6.7/10
2,777
35 user 11 critic

The Owl and the Pussycat (1970)

A stuffy author enters into an explosive relationship with his neighbor, a foul-mouthed, freewheeling prostitute.

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writers:

Bill Manhoff (play), Buck Henry (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbra Streisand ... Doris
George Segal ... Felix
Robert Klein ... Barney
Allen Garfield ... Dress Shop Proprietor
Roz Kelly ... Eleanor
Jacques Sandulescu Jacques Sandulescu ... Rapzinsky
Jack Manning Jack Manning ... Mr. Weyderhaus
Grace Carney Grace Carney ... Mrs. Weyderhaus
Barbara Anson Barbara Anson ... Miss Weyderhaus
Kim Chan ... Theatre Cashier
Stan Gottlieb Stan Gottlieb ... Coatcheck Man
Joe Madden Joe Madden ... Old Man Neighbor
Fay Sappington Fay Sappington ... Old Woman Neighbor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marilyn Chambers ... 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 Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a neighboring flat takes the occasional payment for sex.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

Taglines:

it's no longer a story for children. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Movie Channel [us

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El búho y la gatita See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$23,681,338
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original version of the film is said to have included some nude scenes with Barbra Streisand and the line "Do us a favor and just fuck off". Apparently, Streisand changed her mind about the nude scenes and they were cut and destroyed. The line with the F-word however stayed intact. For the American release DVD, Columbia chose to remove this line of dialogue. See more »

Goofs

The binoculars in Doris's hand turn around between shots. See more »

Quotes

Doris: [to Felix through the door] Swear! Swear that you are just a little fruit all alone in the hall.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Rated "R" in the U.S. in 1970, film was recut and re-rated "PG" for a 1972 release. See more »

Connections

Edited into Sex: The Revolution (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Warmup
(uncredited)
Performed by Blood Sweat & Tears
See more »

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User Reviews

BEST OF 1970 #10- a romantic comedy done right
6 July 2002 | by KatmissSee 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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