Review: What’s New, Pussycat (1965)


Directed by: Clive Donner | 108 minutes | comedy | Actors: Peter Sellers, Peter O’Toole, Romy Schneider, Capucine, Paula Prentiss, Woody Allen, Ursula Andress, Edra Gale, Katrin Schaake, Eléonore Hirt, Jean Parédès, Jacques Balutin, Jess Hahn, Howard Vernon, Michel Subor, Nicole Karen , Jacqueline Fogt, Tanya Lopert, Barbara Somers, Annette Poivre

From his earliest childhood, women have been falling in love with Michael James and he has always liked that. As editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine in Paris, he cannot escape the many feminine beauty at work, but the women he meets in other places also want to make love to him right away. No problem for the woman crazy Michael. Except that his girlfriend Carole, the first woman he loves dearly, insists on marrying him. Michael wants to prevent that he will be unfaithful to Carole after the wedding and therefore prefers to refrain from this permanent bond altogether. At the same time, he does not want to lose her and therefore goes to therapy with Dr. Fritz Fassbender who heals patients with the help of unorthodox therapies. Hopefully he can cure Michael for the arrival of Carole’s parents who want nothing more than to have their daughter marry Michael.

The film bears the distinct signature of Woody Allen, who is making his feature film debut here. His scenario is still unpolished and at times too farcical, for example the hiding party in a closet for a deceived husband in search of a wife and cheater, and sometimes too long-winded, but most of the time it is a witty, exuberant farce with absurd dialogues. Michael enters Dr. Fassbender at a striptease club and Fassbender claims he is only there because he followed Michael as part of therapy. Michael asks how it is possible that Fassbender got there before he was. Fassbender thinks for a moment and then says he followed him very quickly. Bland, but fun.

Very funny is Peter Sellers who looks like a beatnik with a long-haired wig and glasses and puts out the most idiotic and silly lyrics in a very witty way. He shouts to his wife that she is a monster and a monster in that order. Another funny character is Liz Bien (Paula Prentiss) who keeps on attempting suicide and receives a gift from the hospital staff the umpteenth time her stomach is pumped. Also the role of Romy Schneider as the lovely Carole who bursts out in a huge rant every time she’s angry is fun, especially when she incites the scrawny Woody Allen to defend her honor against the huge bully in front of her. a collection of Shelley’s poems.

“What’s New, Pussycat” is an exuberant comedy that is sometimes too long-winded and all too crazy, but above all very witty. The title song by Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David, responsible for an impressive series of mega hits sung by Dionne Warwick, who is endowed with a beautiful voice, is just like the film nicely turned on, a bit farcical and thanks to the sensual voice of Tom Jones an unrelenting sing-along. that will keep you smiling for days.

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