Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's Up Doc?

Hmmm, I missed tooting my own horn about my 100th post!  This is post #105.  Over three months and I am still posting daily.  There are a lot of Bit Part Actors and Actresses!  I may cut back to every other day, or four times a week in the future, but for now I will continue daily.

1972 was the release of a Peter Bogdanovich comedy called What's Up Doc? starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.  O'Neal was two years past his big hit, Love Story.  (He drove a nice MG TC in that one!)  It's a shame to see his name in the news and all his problems.

What's Up Doc? is a throwback to the slapstick comedies of the early days of film making.  Lot's of prat falls, things breaking, and car accidents.  It would have looked right at home if it were shot on black and white.

That kind of movie calls for a certain kind of talent in the bit parts.  People who can fall down and not get hurt!  The full cast list on IMDb shows thirty stunt people.

Some of the actors were probably cast on location in San Francisco.  There is a pizza maker in a shop window played by Chuck Holison (or Chuck Hollom as he was credited) and this is his only credit.  There are actually quite a few who only made one or two movies.  Ryan O'Neal's mother, Patricia, and his brother, Kevin, also appear in small parts.

Jack Perkins (1921 - 1998) was a jewel thief, well...he played a jewel thief.  Perkins has 80 acting roles plus he was a stunt man.  Most of his work was on TV, but he appeared in other comedies such as The Love Bug (1968), Blazing Saddles (1974), and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979); plus some horror films that were not very good, including Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973).

We see veteran actor Randy Quaid in his fourth film, in a small bit part here.  But the real treasures in What's Up Doc? are Liam Dunn (72 lifetime roles) as the judge and Barbra Streisand's father, Sorrell Booke (117 roles) as Harry the burglar, Kenneth Mars (196 roles) as a musicologist, Graham Jarvis (124 roles) as the bailiff, and Austin Pendleton (116 roles) as the rich financier.  These guys add depth to the movie with their experience and Bogdanovich's directing.

I rate this movie as a must see, at least once, and if you like slapstick, it is worth seeing every five years or so!


  1. "I rate this movie as a must see, at least once, and if you like slapstick, it is worth seeing every five years or so!"

    Yes, absolutely! Thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks, Juan. I actually watch it more freqently than that, but I have an addiction...


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