What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968) Poster

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Maybe silly, but a great lesson
TLoeffler238625 May 2001
This is a movie that should definitely be brought out on video, or played on television, or somehow brought into availability now. It is such a great commentary for our time, and probably more significant now than it was when it came out. I haven't seen it since 1968, and yet I still remember the lessons I learned from it. With all of the drugs and medications that are used to make people feel "good" and "happy", maybe we need to be reminded that if it's real, it comes from the inside. It is a silly movie, and certainly a dated one (beatniks?), but a young George Peppard is worth seeing in this one.
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One of the most charming films ever made.
simnia-118 April 2006
I almost can't find anything significant to criticize about this film. Amigo the toucan is as cute as can be, the humor is good, the mood is very positive, the scientific foundation is plausible, the political implications are right on target, the fragments of '60s psychedelic music are good, and there are deep philosophical issues underlying it all. Excellent!

The only part I regard as a minor fault is that after the drop-out philosophers become euphoric with the happiness virus, they want to cut their hair, get jobs, and get married. The implication is that American society's current conventions are the optimal route to happiness. Sorry, but I can't buy that. Other than that one lapse of insight, though, the film is well thought-out, charming, and humorous.

Some of the humorous high points are Liz (Mary Tyler Moore) giggling hysterically as the toucan hidden under her dress begins tickling her, Pete (George Peppard) putting on his German philosopher disguise in order to infect as many friends as possible with the airborne happiness virus, a morose beatnik lady called "The Sack" who lives with a sack permanently draped over her head, a hotheaded Greek freighter captain who undergoes a complete personality change, and the voyeuristic officials watching a couple on their honeymoon night via hidden cameras with suspiciously excessive eagerness.

In this era of explicit torture films and child murder films, it's practically a sin that such an upbeat, positive film about happiness isn't even available while all those other depressing movies are. This film is definitely among my top 20 favorite films of all time.
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Silly but fun
resslerc29 June 1999
This movie was very silly but fun and actually a little thought-provoking. Mary Tyler Moore and George Peppard play two hippies who live with several of their friends in a dingy New York apartment. Their only goal in life is to "tune in and drop out" of mainstream society. After a toucan carrying a "happy virus" infects them, however, they "clean up" their acts, and begin to dress and act like your typical 60's establishment types. Moore and Peppard begin to think about marriage and children. The virus spreads all over New York City and people begin to be nice to one another. This alarms the makers of such products as alcohol, tobacco and gambling since demand for these begins to plummet! I always liked the scenes where rude New Yorkers begin to treat each other with respect and kindness, and the "hippy pad" was intriguing to me as a little kid. It wasn't just the silliness of the movie, though, that I liked. It actually made me think about how just waving a wand and making everyone happy would have a lot of unintended consequences. It was an early introduction for me to the economic concept of opportunity costs.
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timeless movie
kylabelle442 January 2007
I highly recommend this fun movie. This movie was great when I was a kid, it gave us lots to talk about with our parents. - I'm sure it would stand the test of time. Why is it not out on video at least? The cast is chock full of 'stars' from the era and the theme is an excellent commentary on society then and now. Imagine a world where Feeling Good is considered an illness that requires a cure? The 60's thing is so popular right now that this movie should be re-released just 'cuz it feels good. Maybe they can do a remake - it works with everything else from the 60's and 70's!?

If anyone knows how to get a copy - please dish!
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Haunted by the question of happiness
tburke-1325 April 2007
I saw this on TV many years ago when I was a kid and the ideas have stayed with me like no other story. I think the basic story has the core of a fable for the ages like "Groundhogs Day" or "It's A Wonderful Life". In particular I remember the Idea that some people didn't need the infection. They were capable of happiness all the time ; and some were not. Now thirty years later the research of psychiatry and psychology finds that the basic ability or disposition to be happy underlies much of what happens in our lives. If they had seen this movie. We see constant advertisements for medications to make us happy. The characters in the movie are dated but the basic question of happiness haunts each of us and all of us together. I only wish I could see it again.
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Unfortunately unavailable why?
beastofbreed28 February 2006
Nice film, agree with other comments that it is just as appropriate today as in 1968 although our youth would be too mature possible for some of the humor. The bureaucracy portrayed in this movie seems quite realistic in this post 911 mentality.

