Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You

Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (1970) was the little-seen sequel to (or, in some ways, remake of) What’s New Pussycat? (1965)—both madcap sex comedies set in Rome. The original film featured the screenwriting and acting debuts of Woody Allen and starred Peter O’Toole as a notorious womanizer who, in order to remain faithful to his wife, enlists the help of a psychoanalyst played by Peter Sellers. For the sequel (written and directed by Rod Amateau for producer Jerry Bresler), Ian McShane stars as a young playwright, Fred C. Dobbs, who has the improbable dilemma of becoming romantically entangled with some of the most beautiful women in the world—among them his wife (Anna Calder-Marshall), mistress (Beba Loncar), prospective secretary (Katia Christine) and assorted other bombshells. What really worries Fred is the prospect of losing his hair, so he consults with quack scalp therapist Doctor Fahrquardt (Severn Darden), who is most interested in lecherous details of Fred’s life (setting up the film’s narrative framework). When Fred and a date escape to the countryside at the same time a big Hollywood star (John Gavin spoofing Rock Hudson as “Grant Granite”) arrives desperate to close a deal for one of Fred’s plays, virtually the entire cast ends up following him, leading to a screwball chase through the Cinecittà Studios backlot set of a spaghetti western.

For Lalo Schifrin, Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You offered a broad palette for musical pastiches—from Italian opera to a comic German march to a Morricone-style spaghetti western anthem. Schifrin’s own theme to Mission: Impossible even becomes the punch line for a gag (track 14). The dramatic score carries considerable heart, with Schifrin providing a cheerful, deftly comic tune for Fred and a lovely flute theme for his beleaguered wife, Millie. The original film had been scored by Burt Bacharach, whose whirlwind title song—“What’s New Pussycat?” (lyrics by Hal David, sung by Tom Jones)—outlived the film in popularity. To maintain continuity, Schifrin utilizes Bacharach’s theme for several score and source cues. For the new film’s main title, Schifrin transformed Fred’s theme into a swinging number with lyricist Gene Lees, “Groove Into It”—an Austin Powers precursor if there ever was one, belted out in Tom Jones style by Henry Shed.

Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You is a relatively obscure film that has never been released on home video and does not even appear in Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. The period—1970—could be considered the apex of Schifrin’s relevance as one of the hottest composers in film, and even on a relatively trivial project such as this his music exudes melody, imagination and a well-polished sheen, especially as recorded in Cine Tel Sound Studios Ltd. in London. The original soundtrack was never released, although an album master was prepared (on February 9, 1970) at New York’s Knickerbocker Sound Studios; it contained the following tracks:

  1. Side 1
  2. Groove Into It
  3. The Guru
  4. What’s New Pussycat? (track 9 version, see below)
  5. Fred’s Theme
  6. Le Accetiamo
  7. Coffee Break
  8. Flashing Lights
  9. What’s New Pussycat? (track 19 version)
  1. Side 2
  2. Hydro-Therapy
  3. Oh Perfidy
  4. Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (“Millie,” track 4)
  5. Stagecoach Dance
  6. Angelica
  7. Ornella
  8. Pussycat Source
  9. Cowboys and Indians (track 26)

This complete-score presentation (remixed from the original ½″ three-track masters) will be a revelation for Schifrin fans, many of whom may not have even been aware of this project’s existence. With some minor exceptions (noted in the discussion of the bonus tracks below), this CD program presents the score as written and recorded by the composer; in the finished film, various scenes were juxtaposed and music was tracked into sequences not originally scored by Schifrin.

