What's Up, Doc? (1972)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Barbra Streisand - scene specific commentary
Audio Commentary-Peter Bogdanovich (Director)
Featurette-"Screwball Comedies...Remember Them?"
Theatrical Trailer
Awards
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 89:59
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Peter Bogdanovich
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Barbra Streisand
Ryan O'Neal
Madeline Kahn
Kenneth Mars
Austin Pendletone
Michael Murphy
Philip Roth
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Artie Butler


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Spanish
Portuguese
Hebrew
Swedish
Greek
Hungarian
Turkish
Polish
Arabic
Dutch
Romanian
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Judy (Barbra Streisand) is a con artist and a walking accident zone. She is also feisty and knows exactly what she wants. She wanders into a hotel lobby one morning and sets her eyes on Howard (Ryan O’Neal), a musicologist in San Francisco for a conference with his fiancé Eunice (Madeline Kahn). Howard has with him a bag of rocks with musical properties. However, this bag is also identical to another bag full of jewels and another bag containing top secret documents brought by other patrons to the same hotel. When Judy makes the moves on Howard, he initially refuses, but Judy just doubles her efforts. Of course, at the same time, the bags all get mixed up, and we have master criminals and intelligence operatives running back and forth on the 17th floor trying to get the right bag back while Howard tries to keep Judy from his fiancé Eunice and Judy tries to keep Eunice from Howard while she is with him. This all culminates in a rather amusing party scene and a chase through San Francisco.

    What’s Up Doc? is exactly as the promotions people say – a screwball comedy. It’s silly, quirky, totally implausible, but lots of fun in a classic Jerry Lewis kind of way (although nobody could be Jerry other than Jerry). Streisand manages to put in a very amusing performance as the young Judy, but her co-star O’Neal is not as good and she tends to overshadow him a little.

    Still, if you take this for what it is, you should get a good time out of it, and that’s exactly what director Peter Bogdanovich intended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is very close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    For a print this old, this is an exceptional remastering. Colour is rich and vibrant in a way that so many films of the era are not. It positively glows off the screen. Given that this is such a colourful film, this is important.

    The picture is a touch grainy in the background, which merely indicates its age, and the whole thing has a bit of a softness to it, suggesting that it was filmed with a slight filter.

    There were no MPEG artefacts that I could see, but there were a couple of film-to-video artefacts, such as moire on the grille plates on the fronts of cars, and more moire on Howard’s loud pinstripe suit when he turns it to the camera at certain angles. There was the faintest of aliasing here and there but nothing worth making note of.

    As far as film artefacts go, this picture is incredibly clean given its age. There are the odd specks of dirt but nothing distracting like a line down the middle of the screen.

    Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Arabic, and Dutch. They are white with a black border.

    The dual layer pause it is at 46:05 during a fade out and is well camouflaged.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    All audio tracks are in 1.0 Dolby Mono. They come in English, French, German and Italian. There was little discernible quality variance between any of the tracks.

    As for the original English track itself, dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, and I noticed no overt audio sync problems.

    The tone of the track is a little ‘hissy’ overall, but it has a decent range for what it is. The musical score by Artie Butler is well rendered.

    Other than that, this is a monaural experience with no surround information and no subwoofer use. Use your amplifier to listen to the audio in 2.0 Dolby Mono for a slightly better effect.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has the theme from the film playing in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Scene Specific Audio Commentary – Barbra Streisand (Actress)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is a fairly broken up commentary as if Streisand did not have much to say. The disc automatically skips to the next scene she is commentating on, but you cannot fast-forward during those long patches of silence which is a little irritating.

Audio Commentary – Peter Bogdanovich (Director)

    Also presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this commentary is far more interesting, Bogdanovich being a livelier commentator and being far more in the know than Streisand on the making of this film. He rarely shuts up and has many good anecdotes about what went on while on set.

Featurette – “Screwball Comedies ... Remember Them?” (8:38)

    Presented in 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this is a documentary made at the time, on set, which has a few laughs and gags and some interjections by the cast and crew. Whilst not very structured, it is still amusing enough.

Theatrical Trailer (3.38)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this trailer is practically a making of doco in its own right. Whilst not much in the way of promotional material, it is still worth a look.

Awards

    A still frame listing the awards this film received.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can tell, the R1 version is largely identical barring the NTSC/PAL format difference and the region coding.

Summary

    What’s Up Doc? is a classic screwball comedy. While certainly not in the league of The Party or It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, it still remains good for a chuckle and a bit of enjoyment on a Sunday afternoon.

    The video is exceptionally good for a film this old.

    I would have preferred a 2.0 Dolby Mono track rather than a 1.0 Mono track as it would save me switching my amplifier back and forth between modes.

    The extras were pretty good, especially the director’s commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Terry K

Comments (Add)
Worth revisiting for the supporting cast - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)