What’s Up Doc? (1972)

 

The problem with telling someone, “I just heard the funniest joke EVER!”, and then telling the joke, is that the expectations are raised so high, it usually falls short.

That being said, What’s Up Doc? is not only One of the Best Movies Ever Made, it is the funniest movie ever made. No question. If you disagree, start your own blog. You can call it, “Why I Think Michael Pippa is Wrong, Even Though He is Right”.

Thanks to the screenwriter (Buck Henry) and director (Peter Bogdanovich) from beginning to end this movie is fun. F-U-N.

It begins with a group of people unknown to each other, staying at the same hotel, four of which have identical plaid overnight bags (plaid is a very funny pattern, in case you haven’t noticed). The four bags contain personal belongings, pre-historic rocks, top-secret government documents, and a fortune in jewelry.

The bags get stolen, found, misplaced, and in the end, chased through the streets of San Francisco, culminating in a riotous courtroom sequence, presided over by Lian Dunn as Judge Maxwell. His eight and one half minute performance is the best in the film. A close second would be Madeline Kahn (in her first movie) as Eunice Burns. She manages to be annoying, sympathetic, and of course, hysterical.

Ryan O’Neil does a great job basing his character on Cary Grant’s in Bringing Up Baby (1938), and Barbara Streisand does a good job basically portraying herself. Her timing is fine, and this movie was made before her ego turned her into a MAPOE (Most Annoying Person On Earth).

Beware. The script is full of lines you will be repeating for days. So watch this with friends, so they’ll understand you. Or don’t, and people will think you’re strange, even though you’re not. Works for me.

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