1. Main Title: Groove Into It
The swinging “Groove Into It” accompanies the animated title sequence. Schifrin’s music (with lyrics by Gene Lees) is a vintage slice of what might today be identified as the “Austin Powers” style of over-the-top, swinging, go-go film jazz. Vocalist Henry Shed bears a stylistic similarity to Tom Jones, performer of “What’s New Pussycat?” for the original film.
2. Hydro-Therapy
This cue was meant to introduce Doctor Fahrquardt (Severn Darden), a quack “hydro therapist” (hair restorer) who administers scalp treatments to oversexed writer Fred C. Dobbs (Ian McShane). Fahrquardt’s wife, Anna (Joyce Van Patten), is a Nazi-like battle axe with whom he has violent slapstick confrontations: Schifrin scores one such fight with a pompous German march that quotes Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” (Post-scoring editing exchanged this scene with that of “Dr. Fahrquardt” from track 5.)
3. Stripper
Fred tells Fahrquardt about a romantic beach encounter with his sister-in-law, Gwendolyn (Madeline Smith). Fred’s theme—which is the melody from “Groove Into It”—accompanies the flashback in a comic-jazz setting.
Battle of the Bulge Salon/Sauna Bath
At Fahrquardt’s urging, Fred shares an anecdote about sneaking into the ladies-only Battle of the Bulge Salon to see Liz (Veronica Carlson), a masseuse. Schifrin matches the salon’s Egyptian decor with Middle Eastern-flavored cues for Fred’s entrance and exit.
Fernando/True Friends
Fred relates how he and Liz—out on the town that night—searched for a room in which to consummate their relationship. Two short cues accompany Fred trying—but failing—to persuade his friend Fernando to loan his apartment.
Fred’s housekeeper—the buxom Flavia (Gaby André)—flirts with an Italian boy while receiving the morning bread delivery. Schifrin provides a bit of cheerful Italiana featuring mandolins and accordion.
4. Millie (record version)
Schifrin supplies Fred’s wife, Millie (Anna Calder-Marshall), with a lovely jazz flute theme. This is an extended record version intended for the potential Pussycat album.
5. Millie
The film version of “Millie” starts with her theme as she expresses disappointment about her marriage while having breakfast with Fred, but she spills hot coffee on him and the cue goes off in a frenetic, comic direction (dialed out of the finished film).
Dr. Fahrquardt
A short version of Fahrquardt’s comic music accompanies a brief skirmish between the doctor and his wife. (In the finished film, this scene was interchanged with the one featuring the cue “Hydro-Therapy,” track 2.)
6. Le Accetiamo
Fred dines at a fancy restaurant with beautiful Moira (Linda Morand), fleeing the establishment when he accidentally starts a fire by playing with a candle (to taunt a drunken sailor). Schifrin’s romantic Italian song (with lyrics by Gene Lees) swells to operatic proportions for the blaze. The cue ends with a music box-style rendition of Burt Bacharach’s “What’s New Pussycat?” on a cut to birthday candles at a party for girl-magnet Fernando (Daniël Sola).
Flashing Lights
After Fernando blows out the candles on his birthday cake, the party starts to swing with a fuzz guitar funk instrumental.
7. Fred’s Theme
An upbeat instrumental of Fred’s theme is the next source cue heard at the party. This is an extended version Schifrin recorded for the proposed Pussycat LP.
8. The Guru
The first 1:00 of this cue includes an exotic tabla and sitar backdrop for a guru dispensing wisdom at the party; the balance of the piece features more swinging dance music as Millie (attending the party independently of Fred) meets an Italian swinger, Franco (Marino Masé).
9. Tickling Bubbles
A reprise of Fahrquardt’s comic music (unused in the film) was meant to accompany the doctor preparing a champagne bath for women at the party—before a displeased Anna tracks him down and threatens him with a crossbow.
What’s New Pussycat?
The party continues with a source instrumental of Bacharach’s theme.
10. Sneaky Fred/Sleepy Fred
Variations on Fred’s theme accompany him sneaking home after the party and into bed—not noticing that Millie has been replaced by Flavia, covering for Millie’s own attendance at the party. (Both cues are somewhat abridged in the finished film.)
Young and Active
This reprise of the sly, comic music from “Sleepy Fred” was not used in the finished film.
11. Theme for a Fierce Embrace
Millie and Franco attend a romantic movie starring Grant Granite (John Gavin)—the story is so romantic that they (and couples throughout the theater) start making out. Schifrin provides an over-the-top pastiche of movie music for the film-within-the-film: first a romantic theme, then a Russian march with wordless chorus.
12. Duplication/Spoiled Juvenile
Fred’s mistress, Ornella (Beba Loncar), presents Fred with an exact duplicate of his writer’s office at her home. Fred rudely rejects it, however—if he wanted to be reminded of home, he would stay there; his theme accompanies the scene. (In the finished film, this scene was moved to appear before track 11.)
13. Pussycat Source
Schifrin provides a romantic treatment of Bacharach’s theme as Franco tries to seduce Millie after their date, but her heart is not in it.
14. Mission: Impossible
Fred tries to write at home but is unable to master his newfangled electric typewriter, which prints a message: “In five seconds, this machine will self-destruct.” Schifrin provides a lively (and wonderfully authentic) rendition of his Mission: Impossible theme—a case of the music being famous enough to convey the gag.
Fred needs a new secretary and interviews Flavia’s niece, Angelica (Katia Christine), a former Playboy playmate. Fred’s theme is transformed into a Spanish dance as the two frolic about his office.
