The Maltese Bippy (1969)

[as US Navy theme song “Anchors Aweigh” plays] Our grateful acknowledgement to the United States Navy who wanted nothing to do with this picture – but reluctantly lent us their song.

I watched the 1969 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie “The Maltese Bippy” on my DVD. This was the first time I’d seen it since I was eleven. I was on vacation in Tampa with my parents and we decided to walk to a theater near our hotel. My parents watched another movie while I chose this Rowan and Martin romp. I used to watch Laugh-In[1] in my bedroom. I don’t think my parents would have approved but they never said anything.

Kicked out of their soft-porn studio for non-payment of rent, bickering buddies Ernie (Dick Martin) and Sam (Dan Rowan) move into a creepy old house where they tangle with ruthless killers, sinister servants, Hungarian werewolves, and a stunning young blonde as they search for a priceless lost diamond.

A blow-up of Poster Text

Norman Panama directed “The Maltese Bippy” (White Christmas, Knock on Wood, The Court Jester, The Trap, The Facts of Life, Strange Bedfellows, and How to Commit Marriage) which was written by Everett Freeman (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Glass Bottom Boat, How Do I Love Thee?) and Ray Singer (who wrote for radio shows such as The Rudy Vallée Show, The Joan Davis Show, and The Fred Allen Show).

  • Rowan, Dan as Sam Smith – (July 22, 1922 – September 22, 1987) was an American actor and comedian. He was featured in the television show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, wherein he played straight man to Dick Martin and won the 1969 Emmy for Outstanding Variety or Musical Series, The Maltese Bippy
  • Martin, Dick as Ernest Gray – (January 30, 1922 – May 24, 2008) was an American comedian and director. He was known for his role as the co-host of the sketch comedy program Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Glass Bottom Boat, The Maltese Bippy, Zero to Sixty, Carbon Copy, Air Bud: Golden Receiver
  • Lynley, Carol as Robin Sherwood – (February 13, 1942 – September 3, 2019) Blue Denim, Return to Peyton Place, The Stripper, Under the Yum Yum Tree, The Pleasure Seekers, The Maltese Bippy, Beware! The Blob, The Poseidon Adventure, Howling VI: The Freaks, TV episodes of The Virginian, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Invaders, The Big Valley, The Immortal (1970 TV series), Mannix, Night Gallery, Charlie’s Angels
  • Newmar, Julie as Carlotta Ravenswood – (born August 16, 1933) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Evils of the Night, Ghosts Can’t Do It, Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, Bettie Page Reveals All, TV episodes of The Phil Silvers Show, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, Batman (Catwoman), The Beverly Hillbillies, F Troop, The Monkees, Star Trek: The Original Series, Get Smart, McCloud, It Takes a Thief, Bewitched, Columbo, McMillan & Wife, The Bionic Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, According to Jim
  • Natwick, Mildred as Molly Fletcher – (June 19, 1905 – October 25, 1994) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Cheaper by the Dozen, Barefoot in the Park, The Maltese Bippy, Dangerous Liaisons, TV episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bonanza, McMillan & Wife, Hawaii Five-O, Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote
  • Weaver, Fritz as Mischa Ravenswood – To Trap a Spy, The Maltese Bippy, Marathon Man, Martian Chronicles, Creepshow, The Thomas Crown Affair, TV episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Rawhide, Combat!, Gunsmoke, The Invaders, The Big Valley, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Kung Fu, Hawaii Five-O, Tales from the Darkside, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The X-Files, Frasier, Law & Order
  • Reed, Robert as Lt. Tim Crane – (October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992) The Hunters,, Torpedo Run, The Maltese Bippy, TV episodes of Make Room for Daddy, Family Affair, Ironside, Mannix, Love American Style, The Brady Bunch (Mike), The Mod Squad, McCloud, Wonder Woman, Barnaby Jones, Galactica 1980, Charlie’s Angels, Nurse, Hotel, Murder She Wrote, Hunter, Jake and the Fatman, The Bradys
  • Hurst, David as Dr. Charles Strauss – (May 8, 1926 – September 15, 2019) The Maltese Bippy, Kelly’s Heroes, The Boys from Brazil, TV episodes of Car 54, Where Are You?, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Patty Duke Show, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, Mannix, The Monkees, The Flying Nun, Star Trek, Dark Shadows, McCloud, Eight Is Enough, Charlie’s Angels
  • Elcar, Dana as Sgt. Kelvaney – (October 10, 1927 – June 6, 2005) The Boston Strangler, The Maltese Bippy, The Nude Bomb, 2010, TV episodes of Dark Shadows, Get Smart, Mission: Impossible, Columbo, The Incredible Hulk, Galactica 1980, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Matlock, ER
  • Askin, Leon as Axel Kronstadt – (September 18, 1907 – June 3, 2005) Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, Double Trouble, The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz, The Maltese Bippy, The World’s Greatest Athlete, Young Frankenstein, Airplane II: The Sequel
  • Oppenheimer, Alan as Adolph Springer – (born April 23, 1930) The Maltese Bippy, Westworld, Helter Skelter, Freaky Friday, Private Benjamin, TV episodes of I Spy, Get Smart (Agent 498), Hogan’s Heroes, The Andy Griffith Show, The Mod Squad, I Dream of Jeannie, The Partridge Family, Bonanza, Bewitched, Here’s Lucy, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has voiced many characters, often for Filmation
  • Gale, Eddra as Helga – (July 16, 1921 – May 13, 2001) Gidget Goes to Rome, What’s New Pussycat?, The Graduate, The Maltese Bippy
  • Batanides, Arthur as Tony – (April 9, 1923 – January 10, 2000) The Ten Commandments, The Leech Woman, Spartacus, Man-Trap, The Maltese Bippy, Police Academy (2,3,4,6), TV episodes of Bonanza, Columbo, I Spy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mission: Impossible, Death Valley Days, Combat!, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, Star Trek, The Odd Couple, The Andy Griffith Show, Wonder Woman
  • Rodgers, Pamela as Saundra – (born June 28, 1943) Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, The Maltese Bippy, TV episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Hey, Landlord, The Beverly Hillbillies, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (23 episodes), Love, American Style
  • Bishop, Jennifer as Joanna Clay – (born 1941) Blood of Dracula’s Castle, The Maltese Bippy, Horror of the Blood Monsters, Bigfoot, The Female Bunch, House of Terror, Impulse, TV episodes of Mission: Impossible, Hee Haw, Cannon
  • Prickett, Maudie as Mrs. Potter – (October 25, 1914 – April 14, 1976) The Cowboy and the Indians, Montana, Monkey Business, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Gnome-Mobile, With Six You Get Eggroll, The Maltese Bippy, TV episodes of The Jack Benny Program, Hazel (36 episodes), The Donna Reed Show, Dennis the Menace, The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry R.F.D., Get Smart, The Mod Squad, Dragnet, Bewitched, McMillan & Wife
  • Walberg, Garry as Harold Fenster – (June 10, 1921 – March 27, 2012) Charro!, The Maltese Bippy, The Andromeda Strain, King Kong, TV episodes of Johnny Staccato, Perry Mason, Lassie, Peyton Place, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, Star Trek, Columbo, The Tony Randall Show, The Rockford Files, he appeared in the first episode of The Twilight Zone, LAPD, Quincy M.E., The Odd Couple
  • Thompson, Carol-Jean as Mona – (Unknown) The Curious Female, Flareup, The Maltese Bippy
  • Mann, Jerry as Joseph Wesling – (August 1, 1910 – December 6, 1987) The Skydivers, The Maltese Bippy, How to Seduce a Woman, TV episodes of The Donna Reed Show, Hong Kong, The Munsters, The Wild Wild West, The Debbie Reynolds Show, Primus, McCoy, Voices for episodes of The Yogi Bear Show, The Flinstones

