June 22, 2008

Movie Sunday: What's Up, Doc?

Yeah, another of my favorite movies. :) What's Up, Doc?, released in 1972, is actually a remake of another great movie, Bringing Up Baby (1938), which starred Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. This movie was the film debut for the great Madeline Kahn, who did a terrific job as Howard Bannister's (Ryan O'Neal) fiancé, Eunice Burns. Barbra Streisand actually didn't want to do the movie at first, and predicted it would be a flop. We're very fortunate she was wrong.

  • The fender bender Judy (Barbra Streisand) causes as she crosses the street to the Bristol Hotel was added on the spur of the moment. When no stunt cars were available, Bogdanovich instructed a crew member to rent two cars and make sure he got collision insurance. Then he staged the wreck before returning the battered cars.
  • It took a month to film the final chase scene (the second clip, below), and it cost $1 million - a quarter of the total budget. The segment with the giant pane of glass alone took four or five days.
  • The director, Peter Bogdanovich, didn't get permission from the city of San Francisco to drive cars down the concrete steps in Alta Plaza Park; these were badly damaged during filming and still show the scars today.
  • The long-haired blond delivery boy whose bike Judy steals is played by Kevin O'Neal, Ryan O'Neal's brother. The woman she sits next to on the plane in the final scene is Patricia O'Neal, their mother.
  • The line, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard," said by Ryan O'Neal (see the bottom quotation) is actually a spoof on O'Neal's 1970 movie, Love Story, the tag line of which is "Love means never having to say you're sorry" (which O'Neal said in that movie).

    Fritz: You will enter Mrs. Van Hoskins' room, through the adjoining room and you will take the jewel case to the basement.

    Harry: What if she wakes up and sees me?

    Fritz: You will tell her you are smitten with her, that you have have followed her all night, and you will make passionate love to her.

    Harry: Couldn't I just kill her?

    Judy: Love means never having to say you're sorry.

    Howard: That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.
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