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Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1967) Online

Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1967) Online
Original Title :
Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mammau0027s Hung You in the Closet and Iu0027m Feelinu0027 So Sad
Genre :
Movie / Comedy
Year :
Directror :
Richard Quine,Alexander Mackendrick
Cast :
Rosalind Russell,Robert Morse,Barbara Harris
Writer :
Arthur Kopit,Ian Bernard
Type :
Time :
1h 26min
Rating :
Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1967) Online

A mother drops her son and husband off at a tropical vacation spot for a little rest and relaxation. The only problem is that the husband has been dead for quite some time, and his wife had him stuffed and carries him around with her. Complications ensue.
Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Russell Rosalind Russell - Madame Rosepettle
Robert Morse Robert Morse - Jonathan
Barbara Harris Barbara Harris - Rosalie
Hugh Griffith Hugh Griffith - Commodore Roseabove
Jonathan Winters Jonathan Winters - Dad (Narrator)
Lionel Jeffries Lionel Jeffries - Airport Commander
Cyril Delevanti Cyril Delevanti - Hawkins
Hiram Sherman Hiram Sherman - Breckenduff
George Kirby George Kirby - Moses
Janis Hansen Janis Hansen - The Other Woman

This film was completed in 1965 but Paramount didn't release it until 1967. In the interim, the understandably nervous studio hired Jonathan Winters to appear in comic inserts shot long after the regular cast had dispersed and principal photography was over.

Natalie Wood was originally announced for the lead.

User reviews



Okay, so the sixties was the decade when lots of rules were broken and new frontiers were forged. Unfortunately, alot of this rule-breaking looks self-indulgent and stupid now. Take the case of OH DAD ..., which is based on a George(or is it William?)Kopit play. Not quite absurdist but definitely absurd, the story involves a woman who lugs her dead husband's corpse with her and her adult virgin son as they traverse various resorts. Rosalind Russell is the white-clad, pastel-wigged mother, Robert Morse the wimpy man-child, and Jonathan Winters is Poor Dad in the closet(also the narrator). Also on hand is Barbara Harris as a young nymphet--one of the few reasons to see the movie. I happen to like Harris, and her film roles are few and far between(FREAKY FRIDAY and FAMILY PLOT are probably her most readily available films), so I grabbed POOR DAD at a small independent video shop several years ago. Harris is a great comic actress, and although she is one of the good things about POOR DAD, it's not one of her better efforts.

Winter's character narrates and points out the plot points of this film as it goes along, almost to cue the audience how to react to the next scene. It's interesting to note that, despite all the big names, this movie tanked. Probably because nobody knew what the hell this movie was--Winters' wacky narration and the goofy flashbacks detailing his courtship and marriage of Russell (who parodies her Auntie Mame persona) stab at being comic in that manic 1960s way (think of the way the old Monkees TV show was shot), or some kind of weird symbolic representation of the spiritual bankruptcy of the collective American soul (nobody has a corpse in a closet strickly for shtick purposes). And THAT TITLE . . . a sure sign the film is a bomb. If you're a student of film and feel the need to survey the various kinds of films that were perpetrated during the sixties, you might want to give this one a try. Or maybe not
just one girl

just one girl

If you've never seen a film that is a 100% head scratching oddity, then see this 1960s mind bender. Rosalind Russell checks into a Caribbean hotel with her son and husband. The son is a feral man child and the husband is dead (literally...he's stuffed and resides in a coffin). Russell proceeds to woo crackpot commodore Hugh Griffith while her son (Robert Morse) gets life lessons from party girl Barbara Harris. It's a comedy, but really not particularly funny. Russell wears one outrageous outfit after another while Morse skirts very close to making an absolute fool out of himself. Only Harris is genuinely funny; she's so off kilter, it's hard to tell if she's daffy or really worldly. It's directed with a lot of gusto by Richard Quine and the whole thing is narrated by Jonathan Winters (as "dad"). His part was reportedly edited in after completion of the film. Neal Hefti's music is appropriately '60s and the cinematography is credited to none other than Geoffrey Unsworth! Based on the play by Arthur Kopit.
Arabella V.

Arabella V.

Madame Rosepettle (Rosalind Russell) arrives at a Caribbean resort for a vacation with quite a menagerie, her 24 year old son (Robert Morse) who acts like a 5 year old, his stamp collection and telescope, a pair of Venus Flytraps, her tank of pet piranhas and her dead husband (Jonathan Winters-who serves as narrator) who she's had stuffed and travels with them in his coffin that she keeps in the closet. While they're there the hotel's babysitter Rosalie (Barbara Harris) falls for the infantile young man while Madame is pursued by a crazy ship captain, Commodore Roseabove. Got that? The cast is game, the production design impressive and the costuming, especially for Roz, elaborate. Wait until you get a load of Miss Russell's ever changing wigs in various pastel colors, pink, golden and green among them. Oddball film is different, how much you like it depends on how game you are for outlandish cinema. It's theatre of the absurd and the kind of whack-a-doodle thing that could only be produced in the 60's.


