What's Up, Doc?
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Too many kooks spoil the comedy soup? Not when BARBRA STREISAND and RYAN O'NEAL lead a madcap cast (including screen-debuting MADELINE KAHN) on a zany quest that's like a classic screwball comedy - only screwier!
The DVD has only 12 minutes of star Barbra Streisand commenting, and most of that is her telling us how much she enjoyed her time, and trying to remember what happened next on screen. But as she states, it's really director Peter Bogdanovich's place to comment on this film. His full-length commentary showcases his low-key charm as he spins stories about the creation of the film including run-ins with Cary Grant and director Howard Hawks (who both knew a thing or two about screwball comedies). Bogdanovich has as many good anecdotes as comments about what gags in the film got a "big laugh." This film looks marvelous in its first widescreen home video presentation and also contains the original, cutely produced, featurette. --Doug Thomas
- Scene specific commentary by Barbra Streisand
- Feature length commentary by director Peter Bogdanovich
- "Screwball Comedies...Remember Them?," a vintage 1972 documentary
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It's hard to believe a movie with this level of brightness and jolliness, but without caustic humor like characterized the Vietnam era, would have been made in 1972. It's truly timeless in that the humor doesn't reflect any particular social attitude or period, except for one derogatory statement about the government in a court scene near the end. Moreover, none of the comedy feels like it's trying to force a laugh on the audience. That's partly because Ryan O'Neal does such an excellent job as the main character whom you're following through the movie. His personality is very enjoyable.
When the comedy in a movie works, you can't explain why; you just know it WORKS. This movie is one of those. It is so natural and refreshing, and repeated viewings never lessen the hilarious impact of the comedy. There is also an excellent audiocommentary by Peter Bogdanovich which is very informative and interesting.
Additionally, What's Up, Doc? has my favorite car chase!!
Having said that -- this movie is worth getting just the same, for a few purposes. First, having been filmed on location in San Francisco -- if you've never visited this town (I was there only once during the 1960s, and it forever left a lasting impression upon my fertile young mind, the streets that seemed to be hanging vertically -- as if all the cars were going to topple backwards off the street - those of you who've visited SF know exactly that feeling) -- this movie is a great introduction to San Francisco's stunning reality, namely, that the entire city is built on the side of a mountain, hanging precariously above the Pacific Ocean.
And so, the chase scenes with the cars racing down the streets (literally downward from top of the hills toward bottom of the hills) - will leave your heart pumping faster than sex -- not to mention the humorous conversation going on all the time during the chase scenes between the girl (Barbra Streisand) and guy (Ryan O'Neil) -- if this doesn't make you howl with laughter, nothing will.
I first saw this movie when it was still in the theaters! -- and recently purchase it on DVD - and guess what? - the thrills, laughter, romance, and high adventure are all STILL THERE -- so I'd recommend this to anyone who needs a rescue from the "blues", "depression", "anger", "stress", or "financial dilemma"; This movie is worth a vacation full of rest, relaxation, laughter, and good times all around. Be kind to yourself, and buy the movie, and see if it isn't true!