15. Too Little, Too Late
This reprise of Flavia’s theme (track 3) is not heard in the finished film.
Grant Granite/The Unwritten Rule
Millie is visited by Grant Granite, looking to acquire one of Fred’s plays for a movie. Schifrin provides an elegant, romantic theme as Millie is enchanted to meet a movie star.
16. Top Down
Fred and Angelica travel from Rome to Castelli; their drive through the Italian countryside is scored by a breezy, chipper rendition of Fred’s theme.
White Convertible
Fred and Angelica park in a secluded spot where they talk, then make out, accompanied by a slower rendition of Fred’s theme.
17. Fraulein Anna
The comic Fahrquardt music is heard as Anna tracks the doctor to Fred’s apartment (where the doctor and Flavia are revealed to be an “item”).
What’s New Pussycat?
Bacharach’s theme is heard on mandolin as Franco hitchhikes to Castelli—no sooner is he dropped off by one beautiful woman than another picks him up. (By this point in the film, many of the film’s characters have traveled to Castelli in search of Fred or one another.)
Out of Gas
The Bacharach theme is played by romantic accordion as Franco arrives at his destination in a chauffeur-driven limousine, having made out with the car’s owner in the back seat.
War Paint
To escape the various people looking for them, Fred and Angelica spend the night in the woods—but find themselves mysteriously surrounded by a tribe of Indians (given a bombastic cue by Schifrin).
18. Ornella
Millie’s theme accompanies a scene in a hotel room between Millie and Ornella as wife and mistress commiserate about their love for Fred.
19. What’s New Pussycat?
A raucous, comic version of the Bacharach theme accompanies hijinks between Franco and Grant over which man will stay in which woman’s hotel room.
Indian Camp
The “Indians” are revealed to be extras for a spaghetti western being filmed near Castelli. Fred and Angelica stay at their “camp” as Schifrin blends Italian colors like accordion (for the Indians’ spaghetti dinner) with Native American rhythms—it is quite literally a “spaghetti” western being made.
20. What’s New Pussycat?
The Bacharach theme is reprised for Franco finding himself odd man out in a game of “musical beds” at the hotel.
21. Coffee Break
Another over-the-top “Indian” cue for the making of the spaghetti western that was not used in the finished film.
False Fronts
A chipper piece of score accompanies Grant and Millie searching for—and finding—Fred and Angelica on the spaghetti western set.
22. You Think of Everything/Oh Perfidy
The Fahrquardts embark on a country vacation for the purpose of committing double suicide. Schifrin supplies romantic, then comic-suspenseful strains for their strange antics—they don weights and walk straight into the ocean—all evidently part of an attempt by Fahrquardt to rid himself of Anna. Fahrquardt floats to the surface on a life raft and is rescued by Flavia, but Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” appears as Anna attacks Flavia’s boat from underwater.
23. Anvil (Il Trovatore)
Schifrin arranged this famous Verdi opera passage for a comic fight on the set of the western involving Fred and his pursuers.
24. Caccia
Police arrive and begin chasing the combatants, accompanied by an exciting, jazzy chase cue.
Slow Motion Chase
A gag presentation of the chase in slow motion (only some of which appears in the film, where it is scored by “Caccia”) was meant to be accompanied by this avant-garde, rumbling cue including voice.
25. Stagecoach Dance
Grant commandeers a stagecoach to help the entourage escape from the police. The chase music continues with an imaginative melody over a driving rhythm—more Italian than western.
26. Cowboys and Indians Italian Style
Fred pursues the stagecoach on horseback and the movie Indians follow him (in order to retrieve the stagecoach). Schifrin’s grandiose cue is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek spoof of the Morricone spaghetti western style (something Schifrin also executed in his score for Kelly’s Heroes, recorded shortly thereafter), based on a driving rhythm familiar from Schifrin’s score for The Cincinnati Kid.
27. Coo Coo Collision
The chase climaxes as the stagecoach collides with a truck on the set of a medieval film. Frantic jazz-rock strains end in a formal cadence à lá gospel music—with a lightly comic touch.
28. Happily Ever After
In the film’s denouement, Fred is chased away from Fahrquardt’s residence by a sex-crazed gorilla somehow come to life from Fred’s nightmares; Fred hops in a limo and rides away with Millie. The score closes with slapstick (for the gorilla), then Millie’s theme and “Le Accatiamo” as they ride off into the sunset. (The finished film concludes with an excerpt of “Groove Into It” tracked over the end cast, not replicated here.)

Bonus Tracks

29. Fred’s Theme (short version)
This is the film version of track 7.
30. Holes
A reprise of “Oh Perfidy” (track 22)—simply re-recorded from that cue—is used in the finished film to extend that sequence. It is placed here to avoid redundancy.
31. Avanti/Have Chickens Will Travel/Dirt Road à lá Italiana
Likewise, these three excerpts of “Cowboys and Indians Italian Style” (track 26) are heard in the film to extend the climactic chase, but are placed here for programming purposes.
32. Organ Medley
This track collects source cues that Fahrquardt performs on an organ, the first two midway through the film, the rest during the denouement (prior to track 28) as the film flashes forward a year and Fahrquardt and Fred relate the fates of the film’s many characters. The musical allusions—from “You Oughta Be in Pictures” to “Dixie” to “Ave Maria” to “Listen to the Mockingbird”—correspond to the various fates. — Lukas Kendall