Don't Drink the Water (1969)

G | 98 mins | Comedy | 11 November 1969

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HISTORY

The 5 Feb 1969 DV announced Howard Morris as director of the film version of Woody Allen’s satirical stage play, Don’t Drink the Water. Marshall Brickman was listed among the screenwriters at that time. Interior scenes would be filmed at F & B-Ceco Studios in North Miami, FL, as noted in the 26 Feb 1969 Var.
       Principal photography began 10 Mar 1969, according to a 14 Mar 1969 DV production chart. Three weeks later, the 2 Apr 1969 Var reported that the company was on location in Quebec City, Canada. Stars Estelle Parsons and Jackie Gleason were expected back in North Miami on 21 Apr 1969. The 9 Apr 1969 Var noted that the “winding streets” of Quebec City were intended to evoke the fictional Eastern European nation of “Vulgaria.” Equipment for the $2.1 production was rented from nearby Montreal, Canada. The recent completion of filming was announced in an advertisement for F & B-Ceco Studios in the 2 Jun 1969 DV .
       A news item in the 17 Sep 1969 Var stated that singer Dave McCoy of WLWT Radio in Cincinnati, OH, would perform the title song.
       Don’t Drink the Water opened 11 Nov 1969 in New York City at the Avco Embassy East and Warner Cinerama Theatres. Los Angeles openings followed on 26 Nov 1969. Reviews were mixed: While the 10 Nov 1969 DV made favorable comparisons to classic comedies of the early twentieth century, the 26 Nov 1969 LAT dismissed ... More Less

The 5 Feb 1969 DV announced Howard Morris as director of the film version of Woody Allen’s satirical stage play, Don’t Drink the Water. Marshall Brickman was listed among the screenwriters at that time. Interior scenes would be filmed at F & B-Ceco Studios in North Miami, FL, as noted in the 26 Feb 1969 Var.
       Principal photography began 10 Mar 1969, according to a 14 Mar 1969 DV production chart. Three weeks later, the 2 Apr 1969 Var reported that the company was on location in Quebec City, Canada. Stars Estelle Parsons and Jackie Gleason were expected back in North Miami on 21 Apr 1969. The 9 Apr 1969 Var noted that the “winding streets” of Quebec City were intended to evoke the fictional Eastern European nation of “Vulgaria.” Equipment for the $2.1 production was rented from nearby Montreal, Canada. The recent completion of filming was announced in an advertisement for F & B-Ceco Studios in the 2 Jun 1969 DV .
       A news item in the 17 Sep 1969 Var stated that singer Dave McCoy of WLWT Radio in Cincinnati, OH, would perform the title song.
       Don’t Drink the Water opened 11 Nov 1969 in New York City at the Avco Embassy East and Warner Cinerama Theatres. Los Angeles openings followed on 26 Nov 1969. Reviews were mixed: While the 10 Nov 1969 DV made favorable comparisons to classic comedies of the early twentieth century, the 26 Nov 1969 LAT dismissed the picture as “flat, forced and tepid.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Feb 1969
p. 16.
Daily Variety
14 Mar 1969
p. 8.
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1969
p. 17.
Daily Variety
10 Nov 1969
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
14 Nov 1969
Section H, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
26 Nov 1969
Section E, p. 8.
New York Times
12 Nov 1969
p. 41.
Variety
26 Feb 1969
p. 33.
Variety
2 Apr 1969
p. 77.
Variety
9 Apr 1969
p. 9.
Variety
17 Sep 1969
p. 42.
Variety
29 Oct 1969
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jack Rollins-Charles H. Joffe Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Main titles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Don't Drink the Water by Woody Allen (New York, 17 Nov 1966).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Don't Drink the Water," words by Kelly Gordon, music by Pat Williams.
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 November 1969
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 November 1969
Los Angeles opening: 26 November 1969
Production Date:
10 March--late May 1969
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Movielab
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Returning from a European tour, Newark caterer Walter Hollander, wife Marion, and daughter Susan, are passengers on a hijacked plane which lands in Communist Vulgaria. When the family photographs the Vulgarian airport, Krojack, the head of the Vulgarian secret police, suspects espionage and attempts to arrest them. The tourists, however, are granted asylum in the American embassy, temporarily supervised by Axel Magee, son of the ambassador. There the Hollanders meet mad Father Drobney, who for 6 years has enjoyed sanctuary within the consulate's confines. Although the United States attempts to rescue the family by repatriating Vulgarian agent Grey Fox, he commits suicide before an exchange can be negotiated. When middle-aged student agitators picket and bomb the embassy, Hollander, Marion, and Susan don the robes of a visiting sultan and his harem and rush to a rescue point. They are met by a senile American pilot who has spent 6 years awaiting the prelate's escape. Discovering room for only two on board the craft, Susan happily bids her parents farewell, and secures diplomatic immunity by marrying ... +


Returning from a European tour, Newark caterer Walter Hollander, wife Marion, and daughter Susan, are passengers on a hijacked plane which lands in Communist Vulgaria. When the family photographs the Vulgarian airport, Krojack, the head of the Vulgarian secret police, suspects espionage and attempts to arrest them. The tourists, however, are granted asylum in the American embassy, temporarily supervised by Axel Magee, son of the ambassador. There the Hollanders meet mad Father Drobney, who for 6 years has enjoyed sanctuary within the consulate's confines. Although the United States attempts to rescue the family by repatriating Vulgarian agent Grey Fox, he commits suicide before an exchange can be negotiated. When middle-aged student agitators picket and bomb the embassy, Hollander, Marion, and Susan don the robes of a visiting sultan and his harem and rush to a rescue point. They are met by a senile American pilot who has spent 6 years awaiting the prelate's escape. Discovering room for only two on board the craft, Susan happily bids her parents farewell, and secures diplomatic immunity by marrying Magee. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.