Using They Shoot Pictures list of top directors and combining it with IMDb's rankings I have come up with this…
Love and Death
Set in 19th-century Russia, Allen is a cowardly serf drafted into the Napoleonic war, who would rather write poetry and obsess over his beautiful but pretentious cousin. Allen's cowardice serves him well when he hides in a cannon and is shot into a tent of French soldiers, making him a national hero. A hilarious parody of Russian literature, Love and Death is a must-see for fans of Allen's films.
Performances : 6.5/10
Story : 8/10
Production : 7.5/10
Overall : 7.33/10
Extremely funny. What stood out the most to me was the delivery of most of Allen's lines. Very reminiscent of the Marx brothers, and it was glorious. Love and Death probably had the most laugh out loud scenes out of any of his films that I've seen in a while, unfortunately I just didn't love what the story was about. Honestly my high rating is mostly just for the yucks. Oh, and for the copious amounts of Ingmar Bergman references.
Long live Woody.
The December Challenge: Film 8
I have something of a love/hate relationship with the films of Woody Allen, by which I mean that I love the vast majority of them but hate the fact that I can never decide which is my favourite. The last time I watched Love and Death I made the following claim;
”It’s not the funniest of Allen’s films (as I said earlier, there are some moments of pure gold but there is certainly some dross that hasn’t quite passed the test of time) but in terms of its creativity and the clear dedication and devotion that Allen had for it, it’s a fantastic film to watch.”
This is where I have a real problem…
I was pleasantly surprised at how hilarious this was, something I was not expecting at all. Its slapstick style was complimented incredibly by the over-use of sarcasm, an attack of clichés, and Woody Allen's typical deconstruction of love (and I guess of death, too). A clever parody of Russian literature, its references are easy to pick up, and the dialogue, one of Allen's most genius qualities, is exceptionally brilliant. The third collaboration between Allen and Diane Keaton, and their pairing before Allen's breakthrough Annie Hall, their chemistry is spot on, and it is through their leads that this film is so easily yet thoroughly enjoyable.
An historical satire with one of the most amazing and funnier dialogues in a comedy ever. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are fantastic! Their scenes together are so funny.
Love and Death is a great comedy and it's a shame that I only have heard about it just a while ago. I really enjoyed.
A film that manages to be both very smart and incredibly silly, Love and Death acts as an obvious bridge between the slapstick antics of Sleeper and the intellectual self-reflexivity of Annie Hall.
To paraphrase various job adverts I've seen recently, a vague knowledge of Russian literature would be beneficial but not essential, as it refers to the likes of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin, and if you're familiar with their work then you'll smile at some of the references. Even if not, the gag ratio is very high, and for every pun that fell flat there was another one along within a few seconds to make me giggle.
Diane Keaton is excellent, and is given more to do here than…
I think this may be my favorite Woody Allen movie.
It's loaded with film references, from the Marx brothers to Bergman to Monty Python. It's hysterical historical caper brimming with wonderful one liners and observations and arguments - the philosophical argument between Keaton and Allen near the beginning had me bawling with laughter.
It's completely goofy and ridiculous and I just love Woody Allen's views on life and death and religion: "If there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. I think that the worst thing you could say about him is that he's an underachiever."
La película de Woody Allen con la que más me he reído hasta la fecha. Es que joder, el 90% de los chistes funcionan; me recuerda a Annie Hall en ese aspecto. Una maravilla imprescindible.
This film is everything I love about Woody Allen films:
Interesting conversation and ideas, amazing slap stick, Diane Keaton.
It's adorable and hilarious and incredibly interesting.
"He was an idiot, but I loved him." - Boris.
While Sleeper looked to the future, Love and Death gazed backwards, and with the combined wisdom of both films Woody Allen established himself as a filmmaker for all times.
Sleeper shines through Allen's use of physical comedy, with the automaton sequences bringing to mind Chaplin's gait and mannerisms. Love and Death is a much talkier film but this time Allen brings a wonderful layer of pathos to the proceedings. Every shot has a brilliant joke in it, but he's trying to get at something deeper, something philosophically spectacular - Bergman by way of the Marx brothers. He succeeds, and the result is this film and all the films that came…
A man is drafted into war and his cowardice ends up making him a hero. Has he proven himself enough to win the heart of his fickle cousin?
A really fun movie with quite a few laugh out loud moments. Similar to Allen's other early films, he places himself into this unique time period/ situation and just goes with it. And in this particularly silly story, his character really hits the punchlines. Especially in setting up the premise, Woody Allen kills.
The story itself wasn't incredibly enticing as it starts off very strong and begins to slowly wind down towards the middle. In addition, this film has the protagonist follow a similar character arc and story line as in his other early films, making the story too predictable and the character development unsatisfying.
But overall, a fun watch! I recommend it if you enjoy his other early comedies!
Despite directly lifting Bergman's most iconic shot in Persona Woody Allen's Love and Death is one of the silliest films the nebbish auteur has made. A black drill sergeant training the Russian army, frequent references to The Brothers Karamazov, and constant musings on the erotic from stars Keaton and Allen form this madcap film.
I can only imagine the size of the crush I would have had on Dianne Keaton were I alive in the seventies.
Some of the funniest lines and moments I've ever seen from Woody Allen. Some classic Woody lines mixed in with some very Chaplin like moments.
And for some reason I've found some similarities between this film and Inglorious Basterds. I might just be connecting dots with non existing lines but there we're some moments in there. Like the assassination of a tyrant leader, a scene where characters are corrected in pronouncing a name, and a very similar shot and scene of soldiers lined up in front a group leader. I might just be crazy, look for yourself
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I never really felt like I was watching a character Woody Allen created but instead literally just watching him inserted into the time period presented and going through the same silly stuff he has in his previous films (slightly more funnier) except with a dash of surrealism, political commentary and philosophical discussions about existence and God. The film falls a bit in the last quarter though in regards to creativity and there is even a final scene where he literally just spoon feeds the overall message to the audience. I look forward to seeing a more full and mature effort from Woody soon though as it's clear he is beginning to get there.
- Rear Window
- North by Northwest
- Ace in the Hole
- The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
- After Hours
I don't usually post others' best-of/essential film compilations, since there are too many of them to keep track of, but…
- The Brood
- Winter Light
- The Changeling
No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…