The last part of Rosalind Russell's film career saw her appearing in a variety of film versions of Broadway plays, ranking from classic ("Picnic" and "Auntie Mame") to miscast ("A Majority of One") to critically mixed ("Gypsy").

This play, one of the most unforgettable titles in Broadway history (and a notorious flop), is about the most domineering of all mothers, a woman who hates her deceased husband so much that she keeps his casket and literally hangs his stuffed corpse in the closet, I guess hiring more maids to take care of the smell when that started to occur was out of the question since he supposedly flaunted an affair with their maid in her face and she ended up serving them. Here, the late hubby is none other than Jonathan Winters, and he narrates the story, following one of the most bizarre movie theme songs in movie history, dropping wisecracks such as "We fell in love when I removed the thorn from her paw".

Robert Morse ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying") plays their dominated son, treated by his mommie dearest as if he was still a tot. Russell looks like an aging drag queen here, clad in funky 60's outfits with matching wigs and even more bizarre make-up. You'll want to watch the entire movie just to see what she will show up in next if you can stomach the content.

The film flashes back to Winters and Russell's marriage, thanks to an actual film she has of it which she shows to the eccentric Hugh Griffith, her new man. Of course, this is shown through her point of view before she became this harpy, and if you can get past the idea of seeing this 60-something year old woman trying to pass for her 20's and 30's, you can find some amusement in the black comedy unraveling on the screen. The ultra-talented Barbara Harris plays the young miss who becomes a formidable competitor for Russell for both Griffith and Morse's affections. Eventually, this becomes loud and braying, hurting the ears with each syllable the normally lovable Roz is forced to say. As directed by Richard Quine, this is a mod, mod movie that shows why the 1960's are sometimes best left in the past.


I never fully understood the reasons that my parents took us to see movies in the 1950s and 1960s. We saw popular films like Disney's "Peter Pan", "The Sound Of Music", "My Fair Lady", and "South Pacific". We saw kid oriented films like "The Incredible Mr. Limpet". We saw obscure films (nowadays) like "Escapade In Japan". But we also saw comedies like "The Great Race" and "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell".

But I have never figured out why my parents took us to see "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You In The Closet And I'm Feeling So Sad". We saw it just a year before I went to high school, so it was the year before I began going by myself to the movies. Was my coming of age at 13 considered the reason to see this avant garde comedy? If so, I consider it a waste of time. That same year we saw "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", so my parents still could pick good films...but why this?

I am inclined to think it was my father who chose it. Dad could be curious about odd films now and then. Certainly the cast was good: Rosalind Russell, Robert Morse, Barbara Harris, Hugh Griffith, Jonanthan Winters, and Lionel Jeffries were all above average performers. But the film was not a good film.

The story (from a play by Arthur Kopit) skewered sex and money. Russell inherited the fortune of her high-living husband Winters, who died after leaving her with a son. The son grows up (in terms of chronological age) as Robert Morse. Russell travels with him and his stamp collection, and plays the rich widow who everyone else caters too. While in a Caribbean port she is attracted to elderly millionaire sailor Hugh Griffth, or (as she is always looking for the main chance) his impressive multi-million dollar yacht. She begins a romance with him, while a local girl (Harris) tries to reach out to the infantile, socially awkward Morse. The film follows the two resulting romances, as well as Russell's attempts to maintain control over Morse: you see, she is aware of how her husband Winters died - he overdid his drinking, eating, and sleeping around until he was found dead in bed. Russell doesn't want that to happen to Morse.

One of the critiques on this thread mentions that a small positive for this film was Russell had a chance to redo her Mame Dennis characterization. True, but Madame Rosepettle is very status oriented and wealth consumed (she mentions her son's philatelic interest has created a very rare stamp collection - probably purchased at her direction). Mame only looked at wealth as a means, not an end, and did shower affection on Patrick, on Agnes, on Beauregard, and on her friends Lindsay and Vera. Put another way, if Mame met Madame Rosepettle once she wouldn't have sought out the lady again. Come to think of it, one wonders if the Upson Family would have either.

