What's New Pussycat?
|What's New Pussycat?|
Theatrical release poster by Frank Frazetta
|Directed by||Clive Donner
Richard Talmadge (go-kart sequence)
|Produced by||Charles K. Feldman|
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Music by||Burt Bacharach
Hal David (lyrics)
|Editing by||Fergus McDonell|
|Studio||Famartists Productions S.A.
Famous Artists Productions
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||108 minutes|
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.
The film is set in France. 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). 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.
- Peter Sellers as Dr. Fritz Fassbender
- Peter O'Toole as Michael James
- Romy Schneider as Carole Werner
- Capucine as Renée Lefebvre
- Paula Prentiss as Liz Bien
- Woody Allen as Victor Shakapopulis
- Ursula Andress as Rita, the parachutist
- Michel Subor as Philippe
- Edra Gale as Anna Fassbender, Dr. Fassbender's wife
- Katrin Schaake as Jacqueline
- Eléonore Hirt as Mrs. Sylvia Werner, Carole's mother
- Jean Parédès as Marcel, Renée's husband
- Jacques Balutin as Etienne
- Jess Hahn as Mr. Werner, Carole's father
- Howard Vernon as Doctor
- Françoise Hardy as Mayor's assistant
- Sabine Sun as Nurse
- Nicole Karen as Tempest
- Jacqueline Fogt as Charlotte
- Daniel Emilfork as Gas Station Man
- Tanya Lopert as Miss Lewis
- Barbara Somers as Miss Marks
- Robert Rollis as Car Renter
- Annette Poivre as Emma
- 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 $8.469 to $8.7 million.
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