One of the funniest films ever made, ‘What’s Up, Doc?’, features Barbra Streisand playing Bugs Bunny playing a mischievous student, who has a degree in being expelled.
The plot is kicked off by four identical carpet bags being carried in San Francisco by four very different people.
One contains Judy Maxwell’s (Streisand’s) clothes, one contains top secret documents, another has valuable jewellery, and the fourth has rocks which its owner believes prove that ancient man may have used rocks to create music.
The carriers of all four cases are staying at the San Francisco Hilton and - believe it or not! - the cases get mixed up.
The rocks are owned by Howard Bannister (Ryan O’Neal), who is accompanied by his fiance, Eunice (Madeline Kahn), a lady whose personality makes dirty dishwater exciting by comparison.
The rocks are in town to compete for a huge grant offered by Frederick Larrabee (Austin Pendleton).
Howard’s rival for the grant is a gloriously OTT Eastern European, Hugh Simon (Kenneth Mars), who is so pompous that he out-pomps pomp.
Judy sets her sights on Howard, initially in a drug store where every time Howard looks at a shelf, Judy is at the other side, grinning at him. Very Bugs Bunny!
Wherever Judy goes, disasters follow,from burning hotel rooms to car crashes.
The funniest sequence in the film is the chase on the city’s hills, which includes numerous cars, a Chinese procession during which the massive dragon becomes animated due to an ice cream vending bicycle (ridden by the fleeing Judy and Howard), becoming stuck in its head, and a mass splash into San Francisco Bay.
To my joy, one of the bag-chasing baddies is played by Sorrell Booke, who was Boss Hogg in the original TV ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ series.
And there’s a happy ending.