At the time this film came out, Russell was riding a crest. She had managed to keep her female star billing up to the middle of the 1960s, at a time when most of her contemporary stars (Claudette Colbert, Norma Shearer, Jean Arthur) were retiring, or were treading water in horror films (Bette Davis, Joan Crawford...once Olivia De Havilland). Although Russell had never gotten the Oscar De Havilland, Davis, Shearer, Colbert, and Crawford got (one could add Hepburn to that list), she still was packing in fans on Broadway (in "Wonderful Town" and "Auntie Mame") and in decent film lead roles ("Auntie Mame", "A Majority Of One","Gypsy", "Picnic"). But there were signs this was ending. She had just appeared in "The Trouble With Angels", wherein she was a Mother Superior with her hands full from two girl students - and her role supported the two student parts. Shortly after "Oh Dad", Russell was in the sequel film "Where Angels Go Troubles Follow". Her last real star turn would be in the film "Rosie" at the end of the 1960s as a female "Mame" type confronted by a "King Lear" situation. That film would flop.

So with OH DAD, POOR DAD we are entering the twilight of Russell's career. We also are witnessing the brief rise and fall of Morse's film career. He had just made a hit in "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying", and repeated it in the film version. A terrific stage performer (whom I'd see years later as Truman Capote), his film credits were mixed...possibly only "The Matchmaker" and "The Loved One" being worthy of film memory with "How To Succeed". His performance as Jonathan Rosepettle was capably handled as far as it went, but the character seemed a caricature of an infantile young man (literally sucking his thumb and mumbling "I love you mommy!" at the end). Morse never had a real chance in motion pictures after this.

Winters, Harris, and Griffith acquit themselves well. Winters is dead from the start (in the present scenes he is only seen as a stuffed corpse in Mom's closet). He is dead, but enjoying being out of the reach of his wife. He comments on the actions...and gives the last word on the movie (as in the Summary Line above). One wishes the work had better dialog for him. Harris and Griffith pursue their sexual interests in the Rosepettles...to their gradual late realization of their mistakes. Lionel Jeffries (as a local airport official) does the best he can with the paucity of his material.

Interesting that so many characters have "Rose" in their names: Madame and Jonathan ROSEpettle, Commodore ROSEabove, ROSEalie. But a better film based on a play, Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo" did the same thing earlier.

Game cast - mediocre results. Russell's career hurdles to oblivion, and Morse's film career collapses. Just too bad.


I've seen the film AND read the play, which I think makes me unique. It also makes me queasy. The word `queasy' is not a staple of my vocabulary, for some reason, but it leapt readily to mind as a precise description of how this miserable, grotty-looking, dull, funny-as-chloroform movie made me feel, and will make you feel, too, if you're not careful. The play was little more than a foray into a now extinct breed of artiness. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it has never been produced anywhere in the world since 1970 - and hopefully, the sun will grow cold before it is produced anywhere ever again. The film is a botched version of the play, AND a foray into extinct artiness in its own right. Moreover I think something was wrong with the film stock. The very colours upset my stomach.

Here is what remains of the plot synopsis, excluding that which has been so wittily summed up by the title: a widow has had her dead husband stuffed; she lugs his preserved corpse around wherever she travels; she has an idiot son who is sort of undergoing a sexual awakening (DON'T expect anything salacious); and that's about it. Every so often the dead father will appear in a little bubble in the top right-hand corner of the screen and comment on what, if anything, is going on. Sometimes he'll talk to his son. Sometimes he'll address the audience, with lines like, `Not much will happen in the next few minutes.' If he'd been honest, he would have added, `And not much will happen after that, either, so if you're thinking of walking out, cut your losses and do so NOW.'

Don't get me wrong - the 1960s was the tail end of Hollywood's golden age, producing delightful throw-backs like **** and stunning new masterpieces like ****. (I'm sorry - I simply couldn't bear to see the names of two of my favourite films associated in any way with this one.) But it was also the Decade of Floundering. If you want to see just how badly Hollywood was floundering in the 'sixties, by all means watch this movie - but you'll probably decide that you didn't really want to know, after all.


I don't think I'll ever understand the 60's? What a wacky time! Somewhere between civil rights marches, Vietnam, moon landings, LSD, and the myriad of other things that came put of that time, also came some of the oddest movies ever. Major studio's seemed to be dumping large sums of money into strange films some that come to mind, Otto Preminger Skidoo, The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, and the film I'm about to review, OH DAD, POOR DAD, MAMMA'S HUNG YOU IN THE CLOSET AND I'M FEELING SO SAD.

The film based on the stage play by Arthur L. Kopit (The Stage Musical PHANTOM, not to be confused with Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical.) and stars veteran character actor Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) as Madame Rosepettle. Madame Rosepettle is an eccentric overbearing women. She's the kind of women who sucks the air out of any room she's enters. She has many strange quirks like that fact that she has two Venus flytraps she loves to take care of and a tank full of Piranhas that eat Siamese cats. Oh yeah and when her husband died she had him stuffed and she keeps him in a closet.

Her son Johnathan (Robert Morse, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) is 24 years old and act like he's five. His mother keeps him indoors at all time, keeping him busy with stamp collections, edited books, and a telescope.

