Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Barbra Streisand
Ryan O'Neal
Kenneth Mars
Austin Pendleton
Madeline Kahn.
Directors
Peter Bogdanovich.
Screenwriters
Peter Bogdanovich
Buck Henry
David Newman
Robert Benton.
Running Time
94 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Pheonix
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
5 Star Empire Rating

What's Up Doc?
Bringing up Barbara


submit to reddit


Plot
Dippy, unsatisfied music expert Howard Bannister comes to San Francisco with his bossy fiancé. Here he meets Judy Maxwell, a college drop-out and whirlwind of a girl, and love, theft, conspiracy and all round chaos soon ensue.


Review

The then hot director Peter Bogdanovich had landed himself a studio deal to make a movie with then hot stars Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. What he didn’t have was a hot script. Or any script at all. So, he called screenwriters David Henry and Robert Benton (hot off Bonnie And Clyde) with the simple request that they provide him with a modern version of screwball classic Bringing Up Baby.
 
They come fairly close. With Bogdanovich directing with a lovely lightness of touch against a sunlit San Francisco (the perfect location for romantic comedies), and Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal while never finding the sparkling energy of Katharine Hepburn and the prim exasperation of Cary Grant, working up a kooky charm more befitting of the hippy-era of the early ‘70s. Again, the pitch is the robust and amorous woman aiming to snare a shrinking violet of the male species. Streisand’s Judy is part libertine, part nutcase, and alarmingly sexual, the actress never ever been so alive on the screen. O’Neal’s doc is a music geek after a grant, his natural good looks and effervescence corseted by Bannister’s frazzled over-education and self-importance.
 

For the plot to crackle with necessary screwballing mania, the script tosses up first Madeleine Kahn’s controlling fiancé Eunice as rival, then jewel thefts, matching luggage (yes, that staple) secret papers, prehistoric rocks and, of course, a grand chase sequence (de rigueur for San Fran) as well as a fabulous sequence at a banquet which the leads play under the table. Bogdanovich is busily paying reference to all his favourite flavours of humour efficiently packing them into the brief 94 minutes, hurtling from buffoonery and slapstick, to impersonations and word-play, and lets Babs have the one song to smooch up a romantic moment. It’s never quite as tight or fierce as the original screwballers, but is fizzy and loveable and always worth watching.


Verdict
Trying too hard and generally too trying. Seek out Howard Hawke's Bringing up Baby instead and be done with it.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Who Is The Vision, Anyway?
An introduction to Avengers: Age Of Ultron's newest addition

Jenny Agutter: Role by Role
From Tin to Captain America to The Railway Children

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for iced tea

Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The showrunner on The Beatles and that lawnmower

Empire's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Our verdict on what could be the biggest film of the year...

The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)