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Don't Drink the Water (1969)

G | | Comedy | 1970 (Canada)
The Hollander family's European vacation is interrupted when their plane is forced to land in Vulgaria. The Hollanders leave the plane to take pictures which results in accusations of ... See full summary »

Director:

Howard Morris

Writers:

Woody Allen (based on the play by), R.S. Allen (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jackie Gleason ... Walter Hollander
Estelle Parsons ... Marion Hollander
Ted Bessell ... Axel Magee
Joan Delaney ... Susan Hollander
Michael Constantine ... Commissar Krojack
Howard St. John ... Ambassador Magee
Danny Meehan Danny Meehan ... Kilroy
Richard Libertini ... Father Drobney
Pierre Olaf Pierre Olaf ... Chef
Avery Schreiber ... Sultan
Mark Gordon Mark Gordon ... Mirik
Phil Leeds ... Sam Blackwell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marty Martel Marty Martel ... White Hair Diplomat
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Storyline

The Hollander family's European vacation is interrupted when their plane is forced to land in Vulgaria. The Hollanders leave the plane to take pictures which results in accusations of spying. Chased by Vulgarian soldiers, they take refuge in the American Embassy under the protection of the absent ambassador's hapless son. Written by <JeanneArmintrout@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the play by Woody Allen. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1970 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Don't Drink the Water See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Don't Drink the Water" opened at the Morosco Theater on November 17, 1966 and ran for 598 performances. Richard Libertini reprises his role in the movie. See more »

Goofs

At the party near the end of the movie, Gleason takes a dignitary's wine glass. The next shot shows the dignitary holding the wine glass. Then, Gleason hands the glass back to the dignitary. See more »

Quotes

Walter Hollander: Well, they don't call me the potato salad Picasso for nothin!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wendy's Palace (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Drink the Water
Music by Patrick Williams (as Pat Williams)
Lyrics by Kelly Gordon
Sung by Jake Holmes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
UNBELIEVABLY BAD
10 August 2001 | by KatmissSee all my reviews

"Don't Drink the Water" is an unbelievably bad film. It's based on a 1966 Broadway play by Woody Allen. It stars Jackie Gleason, the comic genius behind "The Honeymooners". The director, Howard Morris, has appeared in several Mel Brooks comedies (Life Stinks, High Anxiety, Silent Movie)and has made a mark in animation (characters he has voiced include Gopher from "Pooh", Jughead (Archie)and Beetle Bailey) What went wrong?

I think the problem is that the premise is played out too seriously to work effectively. Allen's original play was tongue-in-cheek, which is why it worked on Broadway and in Allen's 1994 remake. The screenplay by R.S. Allen and Harvey Bullock beats the premise to death and makes too many changes from the original play. Making Gleason's wife an airhead in this version when she was a headstrong woman in the original is just one example of why this doesn't work.

The acting isn't much better. Gleason does the best he can with the material, but he can't save this. Gleason was a comic genius , but also a fine actor as he demonstrated in "The Hustler" and "Soldier in the Rain". His abrasive personality could have worked here, but the lousy script doesn't even give him a chance. Too bad. Estelle Parsons' airhead wife will drive you nuts after 20 minutes. See how soon it'll take for YOU to want to strangle her. That is also a shame because she is also a fine actress, having turned in two exceptional performances in "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Rachel, Rachel" None of the other actors do particularly well either.

Woody Allen hated this film so much that he remade the film in 1994 with himself and Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson) in the leads. They manage to hit all the right notes and the film itself is a comic masterpiece. It's finally on video after a long battle over rights. Do go out and find that version. All the 1969 original is good for is clearing out unwanted guests who overstay their welcome.

1/2* out of 4 stars


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