As the film begins we watch as Madame Rosepettle and her son land in Jamaica. They are staying at a first class resort for the summer. There they meet the beautiful Rosalie (Barbara Harris, Gorse Pointe Blank), the resorts baby sitter whom falls for Johnathan and Commodore Roseabove (Hugh Griffith, Start the Revolution Without Me) a crazy ship captain who pines for Madam Rosepettle. All these characters meet up and well, all hell breaks loose.

Did I forget to mention Johnathan Winters receives top billing in this film as Dad the Narrator?

This film is bad, but it has too much spunk to be unwatchable. It is vibrant; the story has life, and the actors all do a great job of creating these lively and humorous and malajusted characters. What weighs the film down into mediocrity is Johnathan Winters. He does narrate this film. But not the story, he narrates the action, and every time he does we see this small freeze frame of his face pop up on screen. A gimmick that stops the film cold dead in its tracks, I'll bet some Paramount bigwig said this movie makes no sense, we have one of the biggest comedians of the day why waste him in such a small role. There are perfect comedic and dramatic beats in this film destroyed by Winters banal comments.

The single greatest sequence in the film is a short silent movie narrated by Madame Rosepettle. It's so perfect, it so crazy, and it is flawless in delivery. It in of itself would make a fascinating short.

Honestly, this film is the comedic answer to Psycho. It's about a boy's relationship to his crazy mother. It's kinda funny, but Robert Morse also has a stunning resemblance to Anthony Perkins. It's not Psycho, it isn't anywhere close, but it's a lot of campy fun and in the same vein. If you like great bad movies, I'd try to track down a copy of this film.

If you're a fan of camp, if you want to wallow in the bad seek out OH DAD, POOR DAD, MAMMA'S HUNG YOU IN THE CLOSET AND I'M FEELING SO SAD.


In fact, I saw first the play in the 70's, in my city, Barcelona, in a very good performance, and the public was very delightful. As a curiosity: the role of the Mother was played... by a man! That gave a satirical and extravagant turn to the show. Unfortunately, the film of Quine is, sadly, a disaster: a comedy without grace, very boring and it is a pity that such a talented director fall so low in this movie: it is very difficult to complete the vision of this film. The impression of the play was that it is a experimental comedy. But the impression of the film is that it is a very nonsense history with characters very ridiculous.


Prior to my seeing Oh Dad, Poor Dad I confessed to an admiration for Rosalind Russell in that she had not gone the horror and gore route that so many of her female contemporaries had. Then I saw this.

With her ever changing hair color like the horse in the Wizard Of Oz and grand presence borrowed somewhat from Mama Rose in Gypsy, Russell plays a domineering mother who has sheltered her son Robert Morse to the point of him being socially backward. They're rich as Midas and can indulge in a lot of activities that people would say they were candidates for HappyDale if they didn't have that kind of wealth. One of them is carrying around a coffin with the body of her late husband and Morse's father. I'm sure it's the best work some taxidermist ever did. She must have read what Oxford did with Jeremy Bentham.

Anyway a couple of predatory fortune hunters are after them at the latest tropical paradise they've lighted. Sea Captain Hugh Griffith is chasing Russell and bimbo Barbara Harris is after Morse. Therein lies the story.

I learned two things about this film. After it was completed Paramount held it up for two years and cast Jonathan Winters as her late husband who takes his first flight on his new wings to observe the family he left behind. Little squib insertions were put into the film with Winters offering Greek chorus commentary at intervals. That in itself tells you the film needed help.

Secondly in Russell's own autobiography she wasn't crazy about the end product feeling that she and the director were working at cross purposes. Personally I didn't think the film had much purpose to begin with.

Roz took the place Hermione Gingold who did this on stage and the imbecile son was played by a young Sam Waterston. All I can say is Jack McCoy came from one bad beginning.

Roz Russell's own fans will be terribly disappointed.


Eccentric, maniacal widow and her child-like grown son travel with her husband--dead for years in his coffin, and stuffed!--to a Jamaican resort; she has also brought along hungry piranha, the son's stamp collection, rare coins and ("not smart") Venus Flytraps. Director Richard Quine and producer Ray Stark were probably hoping for another outrageous, morbid comedy along the lines of "The Loved One", but this dire adaptation of Arthur L. Kopit's darkly-comic play is so far-out that it isn't funny--it's mostly off-putting. Paramount Pictures shelved the final results for nearly two years before finally releasing it with a Jonathan Winters prologue (he also speaks for the deceased husband, chiming in often with snarky, mordant comments). The picture is full of top talents, not the least of which is Rosalind Russell as the bewigged Madame Rosepettle (who approaches her role as if Auntie Mame had become a drill sergeant). There was probably no way to make Kopit's material work on film without rethinking it completely. When Barbara Harris can't even get a laugh, you know something's off. Biggest asset: Neal Hefti's bouncy score. *1/2 from ****