What's Up, Doc?

1972, Movie, G, 94 mins


Peter Bogdanovich's attempt to revive the screwball comedy genre is more imitation than homage, especially if you've seen the Howard Hawks classic BRINGING UP BABY. Still, the film has plenty of good 1930s slapstick and cartoon humor to hold your attention and to justify Bugs Bunny's famed opening line (which serves as the title) and Porky Pig's equally famed closing: "Th-th-that's all, folks!" Ryan O'Neal, a clumsy, shy professor from Iowa, hopes to win a $20,000 fellowship in musicology. He carries some ancient rocks in a plaid suitcase; the rocks demonstrate his theory on music's prehistoric origins. O'Neal arrives at a San Francisco hotel with his fiancee, Kahn (in her film debut), while other guests with identical suitcases, including the breezy Streisand, are also checking in. Naturally, the suitcases get hopelessly mixed up--a daffy coincidence leading to countless comic scenes. While WHAT'S UP, DOC? may not be as great as the classic screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s, director Bogdanovich has delivered a film with energy, wit, and a madcap pace that is well worth watching. leave a comment

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