What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
May 10, 2016 8:50 PM - Subscribe

In Woody Allen's directorial debut, he took the Japanese action film Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kayaku no taru (1964) and re-dubbed it, changing the plot to make it revolve around a secret egg salad recipe.

Variety: Take a Toho Films (Japan) crime meller [directed by Senkichi Taniguchi], fashioned in the James Bond tradition for the domestic market there, then turn loose Woody Allen and associates to dub and re-edit in camp-comedy vein, and the result is What’s Up, Tiger Lily? The production has one premise – deliberately mismatched dialog – which is sustained reasonably well through its brief running time.

AV Club: Tiger Lily, a Japanese spy movie re-dubbed by Allen and cohorts into a spoof about the search for an egg-salad recipe, marks an unlikely mixture of Allen, a foreign James Bond knock-off, B-movie powerhouse American International Pictures, and The Lovin' Spoonful (which provided the title song, and also performed in and scored the film), all brought together in a shotgun wedding as ill-conceived in practice as it is in theory.

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posted by MoonOrb (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm flabbergasted!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:18 PM on May 10, 2016

Shame about the end credits sequence, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 PM on May 10, 2016

One of his 'associates'/'cohorts' was Frank Buxton, who had a very interesting career. He started the 1960s hosting network TV's only educational Saturday Morning kids' show, "Discovery". He ended the decade producing another kinda-educational show, "Hot Dog" which mixed documentary footage with weird and funny commentary from Jonathan Winters, JoAnne Worley and, yes, Woody Allen. While still under Woody's influence, he appeared as "the interviewer" in the trailer for Allen's "Bananas", in which Woody did not give a single informative answer. He did cartoon voices (most notably the hero and main villain in the superhero spoof "Batfink") and in the '70s wrote and directed for various sitcoms, becoming a Producer for one season of The Odd Couple.

So what, you ask? Well, for part of the '70s he also hosted a totally non-controversial non-serious radio talk show in L.A., where he assured one of his regular callers, an anxious college student trying to break into radio, that Wendell was a perfectly acceptable DJ name. Which ultimately led to my early MetaFilter infamy as "Wendell". So I can claim I am within 2 degrees of separation of Woody Allen.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:00 PM on May 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

Oh, man, I still remember the first time I ever saw this movie on television as a high school kid (late 1970s). I was just flipping around the dial late one night and really didn't believe that I'd seen what I just saw. I tried to tell my buddies about it, but they flat out refused to believe me for several years, until the advent of the VCR and video rental stores, whereupon I was able to rent it and prove it to them (and maybe to myself as well).

It's been quite a while since I saw it last, I wonder if it holds up. So many cultural artifacts from my youth fail to span the ages.
posted by briank at 1:07 PM on May 11, 2016

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