation auditing.
A TV Spot had an alternative reaction from Bob when Leo's house exploded. Instead of "Oops"...he yells with a smile, "Oh, my God, your house!"
8 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page