Whiffs

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Whiffs
Whiffs-movie-poster-1975.jpg
Directed by Ted Post
Produced by George Barrie
Written by Malcolm Marmorstein
Starring Elliott Gould
Eddie Albert
Harry Guardino
Jennifer O'Neill
Music by John Cameron
George Barrie, Sammy Cahn
Cinematography David M. Walsh
Edited by Robert Lawrence
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • October 15, 1975 (1975-10-15)
Running time
91 min.
Country United States
Language English

Whiffs is a 1975 comedy film directed by Ted Post, produced by Brut Productions and released theatrically in the U.S. by 20th Century Fox. It stars Elliott Gould.

The film was released in the UK as C.A.S.H.[1]

Plot

A gullible military private volunteers to be the subject of numerous military biological and chemical weaponry experiments, and later robs banks as a result.[2]

Cast

Production

Development

The film was made by Brut Productions, a short lived film production company that was an off-shoot of Faberge Cosmetics under George Barrie. Their early films included Night Watch, Welcome to Arrow Beach, A Touch of Class and Count Your Bullets.[3]

In June 1974 Barrie announce he would turn producer with Whiffs based on an original story and script by Malcolm Mamorstein, with Ted Post to direct. "It's a comedy-satire about a young man, an expert on testing gases, who winds up using all that knowledge for other purposes," said Barrie.[4]

Casting

Mamorstein later recalled, "George Barrie knew that I had done S*P*Y*S and was looking for someone with a comedic touch, so he suggested Elliott Gould."[5]

Elliot Gould insisted his then-girlfriend Jennifer O'Neill play the female lead.

“We really didn’t want to hire her,” said Mamorstein, “because we thought, what if their romance breaks up in the middle of the film?... We had good choices [for her part]. Everybody wanted to play it, but Gould wanted her.””[5]

"I thought I was gonna marry Jennifer,” Gould said later. “Since I couldn’t, I thought that she’d be perfect to be my nurse [in “Whiffs.”] Teri Garr was up for the part. I needed a funny girl. But I wanted to be loyal to the beautiful, amazing person that Jennifer is...”[5] She signed in August 1974.[6]

Shooting

Parts of the film were shot in Dugway, Stockton and Tooele, Utah.[7]

Gould and O'Neill broke up during filming. “I physically got in between them, stuff like that,” said Marmorstein. Jennifer O’Neill was not much of an actress at the time, and it was tough."[5]

Mamorstein said "Ted Post was a very amiable guy. Except he had no idea how to shoot comedy. Also, he was too in love with zoom lenses, which is fine for TV. I conspired with the director of photography to switch to a prime lens each time Ted was ready for a new setup. For his first shot, he chose a huge, complex, all-encompassing shot that put us days behind schedule.”[5]

The film was going to be made for Warners but ended up being released by 20th Century Fox.[8]

Reception

TV Guide wrote, in reference to the story line of Elliott Gould's character behaving like a chimpanzee because he breathed in an experimental chemical, "The scriptwriter must have taken a good whiff of the gas himself each time he sat down at his typewriter."[9]

The Los Angeles Times called it "as funny as a fire at an old folk's home."[10]

"That picture didn’t work," said Gould. "They went with the obvious comedy."[5]

In 1976 he said the film featured his least favourite performance.[11]

Awards


See also

References

  1. ^ C.A.S.H. Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 44, Iss. 516, (Jan 1, 1977): 65.
  2. ^ AllMovie.com
  3. ^ Following the Scent to Brut Film Fest: Following the Scent to Idaho Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times17 Aug 1973: d1.
  4. ^ News of the Screen: Faberge President Turns Producer Tennis to Be Focus Of Goodman Entry Schell to Produce, Sister to Star 7 Features in '74-'75 By Artists Complex By A.H. WEILER. New York Times 16 June 1974: 44.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "The Lesser Known (or Less Celebrated) Films of Elliott Gould (Part 1)". Hidden Films. July 24, 2013.
  6. ^ Generation Gaps at UCLA Murphy, Mary. Los Angeles Times 13 Aug 1974: g12.
  7. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  8. ^ The Fall Season Begins in Earnest: Film Notes By Gary Arnold. The Washington Post 1 Oct 1975: B4.
  9. ^ TV Guide "Whiffs" Review http://movies.tvguide.com/whiffs/122714
  10. ^ 'Whiffs' Both Topical, Trivial Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times 15 Oct 1975: f18.
  11. ^ 'I just wanted people to listen to me ...': Positive talkathon Different directors By David Sterritt. The Christian Science Monitor 24 June 1976: 30.
  12. ^ Sing a Song of Oscar New York Times 28 Mar 1976: 197.

External links

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