Woody Allen Collection: Volume 1

  |  Buy to Own: 22/01/2007
Rated TBC by the BBFC


This first part of the 'Woody Allen Collection' brings together five classic films that showcase Allen's madcap sensibility and wickedly funny irreverence. In 'Bananas' (1971), puny New Yorker and gadget tester Fielding Mellish (Allen) is in love with Nancy (Louise Lasser), a beautiful political activist who is herself obsessed by the battles being waged in San Marcos between the dictator General Vargas (Carlos Montalban) and his revolutionary opponents. Thus, in an attempt to impress his beloved, Mellish makes for San Marcos and in a bizarre and bewildering series of events, ends up the president of the country. In 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask' (1972), Allen writes and directs seven sketches prompted by questions from Dr David Reuben's best-selling book. Highlights include a sketch about a doctor (Gene Wilder) who falls in love with a sheep and one entitled 'What Happens During Ejaculation?', in which Allen plays an anxious sperm awaiting his big moment. In 'Sleeper' (1973), Miles Monroe (Allen) is a health-food store owner whose body is frozen after an operation goes badly wrong. When he wakes up 200 years later he discovers a world run by a totalitarian government and experiences severe culture shock as he struggles to come to terms with the poet Luna (Diane Keaton), the Orgasmatron, and a resistance movement who wish to destroy the Dictator's Nose. 'Love and Death' (1975) follows the adventures of the cowardly scholar Boris Dimitrovich Grushenko (Allen) after he is press-ganged into the Russian army during the Napoleonic Wars. Inadvertently becoming a hero, Boris returns home to marry his true love Sonia (Diane Keaton) and then embarks on an attempt to assassinate Napoleon, spoofing Tolstoy, Eisenstein and Ingmar Bergman along the way. Finally, in 'Annie Hall' (1977), neurotic comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) falls for the titular heroine (Diane Keaton), a budding singer, and the two of them attempt to build a solid relationship but face problems in the form of California and their own mutual paranoia. Classic metropolitan comedy, which proved to be the breakthrough film for writer-director Woody Allen, marking the transition from the scattershot style of his early spoofs ('Sleeper', 'Love and Death') to the more focussed approach of his angst-ridden New York romances ('Manhattan', 'Hannah and Her Sisters'). Won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.