“The Maltese Bippy” title is a riff on “The Maltese Falcon,” and “bippy” was one of the team’s popular catchphrases (specifically: “You bet your bippy!”). However, the film has no connection with “The Maltese Falcon” or anything even vaguely Maltese.

Lobby Cards

The music for the “The Maltese Bippy” was by Nelson Riddle. The movie runs 91 minutes and was rated G (which is a little loose). I thought it was really funny, I laughed a lot. I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

  1. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In is an American sketch comedy television program that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to March 12, 1973, on the NBC television network, hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. It originally aired as a one-time special on September 9, 1967, and was such a success that it was brought back as a series, replacing The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Mondays at 8 pm (ET). It quickly became the most popular television show in the United States. The title of the show was a play on the 1960s hippie culture “love-ins” or the counterculture “be-ins”, terms that were derived from “sit-ins” that were common in protests associated with civil rights and antiwar demonstrations of the time. Laugh-In had its roots in the humor of vaudeville and burlesque. The show was characterized by a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which were politically charged or contained sexual innuendo. The co-hosts continued the exasperated straight man (Rowan) and “dumb guy” (Martin) act which they had established as nightclub comics. The show featured Gary Owens as the on-screen announcer and permanent castmember Ruth Buzzi; longer-tenured cast members included Judy Carne, Henry Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Jo Anne Worley, Alan Sues, Lily Tomlin, Johnny Brown, Dennis Allen, and Richard Dawson. [Back]

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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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