what's up, doc?

the year: 1972

the genre: comedy

the cast: Barbra Streisand (Judy Maxwell); Ryan O’Neal (Dr. Howard Bannister); Madeline Kahn (Eunice Burns); Kenneth Mars (Hugh Simon); Austin Pendleton (Frederick Larrabee)

the plot: Mild mannered Dr. Howard Bannister is a professor of musicology at the Ames Conservatory of Music in Ames, Iowa. With his straight laced and controlling fiancée Eunice Burns, Howard is in San Francisco to attend the Congress of American Musicologists convention hosted by Frederick Larrabee. The Larrabee Foundation has shortlisted two finalists for the $20,000 Larrabee Grant - Howard, whose research involves prehistoric man making music with igneous rocks, and pompous Hugh Simon. Howard's life in San Francisco is turned upside down when he meets Judy Maxwell, a klutzy, directionless but brilliant young woman whose life is spent studying at one educational institution after another - her stint at each being until she's kicked out. It's love at first sight for Judy, who does whatever she can to push herself into Howard's life. Further complications ensue as Howard, Judy, wealthy Mrs. Van Hoskins and reporter Mr. Smith all have identical red plaid overnight bag respectively carrying Howard's igneous rocks, Judy's clothes, Mrs. Van Hoskins jewels and top secret government documents - being eyed by others who want to get there hands on the contents.

count: the look-alike suitcases.

don’t miss: who is Hugh in the courtroom scene.

check out: Madeline Kahn’s debut.

listen for: “Don’t you know the meaning of propriety?” “Propriety; noun: conformity to established standards of behavior or manner, suitability, rightness, or justice. See ‘etiquette’.”

did you know: The fender bender Judy causes as she crosses the street to the Bristol Hotel was added on the spur of the moment. When no stunt cars were available, Peter 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.

also listen for: “Eunice? That's a person named Eunice?”

extra bonus points: if you know why Howard Bannister’s reply of, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard" to Judy’s "Love means never having to say you're sorry" is so funny.


Erika said...

This movie has my favorite use of "charm." I've often wanted to "use (my) charm" in a like manner. :)

Laney said...

I totally second Erika's comment! It's one of the best parts of the movie.

And the bonus -- it's mocking Love Story.

Millie Motts said...


And Correct!

Aubree Legler said...

I haven't seen it in years, but I remember by the end wanting to use my "charm" on Barbara Streissand -- Scott