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Bananas


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Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Louise Lasser, Howard Cosell, Carlos Montalbán
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Format: Widescreen, Full Screen, Color, NTSC, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 5, 2000
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792846060
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,519 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bananas" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Woody Allen's second film as a director, co-writer and star takes parody to the extreme with a brilliant send-up of everything from relationships to dictatorships. An early example of what Allen called his "slapdash" approach to comedy, Bananas' broad, fast humor and rapid-fire witticisms form a dazzling kaleidoscope of "inspired ingenuity and comic artistry" (Look). When bumbling product-tester, Fielding Mellish (Allen) is jilted by his girlfriend, Nancy (Louise Lasser),he heads to the tiny republic of San Marcos for a vacation only to become kidnapped by rebels! Oncethe band of rebels seizes power, their leader goes crazy, and they replace him with Mellish, thinking he can save the country. But when Mellish is nabbed by the FBI, he is put on trial for subversionand in a side-splitting courtroom showdownincluding the most hilarious self-cross examination everWoody Allen proves beyond a doubt that he is not only our most gifted satirist he's a master comic artist.

Customer Reviews

I'm no movie critic, but I'd say this one is one of the top 25 funniest movies ever made.
Christopher Perera
If you think there's too much navel-gazing, and self-introspection in his other films (not saying there's not some of that here, btw), you may really like this.
Jack Tailor
The entire film is charming and farcical as well as an excellent work in satire done in the Woody Allen style.
EriKa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on February 28, 2004
Format: DVD
From the outrageous name "Fielding Mellish" to the screwball humor in this MAD-magazine type antiwar satire, this is one for the Best of Woody pile. The film grabs you from the first gag, and never lets go. It is laugh-out-loud hillarious with whacky situational scenes as a simple NYC boy gets embroiled in a rebellion in a small South American country (the rebels did not have a good tailor though, but couldn't wait). I was surprised to see a very young pre-fame Sylvester Stallone in a minor side role as a subway crook. The denouement of the movie is somewhat of a let-down (it may be me) but that's no reason to miss out on this superb comedy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on September 11, 2007
Format: DVD
I first saw BANANAS on the local Public Broadcasting channel in Seattle. It's honestly surprising to me that people don't talk more about this film. I happen to think that it's funny, enlightening and very intelligent. What's more, it has chilling parallels with the state of politically revolutionary and anti-American Latin American governments of today (and no, I am not "naming names"---that would only get me into hot water here, and that isn't the purpose of the review). Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) is a gawky product tester who falls in love with a politically active young woman, Nancy (Louise Lasser--Allen's first wife before the age of Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow or Soon-Yi Previn). Though very drawn to her, Mellish is not able to truly capture the young woman's heart. Why? Because he isn't as politically involved as she would like him to be. Well, all that changes when the awkward (not so young) man takes a life-altering trip to San Marcos, a small island nation falling under the thumb of pronounced political upheaval. Their leader, with strong leanings toward dictatorship and supression, has been assasinated and everything is in flux. It is during Mellish's trip that a very unlikely and (perhaps) profoundly unbelievable political shift occurs. I won't ruin it for you. You will have to see it for yourself. I will tell you that as many years as it has been since BANANAS' 1971 release, it still remains a very bold and wonderful showcase for Allen's irrerepresible physical comedy, as well as the quirky/neurotic brand of incidental insight that he is known best for today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By theboombody VINE VOICE on July 9, 2005
Format: DVD
This is a great movie. Unlike most comedies I see today, EVERYTHING in this movie is meant for a laugh. No part is meant for anything else. There's no padding at all, and no touching message is trying to be sent. This movie is only made for laughs.

And the jokes keep coming, one right after another. It's astounding. By far, I think the funniest part of the film is where Melish gets a cheap beard as a disguise when he comes to America as the President of San Marcos. And even better, in this cheap disguise, he gives a botched speech asking for foreign aid, starting out with a REALLY inappropriate joke. It's hilarious. The Wild World of Sports coverage of non-sporting events such as honeymoon nights is pretty darn funny too.

Woody Allen is a master at making films. In this movie he even has a silent comedy bit when he's on a subway, showing how great he is both at comedy and artistic expression.

Bananas is a must-see. I probably only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I've seen it so many times that I practically have it memorized, and under those conditions, you just don't laugh at the film like you did when you first watched it. No movie has that much replay value.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Corr on November 16, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Good old-fashioned slapstick comedy, Bananas illustrates the dictatorship to revolution to new dictatorship cycle of third world - and worldwide - bureaucracies. The most hoot-aloud hilarious of Woody Allen's films.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Perry on December 29, 2004
Format: DVD
Many say Annie Hall is Woody Allens best, but I've got to disagree. I've watched this movie countless times and can't stop laughing for more than a minute the whole time through. I fall asleep watching Annie Hall sometimes, It's pretty overrated. Banana's is one of the funniest movies of all time next to Take the Money and Run and What's Up Tiger Lily. I guess I like his old stuff the best. It's a great example of how far a guy will go for love? Nope, to get laid. It's laughs from begining to end. You'll hate Bananas if you hate Woody Allen. You'll love it if you love him.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Weisbord on August 27, 2003
Format: DVD
Within a brief period of time Woody made Take the Money and Run, Bananas, and Sleeper, establishing himself as the funniest actor-director in ages. Like Take the Money and Run, this parody is mostly a series of sketch pieces, strung together by an unlikely premise. Just as when I first saw it over 30 years ago, some of the bits don't work, but more do. I particularly liked Howard Cosell commenting on a political assasination, and Woody trying to seduce a beautiful young revolutionary.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on September 7, 2005
Format: DVD
One of the most remarkable and irreverent creations of Woody. In this time we find him as a hapless hero in the middle of a revolution in some corner of South America.

Thinking it over it would seem a hidden and sincere homage to Marx Brothers Duck Soup.

One of the supreme achievements of he first period of Allen, when his humor was fundamentally outward.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Jarmick on January 3, 2001
Format: DVD
The mixing of bad puns, intellectual comedy, satire, farce and slapstick isn't seamless, but it sure is funny. Most of the jokes are as funny or as bad as they were 30 years ago. Some of the jokes have turned out to be prophetic.
I had not seen the film in nearly 20 years yet remembered it well as I watched the recently released DVD. It's still very funny stuff. The pacing of course is a little slower than how it might be done today--but not much.
I wonder if people under 25 will understand how funny the scenes with Howard Cosell are? Will they know how outrageous and even daring this material was 30 years ago? I'm not sure.
Some of the references and therefore the jokes might fall flat if you don't have a knowledge of late 60's/early 70's American pop culture and news events.
Early in the film Allen who plays a product tester, is testing an executive exercise device, paying homage to Chaplin's Modern Times, and it seems like the scene could have been out of the Farelly brothers latest comedy.
There are several one-liners like one about how common it is to attack an American Embassy which were fairly innocent and funny in 1971, 8 years before Tehran, but are more double edged when heard today.
The film is an homage to his favorite film comedians, the Marx Brothers. The title; Bananas a nod to the Marx Brothers Coconuts, the plot loosely inspired in spirit by Duck Soup and there's even a gag involving a harp, a tribute to Harpo.
We have very witty comments about the media, the very funny (and before it's time) New Testament Cigarette Ad, Allen's first dream sequence involving two groups of monks carrying two men on crosses (one being Allen, one being Allen Garfield) who wind up in fisticuffs over a parking place.
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