“What’s Up, Doc?” is a screwball comedy in which the late Ryan O’Neal plays a hapless man who gets caught up with an agent of chaos played by Barbra Streisand. It’s very funny and features one of the best chase scenes ever captured on screen. “I am a big fan of everybody in this movie, but I’m a particularly big fan of Ryan O’Neal’s job as Howard Bannister. I think it’s one of the great straight-man comedy roles,” Tarantino said, adding:
“I think he’s really, really terrific. And as a matter of fact, it reminds me of something. I love ‘Bringing Up Baby’ as much as anybody––especially as much as a Hawks lover would love it. I actually think Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal are better than Grant and Hepburn in there. They’re so terrific together, combined by the fact also that Ryan O’Neal is acting opposite to comic tornados, in the case of both Barbra Streisand and Madeline Kahn. And he’s just bouncing back and forth between these two whirling dervishes and he’s a magnificent partner. He vibes with both of them. He has a wonderful chemistry with both of them, and it’s slightly different with each of them. He sets them all up for their best jokes.”
Perhaps more interesting than the “What’s Up, Doc?” material is the fact that during the course of the same podcast, Tarantino took some time to deride Robert Altman’s acclaimed neo-Western “McCabe & Mrs. Miller.” As Tarantino put it, he thinks “the first reel of the movie is the worst-mixed reel in the history of Hollywood cinema,” continuing:
“There is a strong level of mediocrity that it never goes that further down. It’s terrible. [Altman] is a f*cking pothead who doesn’t know any f*cking better. He thinks it sounds good. A lot of people think that Warren Beatty was actually kind of the co-director on that movie.”
As was the case with his “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” take, this is an instance in which I’m going to have to disagree with Mr. Tarantino — “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” is fantastic. But that’s the thing about Tarantino: even when I disagree with his takes, I’m always curious to hear/read them. Here’s hoping we learn the release date for “Cinema Speculation Vol. 2” soon.