The Owl and the Pussycat
Did you know that Columbia Pictures has altered the home video versions of The Owl And The Pussycat?
Streisand was one of the first female stars to use the F-word in a major film, which she does once in The Owl And The Pussycat. It helped earn the movie an "R" rating in its original release.
However, depending on which version you watch at home, you may not hear the expletive. By cutting it out, the following scene in which Doris and Felix run away does not make sense! The 2001 DVD from Columbia Pictures does not contain the F-word.
Below is a clip of the original version of the scene ... with the F-word.
Barbra's Topless Scene ... Cut!
Barbra Streisand did a topless scene in The Owl And The Pussycat which was cut.
Time Magazine reported:
Faced with her first nude scene, the star of The Owl and the Pussycat got cold feet. "Herbie, I can't," she told her director. "I've got goose bumps and they'll show." While Director Herb Ross coaxed the reluctant nymph, George Segal, who was waiting for her in bed, took a nap. Finally Barbra Streisand tossed off her robe and glided across the set. "Cut and print!" shouted Ross. "Beautiful!" Perfectionist Streisand demanded a retake.
Streisand, however, felt the nudity killed the comedy in the next scene and asked for it to be cut. “I did the scene on condition that it wouldn’t be used without my approval, and I didn’t like it. It’s out and it stays out” she said.
A magazine called High Society got ahold of the negatives and published them.
An entertainment news story from 1982 explained:
...Streisand was joined in her suit by Rastar Productions, which produced the film. Both requested an injunction to halt that issue but the magazine had already gone to press and then been shipped to its distributors.
As a result, Streisand and Rastar have won a victory—but a pyrrhic one. Faced with recalling all of the magazines or giving in to Streisand, Gloria Leonard, High Society's publisher, settled the issue. Leonard agreed to send telegrams to the four hundred distributors who may have received the magazine. If they had not sent it on to their outlets, the magazines were recalled, and, like those issues not yet shipped, the word "nude" was deleted in several places in the article along with the two topless photographs. Thus, in some areas of the country, the original issue may be available. In other areas, the expurgated version will be on sale ...
It is interesting to note that in this age of the internet, some enterprising person actually reconstructed the Pussycat nude scene, utilizing the beginning and ending parts from the actual film, then inserting the nude frames in between, which were cut. In all, the nudity lasted only a few seconds.
On a side note, two of the most popular search phrases this site receives are "Streisand nude" and "Streisand porn." In the 1970s an 8mm porn film was sold, advertised as Barbra Streisand in Hardcore! (Yes, before VHS and DVD, porn was distributed in film canisters). The film featured an actress with Egyptian eyeliner who resembled Streisand. But it was not her. Playboy magazine asked Barbra about the film in 1977. Barbra replied:
I couldn't resist the temptation to see what the actress looked like—and also to check out her performance—so we got a copy. The film, naturally, is very blurred. The girl has long hair, like I did back in the Sixties, although she was chubby, while I was very skinny. But the dead giveaway came when the camera zoomed in on her hands around the guy's you-know-what. There they were: short, stubby fingers! Definitely not mine. So all you would-be buyers, don't waste your money.
Behind the Scenes
Barbra Archives has put together a behind-the-scenes slideshow of The Owl and the Pussycat, set to the single-version of “The Best Thing You've Ever Done”:
Navigate to other Streisand films using the jump menu below: