Bananas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bananas Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2009
At one point, Woody Allen's character says to Louise Lasser's: "I fail to see the humor of this," which is exactly how I felt watching this terribly unfunny comedy that is more like random scenes and sketches sloppily put together - some of them so irritating they are nearly unbearable.
Super Reviewer
½ August 14, 2010
Before Woody Allen shifted into serious character dramedies with his revolutionary film "Annie Hall" he made satires and screwball comedies like this one. Over the edge hilarious and completely absurd, "Bananas" is one of the best political satires of the seventies. Playing off of the South American revolutions of the time, and their cyclical nature, Allen stars as a nebbish version of himself who tries to be politically relevant just to get laid. Screwball in its entirety, the film speaks on the complications of foreign policy while also being absolutely ridiculous and funny. If you love the likes of Mel Brooks or the Zucker Brothers, this is going to be a film you will fall for easily.
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2007
woody's second feature as a director is very clever, very funny. i laughed a lot, and as usual the dialogue was witty and entertaining. i felt that the film lost a lot of steam by the end, which says a lot considering the movie is already very short, but it is entertaining and really uses its ideas well, especially the opening assassination sequence.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2012
A surrealist political comedy, Woody Allen's Bananas is entertaining and gonna make you laugh a lot. Fresh.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2011
The popular conception of the arc that Woody Allen films have taken over the past 30 odd years is that it goes from silly to serious. It is certainly true that his early films (this film, What's Up, Tiger Lily? and Take The Money and Run, for instance) are faster, sillier, and imbued with a heavy dose of slapstick, whereas his tragicomedies such as the brilliant Crimes and Misdemeanors are more thoughtful and analytical. Because I, like a lot of people, started watching Allen's later works first, the vast majority of Bananas feels more like a Jim Abrahams/David Zucker collaboration than that of one of the most observantly humanistic directors in film history. There are tons of gags (some work, some don't) and I haven't seen such a commitment to physical comedy since Leslie Nielsen brought Lt. Frank Drebin to the big screen. That's not to say that there aren't some gems (the opening scene where ABC's Wide World of Sports provides coverage of an assassination attempt on the President of the fictitious town of San Marcos is brash, bold, and dazzling -- excellently showcasing the seeds of a budding auteur). Ultimately though, it appears as if Allen, in 1971, was perhaps too dependent on his onslaught of jokes and sight gags and he didn't yet trust himself as a filmmaker. This film is manic and hyperactive (it is called Bananas, after all) but worst of all, it's impatient and overly eager to squeeze in as much "comedy" as possible, instead of trusting its material and letting the setup deliver the punchline.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2008
Trying to get over his breakup with Lousie Lasser, nebbish Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) winds up in the fictional banana republic of San Marcos, eventually (and reluctantly) rising to the position of El Presidente. From the opning scene (with Howard Cossell covering the political assassination of San Marcos' ex-Presidente for "Wide World of Sports") it's apparent that Allen's out to take the audience on an anarchic, any-gag-for-a-laugh ride that results in one of his most consistent series of chuckles.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2007
Comparable to Sleeper but less funny. Still, I liked it.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2007
One of Allens "early funny ones" that he has treated with such disdain for the past two decades. Well excuse me for prefering to laugh at funny jokes, rather than listen to an absurdly wealthy and inexplicably well respected kiddy fiddler whinge about his "problems".
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2006
I haven't seen it in a while but I remember liking it.
Super Reviewer
March 21, 2011
Woody Allen's second film as Director/Writer/Star is essentially an 82 minute collection of sketches loosely linked to the unlikely story of Mellish (Allen) becoming the leader of a fictitious Latin American country. It's the gags that count here, and many are wonderfully funny; some are the result of a witty one-liner, an ironic observation, some are Airplane-esque slapstick, and the hit to miss ratio is very high. The influence the film has had even on today's television and film is still apparent, and thus for all its lack of substance (Woody Allen admitted the film has the structure of a cartoon, and Bananas is generally considered a minor Allen film) its importance cannot be underestimated.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2009
It's a romance crossed with South American revolution in classic Woody Allen style. Allen plays himself, but what raises it is the high gag rate. Be it script, sight or physical, they come thick and fast. Bottom line, it's Woody Allen and everything that implies.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2007
I've seen most of this on TV, but not the beginning. I need to.
½ April 21, 2015
An inept product tester is pronounced the leader of a small South American country after being kidnapped by rebels. While admittedly still quite funny at times, unfortunately Allen's multiple references to child molestation and incest ring a sour note in latter day viewing.
February 16, 2015
As a Writer & a Political Scientist I have a deep appreciation for this film. One of the best political satires I have ever seen. Allen leading the revolution against the Fascists is very funny. It takes a lot of talent to take serious material & bring levity to it within the comedic nature of a fictional "Banana Republic". Allen does that very well here. In fact he kills it. I also liked the idea that even though Allen is a political liberal & probably a socialist in reality; he criticizes the more radical elements of socialism. He shows that these supposed liberal dictators are basically left-wing fascists & want to control the masses rather than help them achieve a utopia. This film will make you laugh. It is a must see for the lover of political satire & one of Allen's best films.
½ January 7, 2015
You heard it with your own eyes.

