Katrin Schaake doesn’t get the billing she deserves, and finds herself sidelined considerably. Although Woody Allen’s character tries it on with three different girls in What’s New Pussycat? it’s only Schaake as Jacqueline that could be described as his girlfriend.
Her films include LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH, KATZELMACHER, GODS OF THE PLAGUE, WHITY, BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE, RIO DAS MORTES, PIONEERS IN INGOLSTADT, THE AMERICAN SOLDIER and THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT. The latter falls into the period in which she was married to Ulli Lommel. She then lived with the German singer Marius-Müller Westernhagen and works today as a traditional healer.
With the exception of the Wagnerian comic actress, all of the female cast of What’s New Pussycat? are required to undress. It seems awkward and dated and is a nastyc glance into how burgeoning sexual freedom manifested itself in some simple male terms: that is, for the sexual revolution to take place, the young women of the world must by nymphomaniacs.
For its era, the cast is exceptionally distinguished and they all undress. What a mixture: Romy Schneider, one of the best actresses of her day, and many peoples’ favourite; Paul a Prentiss, an actress who also has her own dedicated following ; although she here plays a character called Liz Bien, something straight out of Carry On, and a pretty low joke, even for this movie.
Also is Capucine, whom you would know from many Pink Panther films. Sadly Capucine (French for nasturtium) killed herself in March 1990, in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she had lived for 28 years. It’s hard to see that watching Capucine in What’s New Pussycat? Here she is so light, savvy and alluringly mad. Capucine, also helpfully makes it into Wikipedia’s article about mononymous people. Ursula Andress must also undress, which is even more peculiar given who strong and talented she appears to be.
Aside from the women, the only other thing holding the film together are Woody Allen’s on the whole very good jokes. For me there is also the appearance of Richard Burton, unmade up and in a bar, doing a real cameo which is all in the deconstructive and fun loving spirit of the era – as is the rather whacky go-cart chase on which the film ends.