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S.O.B. is a 1981 film written and directed by Blake Edwards starring Richard Mulligan and Julie Andrews. Also appearing are Robert Vaughn, Robert Preston, Larry Hagman, Shelley Winters, Loretta Swit, Robert Loggia and William Holden (in his last performance).

S.O.B. was originally released in the United Statesmarker by Paramount Pictures on July 1, 1981.


The story is a satire of the film industry and Hollywoodmarker society. The main character, Felix Farmer, is a phenomenally successful producer-director who has just made the first flop of his career, to the dismay of the studio and the loss of his own sanity.

After emerging from a period of shock and self-destructive behavior, Felix resolves to save both the film and his reputation. With great difficulty he persuades the studio and his wife Sally Miles, a movie star with a goody-goody image, to allow him to revise the film into a soft-core pornographic musical in which she must appear topless.

Felix's untimely and violent death creates yet another crisis, particularly for his cronies Culley, Coogan and Dr. Finegarten, who plan to give him a burial at sea.


Influences and Reception

When writing the screenplay Edwards drew upon several of his own experiences. The character of Felix Farmer is a person not unlike Edwards, while actress Sally Miles bears certain similarities to Julie Andrews (who plays her), Edwards' wife in real life.

The story of S.O.B. parallels the experiences of Edwards and Andrews in their infamous failure, Darling Lili. Intended to reveal Andrews' heretofore unseen wicked and sexy side, that film had a troubled shoot, went significantly over budget, and was subjected to post-production studio interference.

In S.O.B., Andrews's character agrees (with some pharmaceutical persuasion) to "show her boobies" in a scene in the film-within-the-film. For this scene, comedian Johnny Carson thanked Andrews on his The Tonight Show for "showing us that the hills were still alive," alluding to a famous line from The Sound of Music opening sequence.

Critical opinion was sharply divided. In a remarkable contradiction, the screenplay was nominated both for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen and a Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay. It was also nominated for a Razzie for Worst Director and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical.

"S.O.B." (in the film) stands for "Standard Operational Bullshit" and refers to misinformation being the norm. The acronym also means "sexually oriented business" (if pertaining to strip clubs) and more generally "son of a bitch" (a ruthless person).

A Spanish dub of the film keeps the acronym S.O.B., claiming that it stands for "Sois hOnrados Bandidos" (You Are Honest Crooks). Notice that the second word begins with a mute H, not with an O. The Argentine title for the movie was changed to Se acabó el mundo (The World is Ended), having no relation to the original title.

Three years later, when Edwards had his name removed from the writing credits of 1984's City Heat, he was billed under the pseudonym Sam O. Brown. (S.O.B.)

An episode of Odd Job Jack uses the same plot as S.O.B.

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