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Love and Death (1975)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 18,463

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Movie Info

Woody Allen's Love and Death is purportedly a satire of all things Russian, from Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky novels to Sergei Eisenstein films, but it plays more like a spin on Bob Hope's Monsieur Beaucaire. Allen plays Boris, a 19th century Russian who falls in love with his distant (and married) cousin Sonja (Diane Keaton). Pressed into service with the Russian army during the war against Napoleon, Boris accidentally becomes a hero, then goes on to win a duel against a cuckolded husband


Drama, Classics, Comedy

Woody Allen

Jul 5, 2000

United Artists

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (0) | DVD (5)

Love and Death is an almost total treat.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Love and Death" has been mapped out as a fully thought-through film. It's a lot more mature than the anything-goes style of earlier Allen movies like "Bananas."

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Besides being one of Woody's most consistently witty films, "Love and Death" marks a couple of other advances for Mr. Allen as a film maker and for Miss Keaton as a wickedly funny comedienne.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thus early Woody Allen film is quite a funny, often even poignant satire of Russian literature and Russian mores.

April 26, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Woody Allen meets Dostoyevsky, and the two compare misanthropic views

February 14, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

silly and likable

April 18, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Sometimes funny spoof of War and Peace.

March 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Stomps all over the games we play to pretend we're important

January 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Absurd from start to finish, it may just be Allen's funniest film.

August 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Love and Death

Let's start here: I have only a passing familiarity with the great Russian novelists, and I've never read War and Peace. However, in much the same way as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you can enjoy the sheer silliness of the period spoof without being a medieval scholar - and if you have the specialized knowledge, you'll find it even funnier... a possibility that blows my mind, because I'm not exactly sure how this film _could_ be any funnier. Every line of dialogue is a punchline, and by cross-pollinating his stand-up and a satirical historical film, Allen has written the most hilarious script of his career. Throw in a classic performance from Diane Keaton - her chemistry with Allen is magnificent, again - and I knew before I even reached the end: this is my favourite piece by this director. Vintage Woody, and timeless; a must-see.
September 10, 2013

Super Reviewer

Possibly my new favorite Allen film. Filled with his signature blend of philoso-comedy, Allen pays tribute to Bergman and Dostoevsky in only the way he can. Full of amazing screwball dialog to boot.
June 9, 2012

Super Reviewer

In this early Allen effort his love for the Marx Bros. (particularly Groucho) is worn on his sleeve and the picture is very reminiscent of Mel Brooks' own Twelve Chairs. Throw in a couple of 70's style psuedo-intellectual "conversations" ("I'm overwhelming you with my superiorocity!") and you have a fun, silly, younger Allen, not so impressed with himself yet, easier to relate to. He never finds anyone as good as he to play himself, we know, and his infatuation w/Keaton allows her Dumont-like status beside him.
April 21, 2012

Super Reviewer

Love and Death is pretty much your standard Woody Allen fare from the 70s. It borrows heavily from Ingmar Bergman and the Marx Brothers and at times is downright hysterical but once its over I'm not going to really give it a second thought. I would've given this a 3 1/2 star rating if it wasn't for that last act, but since the only Russian novel I've ever read was Nabokov's Lolita most of the references were lost on me. The warm cockles line had me rolling almost as much as the scene where Sonja's first husband dies and the look on Diane Keaton's face during it. And speaking of which, Keaton was so goddamned cute. Worth it for her if nothing else even if her comic timing's not as good as Allen's...
December 2, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Boris: If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.
    – Submitted by Leon T (7 months ago)
    1. Countess Alexandrovna: You're the greatest lover I've ever had.
    2. Boris: I practice a lot when I'm alone.
    – Submitted by Leon T (7 months ago)
    1. Boris: There are worse things in life than death. If you've ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman you know what I mean.
    – Submitted by George P (9 months ago)
    1. Boris: The key here, I think, is not to think of death as an end. But to think of it more as a very effective way of cutting down on your expenses.
    – Submitted by George P (9 months ago)
    1. Boris: Sex without love is an empty experience. But as empty experiences pass, it is one of the best.
    – Submitted by Allen R (2 years ago)
    1. Sonia: To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.
    – Submitted by Karen M (2 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Die letzte Nacht des Boris Gruschenko (DE)
  • Love and Death (UK)
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