O.C. and Stiggs (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

O.C. and Stiggs (1987)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This off-beat, episodic comedy from Robert Altman features teenage characters based on a short story from National Lampoon magazine. The story centers on the trials and travails suffered by the Schwab family.

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Daniel Jenkins
as Oliver Cromwell "O.C." Ogilvie
Neil Barry
as Mark Stiggs
Jane Curtin
as Elinore Schwab
Paul Dooley
as Randall Schwab
Jon Cryer
as Randall Schwab Jr.
Louis Nye
as Garth Sloan
Tina Louise
as Florence Beaugereaux
Martin Mull
as Pat Coletti
Donald May
as Jack Stiggs
Carla Borelli
as Stella Stiggs
Cynthia Nixon
as Michelle
Laura Urstein
as Lenore Schwab
Victor J. Ho
as Frankie Tang
Stephanie Elfrink
as Missie Stiggs
Fred Newman
as Bongo Voice
James Gilsenan
as Barney Beaugereaux
Dan Ziskie
as Rusty Calloway
Greg Mangler
as Jefferson Washington
Daniel Ziskie
as Rusty Calloway
Tiffany Helm
as Charlotte
Bob Vecker
as Himself
Margery Bond
as Mrs. Bunny
Jeannine Ann Cole
as Nancy Pearson
Nina Van Pallandt
as Claire Dejavve
Thomas Hal Phillips
as Hal Phillip Walker
Danny Darst
as Schwab Commercial Singer
Tom Flagg
as Policeman
Frank Sprague
as Actor in Play
Bob Uecker
as Bob Uecker
Greg Wrangler
as Jefferson Washington
as Wino
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Critic Reviews for O.C. and Stiggs

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

Its notion of American artificiality runs so deep that the film begins and ends at a man-made surfing beach in the middle of the desert.

February 11, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

I found little to like in this incoherent, gross, and juvenile farce by film-maker Robert Altman.

Full Review… | March 18, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...a massive failure on every single level...

Full Review… | December 7, 2005
Reel Film Reviews

(Altman's) distinctive, observational satire is poles apart from the sophomoric humor that trademarks the Lampoon

June 28, 2003

Audience Reviews for O.C. and Stiggs

Robert Altman directs this film about two teens with a strange sense of humor and lifestyle, who spend a good chunk of their time trying to torment a family known as the Schwabs. The movie is puzzling, both in it's own story, and why Altman would decide to adapt a movie out of two recurring characters from the National Lampoon magazine. His style and sense of humor doesn't gel with the style and sense of humor of National Lampoon...and the whole thing is kind of a mess. Altman is best when he just does his own thing, but he had this idea of trying to adapt things and force them into his own style...and it often ended up with misfires like this.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

No, it's not a failure. It's not good either. It's simply one of the oddest ducks of 80's comedies - trying to be both an actual National Lampoon movie (it's based on one of the stories from the magazine, which I'm not sure), and a satire of them and teen comedies. Trouble is, I couldn't really tell. It felt more like Altman reaching further than he did with MASH to make a completely anarchic, tasteless comedy about a couple of guys (in this case Daniel Jenkins and Neill Barry are FAR from the talents of Eliot Gould and Donald Sutherland) who just want to stir up the shit in middle-upper class Arizona. I was glad it wasn't just some assembly-line thing. It is an Altman movie, to the bone, so loose and free that you have to watch moment to moment because there isn't anything CLOSE to a plot here. It's just a semblance of vignettes around what OC and Stiggs did on their summer break (not their real names, and as OC says, one of my big laughs, is that "Call me OC, it sounds more ridiculous"). Make a wild car that is $100 off the lot and can be decked out to look like a monster-truck-studabaker? Check. Bring a machine gun as a wedding present for a very unsatisfactory wedding? Check. Make friends and give out t-shirts from the Schwab insurance company to Melvin Van Peebles? Oh hell yeah a check. How about a trip to Mexico to snag an African band to later crash a theater production on its opening night? Uh... hey, it IS a National Lampoon movie.... sorta, not really, whatever. I was fascinated by OC and Stiggs, no question there. Sometimes I was laughing, more for the little beats of oddball behavior that Altman was always known for sprinkling in. Ray Walston as the grandfather, while no more or less one note than any of the other supporting (or lead?) characters, is maybe the funniest most consistently, rambling about extreme acts of violence in stories and making outrageous omelettes and drink concoctions that he correctly predicts make one more prone to sex. And while he's not as funny as I'd hoped, Dennis Hopper also has a fun appearance playing his Photo-Journalist from Apocalypse Now - that is, if the Photo-Journalist ended up having lots of guns, ammo, and marijuana to grow out in the fields, uh, somewhere. The whole project, from some of the casting (hey, Jane Curtain and, uh, future stars Cynthia Nixon and Jon Cryer) to how bizarre some of the set pieces get (skinny dipping again in the Schwab's pool? Hey, there's a tiki backyard next door!), is like a big stunt on Altman's part. And why not? His career was full of them, from doing a shaggy-dog take on the Long Goodbye to his madcap take on Popeye. But the main characters are so obnoxious that the power of the satire just became lost, and I wasn't sure if the line not simply got blurred between doing an actual teen comedy and a satire of it but that the line was screwed altogether. Over time the film seems to have gotten a small cult - maybe apologists, maybe people who genuinely like it after it unfortunately (or maybe rightfully) bombed after being shelved for two years - but it still doesn't make it top shelf work from this director. The style is just so all over the place that maybe, at best, it could work as a wildcard party movie, like throw it on, dip in and out, get laughs where they suddenly, outrageously, pop up, and skip over some of the lesser points.

Jack Gattanella
Jack Gattanella

(*** 1/2): [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] A very strange and funny film.


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