Woody Allen Collection

  |  Buy to Own: 01/11/2004
  |  514 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Collection of six films written and directed by Woody Allen in the 1970s. 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 focused approach of his angst-ridden New York romances ('Manhattan', 'Hannah and Her Sisters'). The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask' (1972) is a sequence of 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 a skit entitled 'What Happens During Ejaculation?' in which Allen plays an anxious sperm awaiting his big moment. 'Love and Death' (1975) is a parody of Russian literature 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. In 'Manhattan' (1979), often cited as Allen's masterpiece, Isaac Davis (Allen) is a TV writer, frustrated in both career and his lovelife. An on-off affair with teenage drama student Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) is blighted by his anxiety about their age difference, whilst his attraction to the pretentious Mary (Diane Keaton) is complicated by the fact that she is already having an affair with his married friend Yale (Michael Murphy). Meanwhile, his lesbian ex-wife (Meryl Streep) prepares to dish the dirt about their marriage in a forthcoming book. Filmed entirely in black and white, the film features a George Gershwin soundtrack. 'Sleeper' (1973) satirises seventies dystopianism whilst resurrecting the slapstick comedy of the silent-movie age. 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. Finally, 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. An early spoof from Allen, in much the same vein as 'Sleeper' and 'Love and Death', the film includes an appearance by Sylvester Stallone as a subway hoodlum.