Review: ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’

A zany, laugh-filled story of two modern NY kooks who find love at the end of trail of hilarious incidents.

A zany, laugh-filled story of two modern NY kooks who find love at the end of trail of hilarious incidents.

Bill Manhoff’s 1954 play, adapted here by Buck Henry, has been altered in that, as originally cast, one of the principals was white, the other black (on Broadway, Alan Alda and Diana Sands). Here it’s two Bronx-Brooklyn Caucasian types, with Barbra Streisand giving it a Jewish Jean Arthur treatment and George Segal as an amiable, low-key foil.

The story is basically that of the out-of-work quasi-model and the struggling writer who cut up and down apartment corridors and in public to the astonishment of all others.

Streisand is a casual hooker, who first confronts Segal after he has finked on her activities to building superintendent Jacques Sandulescu. Their harangues then shift to apartment of buddy Robert Klein who decides it is better to leave with gal Evelyn Lang than lie awake listening.

One of her old scores turns out to be Jack Manning, Segal’s intended father-in-law, but that plot turn blows up his affair and leads into the excellent climax we have been waiting for.

The Owl and the Pussycat

Production

Columbia. Director Herbert Ross; Producer Ray Stark; Screenplay Buck Henry; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor Margaret Booth; Music Richard Halligan; Art Director Robert Wightman

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Barbra Streisand George Segal Robert Klein Allen Garfield Roz Kelly Jacques Sandulescu

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