What's New Pussycat?

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What's New Pussycat?
Whats new pussycat.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Frank Frazetta
Directed by Clive Donner
Richard Talmadge (go-kart sequence)
Produced by Charles K. Feldman
Written by Woody Allen
Starring Peter Sellers
Peter O'Toole
Romy Schneider
Paula Prentiss
Woody Allen
Ursula Andress
Music by Burt Bacharach
Hal David (lyrics)
Cinematography Jean Badal
Editing by Fergus McDonell
Studio Famartists Productions S.A.
Famous Artists Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • June 2, 1965 (1965-06-02)
Running time 108 minutes
Country France
United States
Language English
Box office $18,820,000[1]

What's New Pussycat? is a 1965 comedy film directed by Clive Donner and starring Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Romy Schneider, Capucine, Paula Prentiss and Ursula Andress. It was Woody Allen's film debut in his first produced script. The Academy Award-nominated title song by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics) was sung by Tom Jones. The movie poster was painted by Frank Frazetta, and the animated title sequence was directed by Richard Williams.


Notorious womanizer Michael James (Peter O'Toole) wants to be faithful to his fiancée Carole Werner (Romy Schneider), but every woman he meets seems to fall in love with him, including a neurotic American (Paula Prentiss) and a parachutist (Ursula Andress) who accidentally lands in his car (1936-37 Singer 9 Le Mans).[2][3] His psychoanalyst, Dr. Fassbender (Peter Sellers), cannot help, since he's stalking a patient (Capucine) who in turn longs for Michael. A catastrophe appears on the horizon when all the characters check into a quaint hideaway hotel in the French countryside for the weekend, unaware of each other's presence.


Cast notes[edit]

  • Richard Burton has a cameo appearance as a man at the bar in a strip club.


Originally, Warren Beatty was to star in the film. The title was derived from Beatty's way of answering the telephone. However, Woody Allen, hired by producer Charles K. Feldman to write the script, began relegating Beatty's character to a secondary role, expanding his character at Beatty's expense. This created tension between Beatty and the studio, especially since Allen's screenplay was considered much funnier than the original idea. Eventually, Beatty was forced off the project by little-known Allen. Allen and Beatty never worked together again.

Groucho Marx was to have played Dr. Fassbender in the Beatty version.

The film was shot in and around Paris between October 1964 and January 1965 and released in New York on 22 June 1965. It opened in Paris in January 1966 as Quoi de neuf, Pussycat?. The total box office take was $18,820,000.[4]

In addition to the title theme, songs featured were "Here I Am" by Dionne Warwick and "My Little Red Book" performed by Manfred Mann.


In 1965, Burt Bacharach and Hal David were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song for the title song. Woody Allen was nominated for a WGA Award for "Best Written Screen Comedy" in 1966.


External links[edit]