Whiffs (1975)

PG | 93 mins | Comedy-drama | 14 October 1975

Director:

Ted Post

Producer:

George Barrie

Cinematographer:

David M. Walsh

Editor:

Robert Lawrence

Production Designer:

Fernando Carrere

Production Company:

Brut Productions
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HISTORY

Opening credits contain the following: “This film is dedicated to the human guinea pigs of the United States Army... To the G.I.s who gave themselves to be used as human tests for LSD, bacteria, poison gas and all types of chemical warfare’s research discoveries,” and “This film was made without the cooperation of the United States Army.” End credits have the following acknowledgement: “We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the State of Utah and particularly the citizens of Tooele.” Tooele City, UT, is the county seat of Tooele County. Despite the film’s denial of U. S. military cooperation, several scenes were filmed at the Tooele Army Depot.
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin 26 Aug 1974 “with interiors . . . at the Burbank Studios and outdoor locations in the vicinity of Salt Lake City, Utah,” the 19 Jul 1974 HR announced. Several weeks later, the 19 Aug 1974 HR noted that shooting would begin in Salt Lake City.
       A bar scene in which “Dudley Frapper” and “Chops Mulligan” renew their acquaintance and commit their first robbery was filmed at Matteo’s Italian restaurant on Westwood Boulevard in West Los Angeles, according to the 20 Oct 1974 LAHExam. The scene was filmed near the end of production, and director Ted Post said he still had to return to the desert to shoot the film’s opening scene in which a military airplane sprays Dudley with gas.
       The film’s theme song, “Now That We’re In Love,” was nominated for the 1975 Academy Award for Best Music—Original Song. Music was written by the film’s producer, George Barrie, president of Faberge, a cosmetics company whose most ... More Less

Opening credits contain the following: “This film is dedicated to the human guinea pigs of the United States Army... To the G.I.s who gave themselves to be used as human tests for LSD, bacteria, poison gas and all types of chemical warfare’s research discoveries,” and “This film was made without the cooperation of the United States Army.” End credits have the following acknowledgement: “We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the State of Utah and particularly the citizens of Tooele.” Tooele City, UT, is the county seat of Tooele County. Despite the film’s denial of U. S. military cooperation, several scenes were filmed at the Tooele Army Depot.
       Principal photography was scheduled to begin 26 Aug 1974 “with interiors . . . at the Burbank Studios and outdoor locations in the vicinity of Salt Lake City, Utah,” the 19 Jul 1974 HR announced. Several weeks later, the 19 Aug 1974 HR noted that shooting would begin in Salt Lake City.
       A bar scene in which “Dudley Frapper” and “Chops Mulligan” renew their acquaintance and commit their first robbery was filmed at Matteo’s Italian restaurant on Westwood Boulevard in West Los Angeles, according to the 20 Oct 1974 LAHExam. The scene was filmed near the end of production, and director Ted Post said he still had to return to the desert to shoot the film’s opening scene in which a military airplane sprays Dudley with gas.
       The film’s theme song, “Now That We’re In Love,” was nominated for the 1975 Academy Award for Best Music—Original Song. Music was written by the film’s producer, George Barrie, president of Faberge, a cosmetics company whose most popular product, Brut cologne, gave Barrie the name of his film production company.
       Whiffs was universally panned by critics. The 1 Oct 1975 Var called it “witless and distasteful,” the 1 Oct 1975 HR speculated that “if all the Brut products smelled like this one, the firm would long since have closed its doors,” and the 15 Oct 1975 LAT noted the film’s “crassness of truly awesome proportions.” The 20 May 1976 NYT stated that its PG rating stood for “Pathetic Garbage.”
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Oct 1975
p. 4735.
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 1974.
---
LAHExam
20 Oct 1974
Section E, p. 1, 9.
Los Angeles Times
15 Oct 1975
Section IV, p. 18.
New York Times
16 Jun 1974.
---
New York Times
20 May 1976
p. 44.
Variety
1 Oct 1975
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
George Barrie Presents
A Brut Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst cam
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
Still man
2d cam op
1st cam asst
Gaffer
Best boy
Head grip
Best boy
Generator op
Lamp op
2d grip
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Const coord
2d prop man
Painter
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Cost asst
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond by
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main title
Main title
Spec eff supv
2d spec eff supv
3d spec eff supv
MAKEUP
Make up
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Emergency equip supplied by
Loc mgr
Transportation capt
Prop and ward truck driver
Unit pub
STAND INS
Aerial stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Now That We're In Love," music by George Barrie, lyrics by Sammy Cahn
"You Can Do It Without The Army," music by George Barrie, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, sung by Elliott Gould and chorus.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 October 1975
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 15 October 1975
New York opening: 19 May 1976
Production Date:
began 26 August 1974 in Salt Lake City and Tooele, UT, and Los Angeles
Copyright Claimant:
Brut Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 October 1975
Copyright Number:
LP46056
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Technicolor®
Lenses
Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in feet):
8,320
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

