WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT? (1965) – TWO PETERS, ONE WOODY should probably have been the title of this blog post. Peter O’Toole, Peter Sellers and Woody Allen starred in this brazen (for its day) sex comedy set in Paris during the Swinging Sixties.
Woody penned his first original screenplay for this movie and by many accounts was not happy with the way writers were so often the doormats of the film industry. The big name stars and starlets had the power to demand script changes which favored the characters they portrayed and which often diluted the thrust (as it were) of Allen’s satire about the breaking of sexual taboos.
The end result is still hailed for its pioneering depiction of promiscuity in a major studio release. The relaxing of cinematic standards permitted What’s New Pussycat? to be bolder and kinkier than any pre-1965 production could have been. Compared to films of the past 55 years, however, it often seems as mild and self-consciously “zany” as an episode of Three’s Company, which was daring for television of the 1970s but certainly not today.
Peter Sellers is top-billed and looks like he’s cosplaying as Mayim Bialik from The Big Bang Theory in his portrayal of German psychiatrist Fritz Fassbender. Sellers is more annoying than anything else in this role with the vaudeville level German accent he puts on as Fassbender. The psychiatrist frequently cheats on his rotund wife with his patients. Continue reading