The real question is why this movie has never been released. So many other pieces of trash seem to have been redone, why has this one not been released on either VHS or DVD? I can only assume that this because of some copyright or estate issue. Have George Peppard's family restricted its release? Does Universal Studio's have some issue with releasing it? Unfortunately the last time it appeared on TV was before the general availability of VCRs.
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Would be good 60s kitch DVD or video release.
JC-851 August 1999
I remember this fun comedy as a kid and have been hoping and waiting for it to be released on Video & DVD...not yet. While silly on the surface, the ideas expressed were thought provoking. The crazy 60s style of the film would would lend it a current popularity promoted by films like Austin Powers.
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I love to watch movies,
dutchgrl4 January 2003
This is one of my favorites and haven't seen it or been able to find it to buy anywhere, I only recently found out about your data base this is a great place to find if movies are available on VHS, or DVD. "What's So Bad About Feeling Good" is a great comedy and hope to find it soon
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It should definitely be either re-released or remade.
jombie-230 August 1999
What a terrific movie...and a profound comment on society in general...A timeless story, it could hold up very well if remade (a la Psycho). But since hardly anyone has seen the original, it would be a HUGE hit this time around... Amigo is the best !!! The title says it all-What's so bad about feeling good ?
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Seditious anti-establishment comedy whose truths keep it out of television
nadase27 January 2011
I saw this film during my impressionable teen years. Its message has haunted me since. Suppose a virus exists that alters human brain chemistry and folks become happy? What would that do to contemporary society based on fear, insecurity and petty neuroses? What would be the response of our critical, western socio-economic institutions that were established to deal with those very fears, hang-ups and neuroses? From our consumer society to our police, mental health, religious and military institutions? How would these institutions and hierarchies react and respond to the a spontaneous outburst of mass euphoria? I have looked for this comedy for decades. Only once to my memory has it been shown on television. I have always been suspicious about that, considering it is wrapped in rather cutesy, mid-60's Paramount-picture-esque, candy-coated plot much like the Rock Hudson/Tony Randall/Doris Day comedies typical of that era. Don't get me wrong, this comedy is no "Dr. Strangelove" but unlike the Doris Day pap of the day, under all the silliness, this movie hides a seditious message. I don't know who wrote or directed it, but if you told me Norman Lear, Buck Henry, or Terry Sothern (sp?) it would not surprise me. This is the kind of message-laden stuff Lear taught us to expect in the early 70's. Only three other comedies from that era stayed with me, "The President's Analyst," "Watermelon Man," and "Cold Turkey." All hid powerful messages under their surface silliness.
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Is this movie available on VHS or DVD
dutchgirl6224 April 2006
Hi I've been searching for the movie "What's so bad about feeling good for years, but have been unable to find it, Your information was helpful, but I can't remember which Network it was released on I think it was ABC, but I'm not sure, if you or someone can help me I'd be very happy. Because I can then contact the network, as I have done in the past. That's how I was able to get, Ice before it was available to the general public. The Networks are very helpful that way, Thank You and I hope you can help me Pat White, 28672 Hillside Rd, Lincoln, MO. 65338. 660-668-2406. I can't see this movie being remade, just either released or re-released Thanks again
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funny and old-fashioned
cherold7 March 2012
This is a distinctly old-fashioned comedy, created by middle-aged guys who'd written Marx Brothers movies and cute comedies like Miracle on 34th Street. In some ways, the movie feels antiquated and out of touch; its '60s nihilistic "East Village artists" are Beatnik throwbacks, and the writers believe that if people were happy, men would be clean shaven and wear suits, women would get their hair done, and everyone would get married.

But if the film is out of touch with the world it's set in, it is perfectly in touch with the Capra-esque sensibility it's aiming at. After a slow start, the movie becomes quite funny, and it has a charm and sweetness about it that was already long out of style by the time of its release.

I saw this movie decades ago and really liked it, and I'm happy to say that, all these years later, I still find its humor and positive message (and no, it's not a particularly subversive message, though it is a sweet one) compensate for its old-fashioned out-of-touchness.
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A Delightful Movie
dahlswede5 February 2017
This incredible film starring the late Mary Tyler Moore and the late George Peppard deserves a lot more attention than it received at the time of its initial release. It is difficult to locate today and that is a shame. Funny and profound, it offers wonderful entertainment for all ages. The story seems timeless in many ways. Although the plot might not please Madison Avenue, it perhaps reflects truths about a consumer economy. Yet its uplifting spiritual message and completely charming plot make it truly memorable. It seems to me this really overlooked gem of a movie sets a high standard. Very well acted and directed, beautifully written and filmed with visual power, it deserves a 10 in my opinion. Watch this film to spend an enthralling period of time. It is really, really, really excellent!
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After 41 years, I got the film....
larryzweig22 August 2009
I just got the film & watched it tonight! An old recording from Comedy Central, first to VCR and I got it on DVD. I'd say it is acceptable quality, but MUCH better than nothing. Available at, E-Bay com under "What's So Bad About Feeling Good". The seller is in California and is OK. I would also make copies for people in Europe.

