What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)



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Movie Info

Woody Allen took a Japanese spy movie called Kagi No Kagi, and replaced its original dialogue with an entirely new plot. In its revised state, this film follows the adventures of agent Phil Moskowitz who is on a deadly mission to secure the recipe for the "world's greatest egg salad." However, Moskowitz, with the help of the beautiful Suki and Terri Yaki, must prevent this unique recipe from falling into the hands of the evil Shepherd Wong. The group Lovin' Spoonful recorded the majority of the songs for this film.


Woody Allen
as Himself/Dub Voice/Projectionist, Narrator/Host/Voices
Tatsuya Mihashi
as Phil Moscowitz
Mie Hama
as Teri Yaki
Akiko Wakabayashi
as Shepherd Wong
Tadao Nakamaru
as Shepherd Wong
Susumu Kurobe
as Wing Fat
China Lee
as Herself
Kumi Mizuno
as Phil's Date
Louise Lasser
as Dub Voice
Eisei Amamoto
as Bartender with Peter Lorre accent
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Critic Reviews for What's Up, Tiger Lily?

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3)

Arguably Woody Allen's funniest movie.

May 10, 2013 | Full Review…

The production has one premise -- deliberately mismatched dialog -- which is sustained reasonably well through its brief running time.

Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A jolly oddity.

Feb 11, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Since dismissed as juvenile doodling by its author, the picture is actually an exercise in disjunctive radicalism, the word defeating the image.

May 10, 2013 | Full Review…

What's Up, Tiger Lily? is cleverly devised, hinging on a well-developed sense of the absurd.

May 10, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Gimmicky but intermittently funny, Woody Allen's feature directing debut is based on the retooling and redubbing of a minor Japanese thriller-actioner with American actors.

Aug 27, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for What's Up, Tiger Lily?

Woody Allen's directorial debut was an interesting experiment at the time: redubbing International Secret Police: A Barrel of Gunpowder and ISP: Key of Keys (two pre-existing Japanese James Bond-esque films) with comedic English dialogue (a definite early precursor to Mystery Science Theater 3000). The film on screen, of course, is utterly ridiculous, and Allen conjures up some good lines such as, "It's a great film! It's got rape and looting," and "I have nude pictures that I will send to every grade school in Tokyo. Unless you're confident with your body, you're in for trouble", and there's even some clever participatory lines such as "Applaud so the gun will magically have more bullets," but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. In the end, it's hard to escape the fact that, even with the new dialogue, an audience still has to sit through the movie on screen. There are some awkward and bizarre musical interludes from The Lovin' Spoonful (which happened without Allen's consent, and propelled him to insist on musical control over his films) and their inclusion, both sonically and visually, is completely nonsensical. It appears as if he and his collaborators had a few good ideas here and there, but sporadic ideas does not a movie make.

Jonathan Hutchings
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

After writing and appearing in the film, "What's New Pussycat?", Woody Allen was approached by producers to write an english language dub of the japanese spy thriller "International Secret Police: Key of Keys". He agreed to do it, but only if he could re-work the storyline, which now centers around a group of spies pursuing the "world's best egg salad". Yes, I know it sounds wacky, but those expecting Allen's usual satirical wit will undoubtedly be disappointed, as it's a far cry from his films from the 70s. Still, I got quite a few chuckles from it, and there were certain scenes that out and out cracked me up. I also enjoyed the incongruous appearance of The Lovin' Spoonful, even if they were added later without Woody's consent. It's definitely a unique film experience, and probably the first of it's kind.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer


Good, a little strange, but funny.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Um, I really hated it. And it pains me to say so because I love Woody so dearly. Unfunny, uncreative, and unintentionally confusing! Honestly I think I would've liked the ACTUAL sexploitation B-movie is Japanese versus this mess.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

What's Up, Tiger Lily? Quotes

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