Get to Know Your Rabbit - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Get to Know Your Rabbit Reviews

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January 28, 2018
An odd but funny, obscure De Palma film.
September 29, 2012
This early effort from Brian DePalma has drugs, magic tricks, female nudity, and a Orson Wells cameo, now if it could only make a story appear out of all that mess they would really have something here.
June 11, 2012
the day the earth stood still
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2012
A bizarre nugget from director Brian DePalma's early career, "Get to Know Your Rabbit" lands halfway between Woody Allen's concurrent farces ("Bananas," "Sleeper") and the many late-'60s comedies ("I Love You, Alice B. Toklas," for instance) where a "straight" drops out to experiment with the subculture.

Tom Smothers is Donald Beeman, an executive marketing analyst who turns exasperated with the corporate grind, quits his job, moves to a fleabag hotel and takes lessons to become (ta-daa) a tap-dancing magician. His teacher? Orson Welles, of course. A pitiful string of bookings in sleazy bars follows, but Donald is happy to be living his dream. Along the way, he meets a beautiful gal or two, including groupie Katharine Ross (who must have been asking herself how her career so quickly plunged from "The Graduate" and "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" to this silly flick). Familiar faces Charles Lane, M. Emmet Walsh and Bob "Super Dave Osbourne" Einstein also pop in for random scenes, while the always wonderful Allen Garfield has a solid part as an overbearing brassiere salesman. And John Astin is Donald's needy ex-boss who becomes a crucial obstacle to the righteous, unfettered life.

From the start, it's obvious that "Get to Know Your Rabbit" is too absurdist to have any real satirical bite. The plot makes less and less sense as it goes (just how many cut-rate magicians can the marketplace handle?) and, except for a couple of overhead tracking shots, the film has the aesthetics of a bland sitcom rerun. Smothers is a likable star, but his magic skills fail to impress (partly by design, sure). He does allow himself some racy moves that wouldn't pass on television, such as briefly exposing his genitals (too far away from the camera to be notable) and squeezing naked breasts.

"Rabbit" is a fun little romp, but viewers seeking DePalma's comic side are much better off finding his previous film, "Hi Mom!"
January 27, 2012
Brian De Palma made a name for himself with his independent films Greetings (1968) and Hi, Mom! (1970), with that, Warner Bros. offered him a Hollywood film with this lighthearted satirical comedy about the madness of the rat race and how we want to escape it. It was shelved for 2 years after wrangling and uncertainty about how to sell it, shame really. Successful businessman Donald Beeman (Tom Smothers) is sick with being stuck in a Nine to Five routine, having to keep to deadlines and the punctuality and repetitive nature of his work, and one day, he just gets up and walks out, quits his job and trains to become a traveling tap dancing magician under the teachings of Mr. Delasandro (Orson Welles). Meanwhile, Beeman's boss Mr. Turnbull (John Astin) is desperate to get Beeman back to work, but it eventually costs Turnbull his job, he's now a drifter and Beeman employs him as his business manager, and while Beeman is travelling across America, Turnbull's new company grows to become one of the biggest corporations in the World, Tap Dancing Magicians (TBM). It is very much like a Richard Lester comedy, with very surreal humour carrying it along, but it has hints De Palma's technical trickery that he would used in Phantom of the Paradise (1974) and The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990). Smothers is a likeable presence and he holds his own against pro's like Welles and Astin, the result is one of the best kept secrets of the 1970's.
½ October 2, 2011
A periodically amusing early curiosity from master director Brian De Palma that felt empty, shallow, despite all the quirkiness.
December 1, 2010
Get to Know Your Rabbit is an early comedy of Brian De Palma's which is a fantastically ridiculous. It follows a dissatisfied business man (Tom Smothers) whom leaves his job in order to become a tap-dancing magician. This film revels in its absurdity, and its a just a lot of fun. De Palma loves his overheads and tracking shots in this film, and they work well, creating this absurd surrealism. Orson Welles even shows up as the business man's trainer, when he wishes to become a tap-dancing magician. It's a relatively small part, but Welles is great as always. The more I hear people say they think De Palma is overrated or sucks, the more I believe they just havent gone deep enough into his early works. De Palma may be known more for his early 90's late 80s fare, but in my humble opinion his best work came in the 70s and early 80s.
September 22, 2010
Low-key, odd but consistent comedy starring good-natured Smothers as an office drone who seeks an escape the grind of corporate life and Astin as his boss who tries to follow his lead with schizophrenic results. Tim Carey is hilarious in a brief bit.
May 9, 2010
Awesome. Another de Palma classic.
½ March 22, 2009
There's not enough here to rank it with the best of De Palma's satires (Hi, Mom and Phantom of Paradise, if you can consider the latter that), but it's such a bizarre movie that it kind of works almost in spite of itself. De Palma's got a lot of verve with his direction, which is to be expected, but any moment with Orson Welles is awesome and there's a few really genuinely laugh out loud moments here. It's really one of those near "lost" movies that not surprisingly never really found an audience. It's a true oddity, and I mean that as sort of a compliment (sadly De Palma got fired during editing, though maybe it's not hard to see why).
February 14, 2009
the day the earth stood still
½ October 28, 2008
A fantastic early comedy from Brian de Palma, and stylistically it's very much his - he loves his tracking shots and overheads. Tom Smothers is just damn likable as the dissatisfied business executive who quits his lucrative job in order to become a tap-dancing magician. From this little plot summary alone you can probably surmise that the movie is a ridiculous one, and it is wonderfully so: there are random funny bits inserted everywhere, and Orson Welles lends the unique hilarity that only Welles can to the character of the magic instructor. This movie combines de Palma's almost surreal craziness with Tom Smothers's casual humor as well as a bit of old-fashioned madcap zaniness. (Bob Einstein, known for his work on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, even turns up for one scene, as do several other familiar faces of cinema, including M. Emmet Walsh.) Maybe all the parts don't quite all fuse into a single expertly crafted vision, but so what? The movie's wonderful - wildly off-kilter and entertaining. Love it!
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