What's Up, Tiger Lily?

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What's Up, Tiger Lily?
File:What's Up, Tiger Lily?.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Woody Allen
Senkichi Taniguchi
Produced by Charles H. Joffe
Woody Allen
Written by Woody Allen
Louise Lasser
Len Maxwell
Julie Bennett
Frank Buxton
Mickey Rose
Bryan Wilson
Starring Woody Allen
Louise Lasser
The Lovin' Spoonful
Music by The Lovin' Spoonful
Edited by Richard Krown
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release dates
  • April 1966 (1966-04)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget ~$400,000[1]

What's Up, Tiger Lily? is a 1966 comedy film directed by Woody Allen in his feature-length directorial debut.

Allen took a Japanese spy film, International Secret Police: Key of Keys, and overdubbed it with completely original dialogue that had nothing to do with the plot of the original film.[2] By putting in new scenes and rearranging the order of existing scenes, he completely changed the tone of the film from a James Bond clone into a comedy about the search for the world's best egg salad recipe.[3]

During post-production, Allen's original one-hour television version was expanded without his permission to include additional scenes from International Secret Police: A Barrel of Gunpowder, the third film in the International Secret Police series,[2] and musical numbers by the band The Lovin' Spoonful. This experience helped convince Allen that he should secure creative control for all his future projects.[4] The band released a soundtrack album. Louise Lasser, who was married to Allen at the time, served as one of the voice actors for the "new" dialogue soundtrack, as did Mickey Rose, Allen's writing partner on Take The Money and Run (1969) and Bananas (1971).[3]


The plot provides the setup for a string of sight gags, puns, jokes based on Asian stereotypes, and general farce. The central plot involves the misadventures of secret agent Phil Moskowitz, hired by the Grand Exalted High Majah of Raspur ("a nonexistent but real-sounding country") to find a secret egg salad recipe that was stolen from him.

The movie has an ending unrelated to the plot, in which China Lee, a Playboy Playmate and then-wife of Allen's comic idol Mort Sahl, who does not appear elsewhere in the film, does a striptease while Allen explains that he promised he would put her in the film somewhere.


  • Tatsuya Mihashi as Phil Moscowitz, a secret agent and self-described "lovable rogue" (other people call him "amiable zany")
  • Akiko Wakabayashi as Suki Yaki, a beautiful woman who seduces Phil and later works alongside him as a spy
  • Mie Hama as Teri Yaki, Suki's sister who helps Phil as well (cf. sukiyaki, teriyaki)
  • Tadao Nakamaru as Shepherd Wong, an evil gang leader who has stolen the recipe for the world's greatest egg salad
  • Susumu Kurobe as Wing Fat, an evil gangster who teams up with Phil to steal the recipe from Shepherd Wong, but intends to keep it for himself
  • Sachio Sakai as Hoodlum
  • Hideyo Amamoto as Cobra Man
  • Tetsu Nakamura as Foreign Minister
  • Osman Yusuf as Gambler
  • Kumi Mizuno as Phil's date
  • Woody Allen as Himself / Dub Voice / Projectionist
  • Julie Bennett as Dub Voice
  • Frank Buxton as Dub Voice
  • Louise Lasser as Dub Voice
  • Len Maxwell as Dub Voice
  • Mickey Rose as Dub Voice
  • The Lovin' Spoonful as Themselves

Soundtrack album

What's Up Tiger Lily?
File:Tiger Lily soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by The Lovin' Spoonful
Released September, 1966
Genre Folk rock
Label Kama Sutra
The Lovin' Spoonful chronology
What's Up, Tiger Lily?
Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful
(1966)Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful1966

The soundtrack album to What's Up Tiger Lily? was released in 1966. It contains music by The Lovin' Spoonful. The audio engineer at National Recording Studios was Fred Weinberg, who went on to produce and engineer many other films and albums. It was re-released on CD along with You're a Big Boy Now, the Spoonful's soundtrack for the 1966 film by Francis Ford Coppola.[5] It reached No. 126 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts.

Track listing

  1. "Introduction to Flick" (2:14)
  2. "Pow!" (2:26)
  3. "Gray Prison Blues" (2:04)
  4. "Pow Revisited" (2:26)
  5. "Unconscious Minuet" (2:05)
  6. "Fishin' Blues" (1:59)
  7. "Respoken" (1:48)
  8. "Cool Million" (2:02)
  9. "Speakin' of Spoken" (2:41)
  10. "Lookin' to Spy" (2:29)
  11. "Phil's Love Theme" (2:23)
  12. "End Title" (4:06)

See also


  1. B is for Low Budget and Big Box Office Bucks, So Sam Arkoff is Proud to Be Called Hollywood's King of the B Pictures. People Magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mavis, Paul. "What's Up, Tiger Lily?". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "International Secret Police". Tokyo Street Report. April 16, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  4. "Woody Allen". Screenwriter's Utopia. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  5. Ruhlmann, William. "What's Up, Tiger Lily? / You're a Big Boy Now". Allmusic. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 

External links