A product tester in New York finds the love of his life in a girl that wants to do nothing but lead rallies against injustices; unfortunately, their relationship is short lived and she dumps him. He heads to a small country where he is quickly regarded as intelligent and one that can lead them where they want to go. They elect him president and he quickly becomes their communist leader. Where is this going and how can it help the New Yorker win back his girlfriend?

"I'm a good sized sniveling dog."

Woody Allen, director of Manhattan, Midnight in Paris, Alice, Shadows and Fog, Radio Days, September, Small Time Crooks, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Zelig, and Annie Hall, delivers Bananas. The storyline for this picture is fun to watch unfold and fairly entertaining. The main character is humorous and fairly consistent with Allen's future main characters. The acting is solid and the cast includes Allen, Louise Lasser, Charlotte Rae, and Miguel Angel Suarez.

"I cannot suck anyone's leg I am not engaged to."

Bananas was a movie I found on Netflix and was surprised was Allen's first major motion picture (making it a must see for me ;)). Overall, this was fun and well paced. I enjoyed the evolution of the main characters, the scenes, and the way the story starts and concludes. Overall, this is definitely worth a viewing but isn't Allen's best project.

"I expected a longer bout."

Grade: B-
December 29, 2014
Woody Allen is his typically neurotic Jewish New Yorker who unwittingly becomes immersed in a revolution occurring in a Latin American banana republic. Although some of the humor falls flat in this early Allen comedy, his satire of revolutions and revolutionaries - most notably the opening scene where Howard Cosell, on ABC's Wide World of Sports, acts as an announcer of a Latin-American president's assassination as if it were a boxing match, and then interviews his dictator replacement - is hilarious and perpetually topical. Sylvester Stallone, in one of his first credits, has a non-speaking cameo as a subway mugger.
½ October 22, 2014
I've always much prefered Allen's later, mature pictures but "Bananas" has some great gags (hasidic Jews asking South American rebels for donations, a man drinking from a fishbowl with no explanation, "The NRA declares death to be a good thing", etc.) and hits enough to be genuinely entertaining.
July 13, 2014
Pretty bad movie. It had a few funny random parts, but it was oh so few. I thought the plot was pretty boring, yet original. But, it wasn't that funny to me.
June 28, 2014
Now this is some classic Woody Allen right here, roll on the floor laughing hilarity from start to finish. After that sentence I have no idea what else to say, that's basically what the movie is. Like his other movies from this period, Bananas has a very loose plot that is basically a clothesline to hang jokes to. This can go very bad or very good, but thankfully almost every gag is a home run. There's just too many memorable moments to count. New Testament cigarettes, the ABC wide world of spots coverage, the dinner scene, practically every line at the Revolutionaries' camp, and the famous courtroom scene. While it's not as good as Take the Money and Run, Bananas is definitely a must watch for anyone who wants a good laugh.
½ June 15, 2014
Frustratingly inconsistent, Bananas has many moments of inspired mirth, but it also too often feels strained and dull. Enough moments hit the hilarity button for a good movie though.
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