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What's New Pussycat?

original film poster by Frank Frazetta
Directed by Clive Donner
Richard Talmadge (go-kart sequence)
Produced by Charles K. Feldman
Written by Woody Allen
Starring Peter Sellers
Peter O'Toole
Romy Schneider
Paula Prentiss
Woody Allen
Ursula Andress
Music by Burt Bacharach
Hal David (lyrics)
Cinematography Jean Badal
Editing by Fergus McDonell
Studio Famartists Productions S.A.
Famous Artists Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 22 June 1965
Running time 108 minutes
Country France / United States
Language English

What's New Pussycat? is a 1965 comedy film directed by Clive Donner and starring Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Romy Schneider, Capucine, Paula Prentiss and Ursula Andress. It was Woody Allen's film debut, as well as his first produced script. The Academy Award-nominated title song by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics) was sung by Tom Jones. The movie poster was painted by Frank Frazetta.



Notorious womanizer Michael James (Peter O'Toole) wants to be faithful to his fiancée Carole Werner (Romy Schneider), but every woman he meets seems to fall in love with him, including a neurotic American (Paula Prentiss) and a parachutist who accidentally lands in his car (Ursula Andress). His psychoanalyst, Dr Fassbender (Peter Sellers), cannot help either, since he's stalking one of his patients (Capucine) who in turn longs for Michael. A catastrophe appears on the horizon when all the characters check into a quaint hideaway hotel in the French countryside for the weekend, unaware of each other's presence.


Cast notes

  • Richard Burton has a cameo appearance as a man at the bar in a strip club.


The film was planned to star Warren Beatty – the title was Beatty's way of answering the telephone. However Woody Allen, who had been hired by producer Charles K. Feldman to write the script, began relegating Beatty's character to a secondary role, increasing his own character at Beatty's expense. This led to tension between Beatty and the studio, especially as the screenplay Allen was delivering was considered funnier than the original idea. Eventually, Beatty was forced off his own project by the little-known Allen. Because of their feud, Allen and Beatty never worked together again. Coincidentally, both had long and significant relationships with the same woman, Diane Keaton, at different times.

Groucho Marx was to play Dr Fassbender in the Beatty version.

The movie was filmed in and around Paris between October 1964 and January 1965, and released in New York on 22 June 1965. It opened in Paris in January 1966 as "Quoi de neuf, Pussycat?". The total box office was $8.469[1] to $8.7[2] million.

In addition to the title theme, other songs featured were Here I Am by Dionne Warwick and My Little Red Book performed by Manfred Mann.


In 1965, Burt Bacharach and Hal David were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song for the title song. Woody Allen was nominated for a WGA Award for "Best Written Screen Comedy" in 1966.


  • The Times, 2nd September 1965 & 6th September 1966

External links

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