Bananas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bananas Reviews

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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.
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.
September 19, 2011
Though BANANAS is funny, it couldn't be made today. From the very opening scene in which a Central American television reporter informs us that we are about to see their president publicly assassinated, it is clear that it would be considered mocking toward Latin American nations. BANANAS isn't your typical Woody Allen comedy, either. This being a very early film for Allen as director, we can use this film to see reason as to why Allen uses little music and simplistic black-and-white title sequences in most of his movies. The odd placements of pieces such as Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" make it seem more like a Mel Brooks film; and the colorful, cartoon-y title sequence looks like it came from an kids' movie.
½ October 13, 2011
Woody Allen's most consistent, laugh out loud comedy. Great slapstick and wordplay combined perfectly.
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2011
LOL Laught out loud.....scenese only Woody Allen knows how to pull the Orthodox Rabbis & insurance salesmen brought into Allen's character's prison cell....Tickled my funny bone!! LITTLE TRIVIA! QUICK! What Norman Lear TV series did Louise Lasser later star in??
½ March 21, 2011
Very funny early Woody Allen movie! Lots of great gags. Plus, an excellent spoof of rebellion movies! Allen's aclamating to combat training is priceless!
½ July 20, 2007
Sloppily made but somehow endearing, there was a lot of clever absurdity and a whole lot of random nonsense. I laughed, I didn't cry, and was glad it was short.
June 22, 2009
Woddy Allen inadvertently becomes the leader of a rebellion and takes over the country of San Marcos. Allen continues with his very slapstick style of comedy that sets the tone of his early films, probably because of his background in stand-up. There are some very funny moments, but Allen doesn't quite perfect this genre until Sleeper.
September 6, 2008
outstanding satire. though latin american revolution takes on the primary storyline, gags, parodies, and a wide variety of clever humour abound throughout the entire film. sharp dialogue, witty social and political observations, and just a very well-written film. one of Allen's best--hilarious.
July 1, 2007
This was back in the days when Woody Allen was actually funny. He just does such a great job at destroying the stereotype of the "well-meaning politically active co-ed." Watch out for snakes!
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