A clarinet player who also runs a health food store is frozen and brought back in the future by anti-government radicals in order to assist them in their attempts to overthrow an oppressive government. When he goes off on his own, he begins to explore this brave new world that has Orgasmatron booths to replace sex and confessional robots.
Woody Allen ... Miles Monroe
Diane Keaton ... Luna Schlosser
John Beck ... Erno Windt
Mary Gregory ... Dr. Melik
Don Keefer ... Dr. Tryon
John McLiam ... Dr. Aragon
Bartlett Robinson ... Dr. Orva
Chris Forbes ... Rainer Krebs
Mews Small ... Dr. Nero (as Marya Small)
Peter Hobbs ... Dr. Dean
Susan Miller ... Ellen Pogrebin
Lou Picetti ... M.C.
Jessica Rains ... Woman in the mirror
Brian Avery ... Herald Cohen
Spencer Milligan ... Jeb Hrmthmg
A futuristic comedy from Woody Allen in 1973 has him waking up from an operation 200 years later (in 2173) to find society has gone berserk.
Clever, witty, and very funny. Allen is hysterically funny as the "sleeper" who gets to give history lessons on the 1970s, pose as a robot, and become a revolutionary to be near Diane Keaton.
Filled with sight gags galore and great one-liners. The giant vegetables and chicken are funny. And so is the "1984" political humor that fits the Bush era better than it did the Nixon era. Also very funny is Allen's extended Blanche du Bois speech.
Allen is excellent as is Keaton. John Beck plays a revolutionary. Mary Gregory is the doctor. George Furth is a party guest. Jackie Mason does the voice of the Jewish tailor.
We are blessed that Woody was around, making movies as interesting as this when he was.
Already with this one, he began his vast exploration of movie techniques and devices that would last 25 years or so.
The idea is simple in this one: he wanted to use film slapstick from a bygone era. How better to situate that than to move the whole picture into a future era?
We have some truly classic stuff here. The banana joke, The mirror joke. The robot pantomime. The acting out of the Jewish dinner (done in later movies too). The inflated man joke. You can find all these in any number of Keaton. Marx, Laurel & Hardy movies.
The unifying string of time travel, a romance, the leader and his nose is too weak to make this a solidly recommended outing. And it wouldn't be for a couple years until Woody cared about the cinematography at all.
I had forgotten how pretty Diane Keaton was. Very.
A health food store owner is cryogenically frozen and brought back in the year 2174 by anti-government radicals in order to assist them in their attempts to overthrow their oppressive government. With the help of his guide Luna Schlosser he finds that the world has changed significantly from the one he once knew.
When one speaks of Woody Allen films, it is common to talk of his `early, funnier films' and his later serious work (although that is beginning to change back recently). Love and Death falls easily into the period of `early funnier films'. The plot here is very loose and is simply an excuse of a series of observations, one liners and set pieces. The comedy is a wonderful mix - there is plenty of slapstick, physical comedy. This is complimented by a huge amount of one liners and witty monologues and a great banana skin joke!
Again Allen is great in his standup persona and Keaton is comfortable and familiar despite not having a great character. The imagination of the script gives plenty of room for Allen's surreal humour - the orgasmatronic booths are good and the robot scene allows him to pay a slight homage to Keaton.
Overall this is yet another example of an `early, funnier' Woody Allen film. It is an excellent comedy on so many levels.
* Woody Allen confirmed the scientific feasibility of his screenplay ideas in a single lunchtime meeting with Isaac Asimov.
* The rebels' anthem is the same one used in Bananas (1971).
* The voice of the evil computer is that of Douglas Rain, parodying his role as the voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
* The device used to give injections is actually a "desoldering vacuum" (used for disassembling electronic components) that has been painted white.
* Miles is told that his world came to an end when a madman named Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear device. Albert Shanker was the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
* The rebel hideout was filmed at "the Sculptured House", a residence designed and built by architect Charles Deaton in the mountains west of Denver. The home was constructed in 1963 but the interior was not yet complete at the time of filming. In 2004, the home was offered for sale for $10 million.
* Allen originally conceived the story (in which people in the future are forbidden to talk) as a plausible way of making a modern silent film.
* Woody Allen plays clarinet in the music score.
* Diane Keaton's first appearance in a Woody Allen-directed film. Their personal relationship was over by the time she started appearing in his movies.
* Allen also consulted with leading sci-fi writer Ben Bova to make sure that some of his futuristic predictions were feasible.
* Getting the elaborate sets and costumes right caused the film to run behind schedule and come in over budget, even though the final cost was still only $2 million.
* The final edit, condensing 35 hours of film footage into a 90 minute movie, was completed two days before the film opened.
* According to editor Ralph Rosenblum, Woody Allen filmed and then deleted a fantasy sequence in which Miles plays a game of chess with life-sized chess pieces, and is then sentenced to death by the chess pieces after he loses the game.
* After the movie was released in one country outside the USA as "Woody and the Robots", Woody Allen inserted a clause in all of his subsequent contracts that his movies' titles could not be changed by other parties.
* Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
* The exteriors for the beige building in which Woody Allen's character lives (and where the nose is destroyed) were shot at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Foothils Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, USA.
* Director Trademark: [Woody Allen] [writer] Luna is a poet.
* Woody Allen originally intended the film to be three hours long, and in two parts. The first part would have him in the present day, coping with life, until his illness. And the second half, would be the futuristic part. But, United Artists rejected this concept.
* Loosely based on the classic science fiction novel "When The Sleeper Wakes" by H.G. Wells.
* This film permanently ended plans for two productions based on H.G. Wells' "When the Sleeper Wakes". One proposed production was by American International (long shelved due to the high proposed budget) and the other by producer George Pal.
* Woody Allen had originally hoped to shoot much of the film in Brasilia, Brazil's futuristic capital city complex designed by urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer. Budget limitations however restricted him to using locations within the continental USA.
* The Playboy centerfold shown to Miles Monroe/Woody Allen is that of Lenna Sjooblom, Miss November 1972.