Way...Way Out

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Way...Way Out
Waywayout.jpg
Directed byGordon Douglas
Produced byMalcolm Stuart
Written byWilliam Bowers
Laslo Vanday
StarringJerry Lewis
Connie Stevens
Robert Morley
Dick Shawn
Anita Ekberg
James Brolin
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • October 21, 1966 (1966-10-21)
Running time
106 minutes
LanguageEnglish
Budget$2,955,000[1]
Box office$1.2 million (est. U.S./Canada rentals)[2]
361,933 admissions (France)[3]

Way...Way Out is a 1966 American sex comedy film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Malcolm Stuart, directed by Gordon Douglas, that stars Jerry Lewis. The film, released on October 21, 1966, was both a critical and commercial flop, recouping less than half of its production budget.[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

The year is 1989, and the United States continues to be engaged in a Space Race with the Soviet Union.

The two male astronauts manning the U.S. weather station on the Moon, Hoffman and Schmidlap, are suffering the effects of their long stay in space and need to be relieved, as Schmidlap regularly ties up Hoffman and has even knocked out his two front teeth. The sex-starved Schmidlap sits around drawing lewd pictures of naked women.

Mr. Quonset, the head of NAWA, is concerned that the situation with Hoffman and Schmidlap threatens to become an embarrassment to the agency. Furthermore, the Soviets have taken a step forward in the space race by placing the first (unmarried) male/female couple on the Moon. Quonset decides the United States should place the first married couple in space.

With the next NAWA space launch looming, the newlywed astronauts scheduled for the mission, Ted and Peggy, split after Ted is surprised by the expectedly normal events of a wedding night (“you should hear what she wanted to do”). Quonset quickly turns to Peter Mattemore and Eileen Forbes, unmarried astronauts who have been at NAWA for years without having flown a mission. Forbes agrees to the marriage on the condition that they be married in name only, and their vows are exchanged as they are rushed up the gantry for their space launch.

When they arrive on the Moon, they receive regular visits from the Russian astronauts, Anna Soblova and Igor Baklenikov, living at the nearby Soviet lunar station. Antics ensue with vodka pill parties and the men preening for their beautiful female companions. The Soviets are suspected of trying to sabotage the American space station, but they are soon vindicated.

Anna tricks Igor into marrying her by declaring she is pregnant, having gotten the idea for this from Eileen. The wedding is broadcast via satellite to the entire planet, with Peter acting as best man and Eileen as maid of honor.

The media pick up on the Soviets will achieve having the first baby born on the Moon. Mr. Quonset tells his married astronauts of his unhappiness with the Soviets having scored this crucial first in the Space Race, insinuating that this is because Peter is less virile than Igor and Eileen less sexy than Anna. Stung by this, Eileen declares she is just as pregnant as Anna, delighting Mr. Quonset. After ending the call with Quonset, Eileen tells the startled Peter she's just as pregnant as Anna because Anna isn't pregnant at all. The two have truly fallen in love, and Eileen suggests they could make her pregnancy assertion retroactively true. They are just initiating this project as the story ends.

Cast[edit]

The narrator is John "Shorty" Powers, who had been NASA's mission commentator for Project Mercury. Brian Keith has a cameo as General "Howling Bull" Hallenby. Early on in the film, James Brolin and Linda Harrison appear as battling newlyweds who are refusing to go on the Moon mission together. Following this film, Brolin and Harrison would also be part of a make-up test (with Charlton Heston) pitching the first "Planet Of The Apes" film to 20th Century Fox. Harrison would go on to be cast as the human "Nova", but Brolin would not be in the film or the sequels that followed.

Production[edit]

Filming[edit]

Way...Way Out was filmed from January 24-March 30, 1966.

Music[edit]

The title song is performed by Gary Lewis & the Playboys, led by Lewis' son, Gary.

Political references[edit]

The 1966 film includes a 1989 futuristic TV news report where Southern politicians are still struggling with the civil rights and politician Richard Nixon plans to come out of retirement to reunite the Republican Party.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p254
  2. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
  3. ^ Jerry Lewis films French box office information at Box Office Story

External links[edit]