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Bananas (1971)

Woody Allen , Louise Lasser , Woody Allen  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Price: $35.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792846060
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,566 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SCREWBALL ANTIWAR SATIRE.. 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant after all these years (1970) 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Hilarious 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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marx Brothers Inspired, Woody Silliness at its best. 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wacky, surrealist but hard to beat black comedy! 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Wasted Motion 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
zoverstocked sold me a blank cd. I could not watch it, and did not get my money back.
Published 15 days ago by amanda wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Woody Alan classic, many memorable lines it makes ...
Another Woody Alan classic, many memorable lines it makes me laugh over & over, one of these comedies I can look at even on the go on my portable device...
Published 23 days ago by Bruce P. Reinhard
5.0 out of 5 stars very good dvd
woody allen at his best .very funny if you just like to lol. and it will play on your dvd player.
Published 3 months ago by glynn jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Husband likes this movie (I thought it was stupid)
I know, why the 5 stars? Well, because my hubbie really wanted this so I ordered it. He laughed away and I just looked at him like "really?" ... Read more
Published 5 months ago by C.P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious love story.
This is a love story about a goofy "intellectual" who falls in love with a feminist during a time of political activism. Read more
Published 7 months ago by helen nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars WOODY HAHA
Funny Film. Sure there are dated moments,. Not everything works. I love this film and always will. It will make you happy.
Published 8 months ago by Michael Palermo
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly, but smart. Woody's filmmaking career is born.
Silly. This is the best word to describe this film. But, it's not a dumb silly. There are a lot of intellectual topics lampooned here, and it's the kind of silly that you have to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jack Tailor
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I love Woody Allen's early movies. This is hilarious from beginning to end. Howard Cosell's cameo is marvelous and I love the rebel's song.
Published 9 months ago by P Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars If Castro had a funny bone, this would be in his DVD collection
Great DVD for those who need a laugh or just be entertained for an evening. Great investment for a serious collector.
Published 10 months ago by Doris J. Nova-volper
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic.
Woody Allens' funniest ! From cerebral humor to slapstick , a very funny dude! With Howard Cosell, and the supporting cast are a bunch of wackies !!
Published 11 months ago by Joe Fevelo
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