The Owl & The Pussycat [Comedy Highlights & Music from the Soundtrack] (1971)

Catalog Number(s):

Owl and Pussycat cover

Owl Pussycat Back Cover

Side One

  1. The Confrontation [11:18]
  2. The Warmup [9:55]
  3. The Seduction [4:01]

Side Two

  1. The Morning After [11:05]
  2. The Reunion [10:22]

About the Album

Columbia released "Comedy Highlights and Music from the Soundtrack" of Barbra's film The Owl and the Pussycat in 1971. The vinyl LP featured actual dialogue from the film, mixed with the rock songs by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The album has never appeared on CD.

“This soundtrack is actually dialog between Barbra Streisand and George Segal, extracted from the movie. The music that is heard is performed and written by Blood, Sweat & Tears and fits in with the dialog quite well. It is a big band sound with a little rock added for seasoning. The dialog itself runs the gamut from absurdly sublime material to simply ridiculous material.”

— Billboard Jan. 2, 1971 review

In 2014, Blood, Sweat & Tears released an album titled Rare, Rarer & Rarest which contains only their music for The Owl and the Pussycat—there is no Streisand/Segal dialogue.


Liner Notes

[Note: Barbra Archives has reproduced the liner notes from the album, written by Steve Schiffman:]

This is a Barbra Streisand you have never seen or heard before. Miss Streisand is not a singer but an actress who sings; her role in "The Owl And The Pussycat" could prove to be a turning point in her career. The screen adaptation of William Manhoff's long-running Broadway hit is a comedic tour de force with Miss Streisand handling the satiric material and situations with finesse.

Buck Henry's screenplay chronicles the comic misadventures of Felix Sherman ("The Owl"—portrayed by George Segal) and Doris Wilgus ("The Pussycat"—played by Barbra Streisand). Felix is a would-be writer who works nights as a book clerk at Doubleday's. Doris is a would-be actress and model who occasionally slips into prostitution.

Doris and Felix both have apartments in the same Manhattan building—and similar delusions of grandeur. Doris is earthy, uneducated, hot tempered; Felix is priggish, intellectual and emotionally repressed.

Felix's instincts have compelled him to report Doris' late-night entertaining to their landlord. Having learned who caused her to lose her apartment, Doris tricks her way into Felix's apartment at 3 o'clock in the morning and bombards him with charges that he is jealous of what the big boys are doing. Too tired to defend himself against this girl who, he thinks, is suffering from some aggravated paranoid delusion, Felix agrees to let Doris sleep in his apartment on her promise that she will be gone in the morning.

It is a sleepless night for both of them. Complaining that she cannot fall asleep without the blasting of a television set, Doris charges into Felix's bedroom and nearly catches him naked. Amused at his outraged modesty, Doris begins hiccuping uncontrollably. She tells Felix that he has to scare her. Doris goes to the kitchen for something to drink. Felix, in the meanwhile, dons a Halloween skeleton costume and frightens her out of her wits and her hiccups. The noise awakens the landlord and they are ousted from the apartment with only Felix's suitcase of manuscripts and Doris' broken television set—and no money between them.

They find refuge in the living room of the apartment of Felix's friend. Instead of allowing Felix to fall asleep, Doris continues to defend herself against his moral judgments and persuades him to lull her to sleep by reading her one of his stories. Incensed by his word imagery, Doris tells Felix that she hates his writing, thus causing another argument along with the departure of Felix's friend from his apartment.

Felix and Doris eventually end up in the bedroom together. Their first encounter is a comedy of errors, with Felix unable to remove Doris' negligee and she dictating their lovemaking. Nevertheless, they do succeed and Doris ends up asking Felix whatever gave him the idea that he was a homosexual. He tries to explain that he never thought he was, but she remains convinced that she has helped save a lost soul.

They have a few hours of restless sleep. Shortly after they awaken, Felix asks Doris how many men she has slept with. Hurt and angered by his question, Doris tells Felix that he wasn't all that good in bed. An argument follows in which Doris lambasts Felix about his writing style and he calls her a streetwalker. She storms out of the apartment.

The next few days provide revelations for both Doris and Felix, climaxing with their reunion. Felix tries to explain himself to Doris, and she attempts to please him by using several new words she has learned. (She also happens to use a few that she has known for quite a while.)

Felix takes Doris to the home of his fiance's parents, which they find to be empty. She undresses Felix and draws a bath for him, then undresses herself and joins him in the tub. As the two of them are floating in the water, Felix's future in-laws, the Weyderhauses, walk in. The confrontation is further complicated by the fact that Mr. Weyderhaus turns out to be a regular customer of Doris. After fleeing the house, Felix and Doris begin their most brutal argument. It proves to be their first real understanding of each other—and themselves.

BARBRA STREISAND. A leading star of recordings, television, Broadway and Hollywood (with three roadshow musicals—"Funny Girl,""Hello, Dolly!" and "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" — to her credit in less than two years), she is now playing her first non-singing role in "The Owl And The Pussycat," which reunites her with producer Ray Stark after their smash hit, "Funny Girl." Look described Miss Streisand as "the most talked about, sought after performer in many, many years." Barbra Streisand has established herself as a unique personality whose individuality is especially appealing to today's youth.

GEORGE SEGAL is oft thought of by filmgoers as the rugged dramatic star of such films as "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?"—for which he earned an Academy Award nomination—"Ship Of Fools" and "King Rat." Segal's comedic talent comes to the fore with "The Owl And The Pussycat."

RAY STARK—PRODUCER. "The Owl And The Pussycat" is Stark's fifth production. He attained prior recognition with such films as "Funny Girl," "The World Of Suzie Wong," "Night Of The Iguana" and "Reflections In A Golden Eye." After a successful career as an agent, Stark later produced the Broadway stage hit "Funny Girl" and co-founded Seven Arts Productions, where he supervised the production of more than 100 major films.

HERBERT ROSS—DIRECTOR. The latest choreographer-dancer to join the film directorial ranks, Ross follows the example of such noted filmmakers as Stanley Donen, Charles Walters and Gene Kelly. Ross made his motion picture directorial debut with "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," for which he received praise for his handling of both the dramatic and musical sequences. On Broadway, Ross created the choreography for the shows "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," "I Can Get It For You Wholesale," "Anyone Can Whistle" and "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever." In films, he has directed the musical sequences for "Funny Girl," "Doctor Dolittle," "Inside Daisy Clover" and "Carmen Jones."

BUCK HENRY—SCREENWRITER. The services of Buck Henry are the most in-demand of any screenwriter in the film industry, partially due to his having co-written the screen version of "The Graduate." He is currently represented as the screenwriter for the film version of "Catch-22," Joseph Heller's celebrated anti-war novel.

THE MUSIC. The music heard in the motion picture, and which provides the background for this dialogue highlights album, was composed and arranged by Richard Halligan. The lyrics were written by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Liner Notes by Steve Schiffman


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