In "S.O.B.," the floundering movie industry is saved by breasts.
A producer who has made the greatest money-losing film in history tricks his contemptuous wife, a star specializing in innocent roles, into appearing topless, and a two-minute view of her chest, with chorus boys stroking their balloon phalluses in the background, transforms the picture into an unprecedented hit.
Julie Andrews, formerly of "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music," supplies the naked breasts. She is the wife of the producer, writer and director of "S.O.B.," Blake Edwards.
If Mary Poppins public -- that public now spending its hard-earned money on "Superman II" -- has been waiting for, as the film-within-the-film demonstrates, then the film-without is in trouble.
The rest of it is filler, showing emotional robots from the movie industry going joylessly about their two principal activities: double-crossing colleagues, clients, employers, employes, friends and relations, and mating with strangers. There's a long sequence in which a dead body is carted about and made to assume various poses and wear funny hats; various demonstrations of throwing up, urinating and passing gas; and a great deal of modeling of black and red nylon lace underwear, at least half of that by males.
The theme-setting joke shows a jogger falling dead of a heart attack on Malibu beach, with no one taking any notice for days except his distressed dog.(The buffeting about of his dead body by the tide is intended as comic, but this is not the dead body paraded about in laughable poses.)
In contrast to the pathos, friendship, bereavement and desire to help demonstrated by the dog, human characters respond only to the ringing of the telephone. That bell always makes them perk up and looked excited, flushed and alert. This is by no means the first film, nor the first film about the movie industry, in which the epitome of emotion is represented by a character talking on the telephone while oral sex is being performed on him.
The movie industry is impersonated by Richard Mulligan, William Holden, Robert Webber, Shelley Winters, Larry Hagman, Robert Vaughn, Loretta Swit, Robert Preston and Marisa Berenson, in addition to Julie Andrews' breasts.
SOB -- AMC Carrollton, K-B Baronet West, K-B Cerberus, K-B Studio, NTI State, Old Town, Reston Twin and Roth's Parkway.