What's New, Pussycat?

A most significant film to buffs in that it marks the first time Woody Allen appeared on screen in a script drawn from his own typewriter. Until this time he'd been a successful nightclub and TV variety show comic, and WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? gave a wider audience to his patented neuroses. It's a good example of the "swinging sixties" style under the broad...read more

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A most significant film to buffs in that it marks the first time Woody Allen appeared on screen in a script drawn from his own typewriter. Until this time he'd been a successful nightclub and TV variety show comic, and WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? gave a wider audience to his patented neuroses.

It's a good example of the "swinging sixties" style under the broad direction of Clive Donner, who had begun his career in films as an assistant director. O'Toole, fresh from his triumphs in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and BECKET, shows that he can deliver the goods comedically as well as dramatically;

here he takes the role of a lover of gorgeous women who fears nothing in this world save marriage. Sellers is a freaked-out, Beatle-wigged analyst attempting to help O'Toole deal with his problems but is so lecherous himself that he is of little value to the disturbed O'Toole. Allen is an

intellectual nebbish whose life is a perpetual attempt to learn why he can't attract women.

WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? is a classic comedy of its time and captures the period in sight and sound. It doesn't wear as well as a true classic, though, and many of the gags would feel dated 20 years later. Sets and costumes are superb, as are the scenes at the "Crazy Horse." Burt Bacharach's music

and Hal David's lyrics helped immensely, with the title tune being reaching No. 3 in pop music polls that year. The movie was a box-office success, appealing, no doubt, to those who doubted the sexual "double standard" as well as the Teutonic psychiatrist so aptly portrayed by Sellers. Richard

Burton does a cameo, as does Allen's wife at the time, Louise Lasser. By making O'Toole the editor on a Paris fashion magazine, the tale was able to move with lighting speed and also justify his coming into contact with so many gorgeous women--every man's dream, but most particularly Woody

Allen's.

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