so much of the film remains with me.... The title song. Many things were just bits & pieces.... except the feeling that I got from it. Pete pretended to be the head of the cult from Germany. All wondered why such a hopeless man was so cheerful. He asked if it is true that the only hope is the end of the world? Then if the world is destroying itself? They said yes. He continued by pointing out that they then had nothing to worry about. Pete as the "cult leader" wanted to kiss Liz and pass on the virus. She resisted. Then he explained it would be a teeny-weeny kiss, like he gives his sister. She allows it. She tries to fight him off as he lays a 5-10 second kiss on her. Shocked she say's, "And that's how you kiss your sister?!?". He answers in his accent, "My zizter and I have a zleitly inzestuous relazionzhip." larryzweig@yahoo.com
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Why distributors are afraid of it
kraakpott1 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler ahead. There are stories you can tell and ideas you can raise in animation or science fiction that are too outrageous for a live action picture set in the present day. Compare this picture to "This Side of Paradise" (a Star Trek The Original Series episode, 1967). They're both parables about lysergic acid diethylamide and The Merry Pranksters. Roddenberry's story ends safely, with the trippers returning to "reality," but WSBAFG leaves open (that's the spoiler, sorry) the possibility that the "disease" might prevail and the world might be transformed. The topic is even more untouchable now than it was in '68. No distributor is going to risk the modern blacklists with a title that points out the real motivations of the War on Some Drugs. You'll know the War is over when this movie comes out on DVD and streaming.
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the beat generation still has something to offer
rotatingframe16 April 2012
Although the cast and script make this piece rather like "Beach Blanket Bingo in the Bronx", the internal analysis of the Beat philosophy makes this a classic comedic excursion into 20th century mentality.

Fairly ordinary turns by Peppard and Moore are turned, by clever directorial work into a glib and pleasing commentary on the Cold War, American values and the paranoia of being the stalking horse of the Free World.

Mary Tyler Moore is wonderful as a free-thinking positivist drawn by her boyfriend (George Peppard) into the grim world of "Hoffnungslosigkeit", the theory of Hopelessness proposed by a renowned German existentialist thinker.

Given that your parents were either Beats, Hipsters or Hippys, you will wonder how you were ever conceived....
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An extended sitcom episode...so, what's so bad about that?
moonspinner558 April 2009
Exchange Mary Tyler Moore here for Marlo Thomas and you'd have the makings of a good two-part episode of "That Girl". As a feature film, however, "What's So Bad..." seems a little twee--and if the topic of a euphoric virus is supposed to be symbolic, any modern references towards getting high or living as we did in a previous era barely register (it's just too silly). Beatniks in Greenwich Village come across a mysterious Toucan who arrived in New York Harbor via a Greek freighter. Seems the bird spreads an extremely contagious "happiness bug," sending all the cynical, jaded drop-outs into the streets with their instruments and brooms. They dance on the rooftops to Frank DeVol's music, and it's breezy and corny, perfect for connoisseurs of '60s sitcoms. Unfortunately, a 'realistic' angle is dropped in, as mayor John McMartin and his cronies become fearful that all this lightheartedness will reduce sales in cigarettes and alcohol! They take refuge in a fallout shelter and work on getting an antibody which will turn everybody back into their old rotten selves. Forgotten Universal comedy has some big laughs--and gives us a marvelously gregarious George Peppard in the bargain!--but the handling is too flimsy for any sort of insight, and the second-half drags its feet. Supporting cast is filled with familiar faces (plus Thelma Ritter in a cameo), and the location shooting is very good, even if the cinematography is muddy and the direction flat. ** from ****
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A Labored, One-Joke Farce
JohnHowardReid13 July 2008
Beyond its attractive, feathered hero and a surprise appearance by Thelma Ritter (her last as it happens) as a woman in the hospital's waiting room, "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?" actually has very little to recommend it even to the most desperate entertainment-seeker.

In this labored farce, seemingly endless variations on its one joke are tirelessly milked to extinction.

True, Dom De Luise, when he finally appears on the scene, does liven things up considerably. But is it worth waiting for Dom through a boring hour with pallid George Peppard and tiresome Mary Tyler Moore? Even the New York locations and a Vic Mizzy score fail to overcome the ennui produced by a combination of dull writing and charmless leads.
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