What's Up, Doc?

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Released 1972

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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Bogdanovich
Released:
1972
Rating:
G

What's Up, Doc? is a screwball comedy from 1972 starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal. Musicologist Howard Bannister travels to San Francisco with his overbearing fiancee, Eunice Burns, to compete for a lucrative grant against the pompous Hugh Simon. But Howard's carefully controlled life gets complicated when a luggage mix-up at the hotel brings him to the attention of Judy Maxwell. For Judy, it is love at first sight, and the relentless woman will not take no for an answer. But there are three other red plaid travelling bags just like Howard's, and they've all been mixed up, and a lot of people are interested in them and what's inside them...

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (4)

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • It has been suggested that the dishonest, supercilious and generally unpleasant character played by Kenneth Mars - "Hugh Simon" - is a malicious caricature of the film and drama critic John Simon, who had savagely attacked Peter Bogdanovich and Barbra Streisand in his critical writings (as well as many others).

      • The film makes reference to a great many previous movies, sometimes quite obviously - the car chase around San Francisco clearly recalls Bullitt, whilst the relationship between Howard and Judy is, as Peter Bogdanovich openly admitted, based on that between Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby - and sometimes very slyly, as when, at the very beginning, Eunice calls out, "Howard! Howard Bannister!", in a manner recalling Ruth Warrick's calling to her husband (Joseph Cotten) in Journey Into Fear ("Howard! Howard Graham!"). It may very well be that the hero of What's Up, Doc? is named Howard as a tribute to director Howard Hawks, a hero of Bogdanovich's.

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    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    Romantic Comedy, Classics, 70s, Slapstick