Where's Poppa?

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Where's Poppa?
Where's Poppa poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Carl Reiner
Produced by Jerry Tokofsky
Marvin Worth
Written by Robert Klane (novel & screenplay)
Starring George Segal
Ruth Gordon
Ron Leibman
Music by Jack Elliott
Cinematography Jack Priestley
Edited by Chic Ciccolini
Bud Molin
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • July 9, 1970 (1970-07-09) (United States)
Running time
82 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Where's Poppa? is a 1970 black comedy film; it is based on the novel by Robert Klane and stars George Segal, Ron Leibman and Ruth Gordon. The movie has sometimes been referred to as Going Ape.[1] The plot revolves around the troubled relationship between a lawyer (Segal) and his senile mother (Gordon). The film was directed by Carl Reiner, whose son Rob Reiner had a role in an early performance. Others in the cast are Paul Sorvino, Trish Van Devere, Vincent Gardenia and future Saturday Night Live star Garrett Morris. The film was released on July 9, 1970, by United Artists.[2][3]


Gordon Hocheiser's mother, an 87-year-old widow, is ruining her son's love life. He resents her so much, Gordon tries to scare her to death by donning a gorilla suit and attacking her in bed, only to end up on the receiving end of her cane. An attempt is made to persuade Sidney, his brother, to take their mother off Gordon's hands. Sidney has troubles of his own, though, repeatedly getting mugged in Central Park.

Gordon, a lawyer, made a deathbed promise to his father not to place his mother in a rest home. She continues to keep asking, "Where's Poppa." His repeated response is, "Still dead."

Gordon locates a nurse, Louise, whose patients have a peculiar habit of dying in her care. He hires Louise to be his mother's companion, hoping for the worst, and falls in love with Louise in the process.

Sidney borrows the gorilla costume and wears it home. Rather than scaring off muggers, they force him to attack a woman in the park, who turns out to be an undercover police officer. At the end of his rope, with Louise unable to stand the mother one minute more and threatening to leave Gordon, he drives to a rest home and drops off his mother at the entrance, telling her Poppa is there. Then he drives away.

In a coda removed from the movie for a 1975 reissue, but later restored to theatrical prints and home video, Gordon's ruse to keep his mother at the rest home has failed, and she is once again home with him, with Louise following through on her threat to leave him. Resigned to the belief he will never be rid of her, he dejectedly climbs into bed with his mother, saying, "Here's Poppa."


Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1971 Laurel Awards Nominated Star of Tomorrow, Female Trish Van Devere
Writers Guild of America Award Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium Robert Klane

See also


  1. ^ "Where's Poppa?". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  2. ^ "Where's Poppa? (1970) - Overview". TCM.com. Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  3. ^ Greenspun, Roger (1970-11-11). "Movie Review - Where s Poppa - Screen:'Where's Poppa?' Aims to Remove Bachelor's Momma:Reiner Directs Comedy That Stars Segal Other Features Begin Their Runs Locally". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2015-04-30. 

External links

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