Bananas

1971

Bananas

Critics Consensus

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88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 18,401
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Movie Info

The sharply satirical, uneven and often bizarre Bananas comes from Woody Allen's zany period and tells the story of New York nebbish Fielding Mellish (Allen) who ends up El Presidente of San Marcos, a tiny war-torn Central American banana republic after he falls in love with a radical political activist (Louise Lasser) who is more interested in making revolution than love.

Cast

Woody Allen
as Fielding Mellish
Carlos Montalban
as General Emilio M. Vargas
David Ortiz
as Sanchez
David Oniz
as Sanchez
Don Dunphy
as Himself
Charlotte Rae
as Mrs. Mellish
Stanley Ackerman
as Dr. Mellish
Dan Frazer
as Priest
Baron DeBeer
as Ambassador
John Braden
as Prosecutor
Dorothi Fox
as J. Edgar Hoover
Axel Anderson
as Tortured Man
Ted Chapman
as Policeman
Eulogio Peraza
as Interpreter
Norman Evans
as Senator
Hy Anzell
as Patient In Operating Room
Ed Crowley
as FBI Security
Beeson Carroll
as FBI Security
Allen Garfield
as Man on Cross
Princess Fatosh
as Snake Bite Lady
Dick Callinan
as Cigarette Commercial Man
Sylvester Stallone
as Subway Thug
Robert O'Connell
as FBI Man No.1
Robert Dudley
as FBI Man No.2
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News & Interviews for Bananas

Critic Reviews for Bananas

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Bananas

  • Dec 01, 2016
    This early comedy from Woody Allen has many of his hallmark trademarks - clever dialogue, sight gags, and slapstick comedy. It also has Howard Cosell and a cameo from a young Sylvester Stallone. There is political satire - Cosell broadcasting an assassination as if it were a sporting event, J. Edgar Hoover "appearing" at a trial as an African-American woman, and a woman capturing the conservative views of the radical left so perfectly when she says in a sugary tone, "Differences of opinion should be tolerated, but not when they're too different. Then he becomes a subversive mother." But mostly it's a screwball comedy, one that for me was most interesting in the desperate relationship Allen's character, Fielding Mellish, has with a political activist (played by Louise Lasser), with her pointing out all of his shortcomings, always in such a nice tone. An example while they were breaking up - Him: "How am I immature?" Her: "Well, emotionally, sexually, and intellectually." Him: "Yeah but what other ways?" I'm sure you can just hear that in Allen's whiny, neurotic voice. This movie is not his best, but it's smart and was ahead of its time, and it's still entertaining decades later. Oh, last point - I also loved how Allen put the conservative 'National Review' in a row of pornographic magazines. :)
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2012
    A surrealist political comedy, Woody Allen's Bananas is entertaining and gonna make you laugh a lot. Fresh.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2011
    LOL Laught out loud.....scenese only Woody Allen knows how to pull off...like 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??
    Teresa S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 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.
    Jonathan H Super Reviewer

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