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A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mia Farrow, Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts, Mary Steenburgen
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O06K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,101 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Teeming with all "the beauty of an impressionist painting" (The New York Times), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is writer/director Woody Allen's "lightest and most sensual film" (L.A. Weekly) to date. Starring Allen, Mia Farrow (directed by Allen for the first time), Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts and Mary Steenburgen, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is a dazzling, uproarious masterpiece from "America's best comic filmmaker" (The Film Journal)! Love is in the air and magic is afoot when turn-of-the-century inventor Andrew and his wife Adrian host a country wedding for the pompous philosopher Dr. Leopold and his young fiancÃ(c)e Ariel. But when Andrew's best friend, the randy Dr. Maxwell Jordan, and his lusty nurse Dulcy turn up for the festivities, the stage is soon set for thwarted seductions, mismatched mates and magical mayhem, as Maxwell falls for Ariel, Ariel seduces Andrew, Leopold beds Dulcyand the bride and groom say "I do"to everyone except each other!


In A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Woody Allen mixes Shakespeare, Ingmar Bergman, and the music and art of the turn of the century. Allen plays Andrew, an inventor, whose listless marriage to Adrian (Mary Steenburgen) has lost all erotic zip. He welcomes two pairs of friends to his country home: college professor Leopold (José Ferrer) and his fiancée Ariel (Mia Farrow), and dentist Maxwell (Tony Roberts) and his suffragette nurse Dulcy (Julie Hagerty). Before long, everyone's lusting after everyone else's partner, and the plot twists and turns to a happy and magical conclusion. It's a light and airy film, perhaps a deliberate break from Allen's previous production, the caustic Stardust Memories; but the tone may also be due to his new relationship with Farrow, who went on to star in Allen's films for the next 10 years. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Woody Allen is hilarious!
the smart guy
Woody Allen uses his "off screen" dialogue techniques better in this film than in any of his others and his sense of whimsey makes this movie a sheer delight.
Mike H.
Great casting and a low-key, but funny script.
Timothy N. Stelly Sr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 2001
Format: DVD
Have to agree with Mr. Terry Lane--this is a fabulous movie. It's my sentimental favorite of all Allen's films. I've seen a lot of mediocre reviews of this film and that's a shame. I guess I couldn't rightly say that this is his "best" film, but I do believe it is his "best executed." The setting, the characters, the cinematography just all click. Sure, it isn't his deepest film, it is probably less cynical than most of his other films, but folks, that's not the point of this little gem. In spite of the Smiles on a Summer Night inspiration, this film really owes more (and owes it more directly) to Shakespeare's fantasy comedies like A Midsummer Night's Dream.
As one review mentioned, this is a piece of Impressionism. It isn't about meaning or message specifically--it's about mood. And let me tell you, this film captures the mood of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream better than any production of the play I have ever seen--and I'm not exaggerating. Critics of Woody Allen's "Sex Comedy" have no right mouthing off unless they are open to and can appreciate the whimsy that makes Shakespeare's comedies so affecting. That, it seems to me, was the point of the originals, and that is also the point of this movie. We, the audience, like gods are peering in on the mere mortals as they haplessly play at the game of life. We laugh at and with them because we are so far removed, but really, they reflect us, and this draws us in where we can also be happily implicated. In true comedy we recognize our own humanity--it is the art of comedy to show us these things that could be painful, this suffering that defines our existence, in a way that we can do nothing but laugh and simply accept it. That is a subtle art and one worthy of respect.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr Terry Lane on November 20, 2001
Format: DVD
At last, Woody's finest film on DVD. And it has never looked so good. Neither in the cinema nor on VHS has justice been done to this beautiful film, looking for all the world like an animated impressionist painting.
This is Mr Allen's most sentimental, romantic and least cynical work. The location, the light, the cinematography, Mendelsshon's music and Jose Ferrer's acting all work together to make a funny, charming, gorgeous film. And now we can see it widescreen, framed as Allen and Willis intended.
I have been waiting since DVD was invented for this film on disc. It is not a disappointment.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 2, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
`A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy' and `Shadows and Fog' are two of Woody Allen's `second tier movies, less highly regarded than `Annie Hall', `Manhattan', and `Hannah and Her Sisters', but nonetheless a great pleasure to watch over and over again for anyone who has a taste for Allen's movies. The fact that Allen's movies, even these parodies of classic works and genres are primarily about characters and their personalities, passions, and foibles rather than about story, so you don't loose the primary reason for watching the movie as you do when you watch `The Maltese Falcon' or `Die Hard' or even `The Terminator' for the first time. I have seen both of these movies several times and I constantly find new pleasures in the dialogue.

Aside from their both being genre parodies, both movies share several other aspects, not the least of which is Allen's usual well oiled crew plus great `visiting' Director of Photography. I am constantly amazed at the consistently high level of quality in the filming of Allen's movies, since he has a great reputation for bringing his works in within schedule and under budget. Part of his economy is probably due to the fact that while Allen as director is not in the same league as Martin Scorsese or even Clint Eastwood, lots of actors drop what they are doing to be able to appear in the next Woody Allen film. And, they probably appear for a lot less money than they would for Marty or Clint. I also sense in some scenes that Allen lets little flubs go to the final print which Scorsese, for example, would reshoot until it was perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on July 27, 2008
Format: DVD
Following closely on "Stardust Memories," "Midsummer" seems to be a compromise piece of sorts: comedic enough to satisfy the fans of his earlier slapstick, but sweet and reflective enough to feed his own artistic hunger and satisfy the fans of his more serious cinematic turn. This is one of Allen's better films, although not of the first quality. In it, themes and comedy nicely complement one another, instead of the latter stepping all over the former.

I think that human yearning is the central theme explored in the film: yearning for deep meaning in life that transcends the here-and-now (everything that the hard-nosed materialist Leopold deplores), creative yearning (Andrew's inventiveness, Ariel's curiosity, Maxwell's love of nature), nostalgic yearning for lost opportunities (Ariel and Andrew's moment in the woods years earlier), for human intimacy (Adrian's frigidity), for mystery (the magic lantern), and most of all, yearning for love. None of these are exclusive of the others, and in "Midsummer" they cleverly twist and twine into one another to create a pleasing comedy of manners (and errors). The acting is exceptionally fine except for Mary Steenbergen's strangely subdued--as in drugged--performance. She's a good actor, but just can't get find her groove as Adrian.

In addition to its artistic merits, "Midsummer" is an interesting film for several reasons. Allen isn't the centerstage star he's been in most of his straightforwardly comedic pieces, but is now a member of an ensemble. The notoriously cosmopolitan Allen sets the film in the country around the turn of the 19th century. And it's the first (of many) of his movies in which Mia Farrow stars.

Enjoyable, sweet, soft, tender, happy, visually beautiful: these are the words that come to mind when thinking about "Midsummer."
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