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WHAT’S NEW, PUSSYCAT?

              

For Hicksflicks.com, Aug. 22, 2014

After finding success and fame as a stand-up comic and TV personality, Woody Allen wrote a screenplay and included a supporting role for himself. But he was disappointed in the outcome and decided to forever after direct his own scripts.

Some of us, however, have a fondness for "What's New, Pussycat?" (1965). Guilty pleasure, perhaps? It's a flawed but often hilarious manic exercise in madness with an all-star cast, and Allen's zany performance is one of its linchpins.

This admittedly somewhat dated bedroom farce has received a new Blu-ray upgrade on the Kino Lorber label and looks quite spiffy, and central stars Peter O'Toole and Peter Sellers deliver very funny performances. Set and filmed in Paris, the film also takes wonderful advantage of location shooting.

 

Woody Allen, Romy Schneider, Peter O'Toole; Sellers and O'Toole

O'Toole plays a fashion editor, a notorious ladies man who is now trying to remain faithful to his fiancée (Romy Schneider) — but other women keep throwing themselves at him and he's finding them difficult to resist.

So he goes to a psychoanalyst (Peter Sellers), who enjoys, perhaps a bit too much, hearing about O'Toole's exploits. Sellers, who is crazier than any of his patients, is aggressively pursuing one of his patients (Capucine), who just happens to be chasing O'Toole, along with Paula Prentiss and Ursula Andress. Allen has a sidekick role and gives himself some of the best lines.

The still-familiar "What's New, Pussycat?" title song was a big hit for Tom Jones and it helps set the tone and pace for the '60s hippy-dippy proceedings, especially in the nightclub sequence.

             

"What's New, Pussycat?? is  nonsensical, full of non-sequiturs and sight gags, and the frenetic pace will keep you alert, even when some of the gags fall flat.