At the U.S. Army Chemical Corps’ Duggam Proving Ground, Col. Lockyer praises Specialist Dudley Frapper, “pride of the Chemical Corps,” for being a guinea pig in countless experiments. Now Dudley volunteers to test a new gas, GZS-2, called “the Red Death” by unsympathetic newspaper reporters. As he marches in the desert, a low-flying airplane sprays him. Dudley stumbles and chokes, but the gas fails to knock him down. Watching a film of the experiment, Dr. Gopian tells Col. Lockyer that Dudley’s growing immunity to gases has made him an unreliable test subject. Later, tended by nurse and girl friend Lt. Scottie Hallam in a military hospital, Dudley suffers from choking and severe flatulence as he describes his symptoms to the colonel and Dr. Gopian. Despite his sexual impotence, a product of past experiments, he claims he had an erection during the gas attack. Though nurse Scottie wants Dudley to rest for a couple of weeks, Col. Lockyer orders him into a laboratory to test a new nerve gas. Dudley is paired with civilian “Chops” Mulligan, an armed robber who volunteered for the experiment in order to shorten his prison sentence. During the test, the gas makes both men spastic and inarticulate. Later, Col. Lockyer fires Dudley from the program because of mental instability, and the Army issues a medical discharge with a modest disability payment, even though he is only five years away from his twenty-year retirement. The injustice angers Dudley. He cannot taste food or make love, his hair is falling out and turning white in spots, and he suffers from a number of muscular tics. Scottie assures him she will help settle him into civilian life. Dudley ... +


At the U.S. Army Chemical Corps’ Duggam Proving Ground, Col. Lockyer praises Specialist Dudley Frapper, “pride of the Chemical Corps,” for being a guinea pig in countless experiments. Now Dudley volunteers to test a new gas, GZS-2, called “the Red Death” by unsympathetic newspaper reporters. As he marches in the desert, a low-flying airplane sprays him. Dudley stumbles and chokes, but the gas fails to knock him down. Watching a film of the experiment, Dr. Gopian tells Col. Lockyer that Dudley’s growing immunity to gases has made him an unreliable test subject. Later, tended by nurse and girl friend Lt. Scottie Hallam in a military hospital, Dudley suffers from choking and severe flatulence as he describes his symptoms to the colonel and Dr. Gopian. Despite his sexual impotence, a product of past experiments, he claims he had an erection during the gas attack. Though nurse Scottie wants Dudley to rest for a couple of weeks, Col. Lockyer orders him into a laboratory to test a new nerve gas. Dudley is paired with civilian “Chops” Mulligan, an armed robber who volunteered for the experiment in order to shorten his prison sentence. During the test, the gas makes both men spastic and inarticulate. Later, Col. Lockyer fires Dudley from the program because of mental instability, and the Army issues a medical discharge with a modest disability payment, even though he is only five years away from his twenty-year retirement. The injustice angers Dudley. He cannot taste food or make love, his hair is falling out and turning white in spots, and he suffers from a number of muscular tics. Scottie assures him she will help settle him into civilian life. Dudley works a succession of jobs, such as bagging groceries and selling shoes, but his coughing spells and involuntary jerks sabotage them all. During a visit, Scottie brings a canister of nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” to stimulate his “sexual hallucinations,” but though the gas makes him happy, it does not help his impotency. Later, by coincidence, Dudley goes to a bar and finds Chops Mulligan sitting next to him, planning to rob the bartender at closing time. The theft goes awry when the bartender overpowers Chops, but Dudley neutralizes him with laughing gas. Chops opens the cash register and shares the money with Dudley. Later, at a diner, Chops marvels at how gas eliminates the need for guns or violence. He convinces Dudley that since the Army abused him, he has a right to steal more gas during his medical checkups at Duggam. Meanwhile, Detective Sgt. Poultry of the Salt Lake City, Utah, police department, interviews the bartender, who remembers only that he laughed during the robbery and kept hearing a hissing noise. At Duggam, Dudley steals several canisters of “R Gas” and smuggles them off base in his van. Wearing gas masks, he and Chops rob a restaurant without resistance. Afterward, when Poultry interviews the waiters and customers, they remember only that they saw glass-eyed monsters with “metal snouts.” Suspecting a gas attack, the policeman goes to Duggam to confer with Col. Lockyer. Meanwhile, Dudley and Chops visit two banks in a remote town called Tooele. At a small airport, they enlist “Dusty,” an African American crop duster, by convincing him that Tooele hired their chemical company to spray the town with insecticide. Dudley returns to the base to steal more canisters. On the day of the robbery, Dudley and Chops set off smoke bombs on Tooele’s two roads, then enter the town wearing gas masks, while Dusty sprays gas from overhead. When state patrolmen respond to reports of thick yellow smoke on the roads, they radio Tooele police, but find them unresponsive. Detective Sgt. Poultry calls Col. Lockyer to report the attack, and Lockyer calls in Army chemical corps troops and nurses, including Scottie. After robbing the town’s banks, Dudley and Chops leave Tooele in Dudley’s van, but Lockyer and his soldiers give chase, trap them in a canyon, and fire mortars containing GZS-2 gas. When Dusty lands his bi-plane nearby, Dudley directs him to wave his tail rudder and blow the gas back at the troops. Tossing the bags of stolen money into the cockpit, Dudley and Chops jump on the wings as Dusty starts to fly out of the canyon, but Dudley is suddenly sexually aroused by the gas. He leaps off the wing and finds Scottie at a nearby medical unit. They make love in a medical van with their gas masks on, and Scottie agrees to meet him in Mexico. Col. Lockyer stumbles by in a gas-induced delirium as Dudley runs away. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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