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Love And Death [DVD]


Price: £6.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Georges Adet, Frank Adu, Edmond Ardisson
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Fred T. Gallo, Martin Poll
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish
  • Dubbed: German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Feb. 2001
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056IFA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,087 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Woody Allen's parody of Russian literature follows the adventures of the cowardly scholar Boris Dimitrovich Grushenko (Allen) after he is press-ganged into the Russian army during the Napoleonic Wars. Inadvertently becoming a hero, Boris returns home to marry his true love Sonia (Diane Keaton) and then embarks on an attempt to assassinate Napoleon, spoofing Tolstoy, Eisenstein and Ingmar Bergman along the way.

From Amazon.co.uk

Writer-director Woody Allen's 1975 comedy finds the familiar Allen persona transposed to 19th-century Russia, as a cowardly serf drafted into the war against Napoleon, when all he'd rather do is write poetry and obsess over his beautiful but pretentious cousin (Diane Keaton). A total disaster as a soldier, Allen's cowardice serves him well when he hides in a cannon and is shot into a tent of French soldiers, suddenly making him a national hero. After his cousin agrees to marry him, thinking he'll be killed in a duel he miraculously survives, the couple must hatch a ludicrous plot to assassinate Napoleon in order to keep the coward Allen out of yet another war. Allen and Keaton show what a perfect comic team they make in this film, even predating their most celebrated pairing in Annie Hall. Working so well as the most unlikely of comedies, of all things a hilarious parody of Russian literature, Love and Death is a must-see for fans of Woody Allen films. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 15 Oct. 2005
Format: DVD
Perhaps my favourite Woody Allen film (though there are numerous others to rival it), Love and Death is a delightfully funny and greatly intelligent little comedy that finds Allen creating one of his most loveable characters, the lovelorn coward Boris Grushenko, who really wants to spend the rest of his life with childhood sweetheart Sonja, but finds that the intentions of a certain Napoleon Bonaparte keep getting in the way.
The film is beautifully shot on location in France and Hungary, with Allen and his director of photography Ghislain Cloquet making the most of the vast snowy landscapes or cavernous woodlands, whilst the interiors employ a great deal of candle-light and natural lighting, which brings to mind Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. In fact, Love and Death could be seen as something of a comedic take on certain themes prevalent in Kubrick's aforementioned masterpiece, with both films employing notions of loyalty, war, love, death, games and deception. True, Stanley would never have had his main protagonist shot out of a cannon into the exploding tent of the enemy, or, offered us a supporting character who spends more time worrying about fish than tending to the needs of his young wife... but still, the intention is there.
Because of this, the film works on a number of levels... firstly, as a comedy, or more importantly, as a spoof of historical epics, whilst the constant allusions to Russian literature and Russian cinema throughout (check the cross-cutting of the lions during Boris and Sonja's sex-scene, or the soldier shot through the eye in battle as a references to Battleship Potemkin) offer another layer of entertainment. It also offers some rather deep moments and ruminations on the nature of war and humanity and, of course, love and death itself...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb. 2001
Format: DVD
I saw »Love And Death« on telly (too) many years ago, and then it was suddenly shown in our local "cult" cinema. As a big Woody Allen fan, I rushed to see it.
And it was much better than I remembered! 98% comedy - and clearly the best of Allen's early films which were basicly all comedies. Maybe even his best comedy ever.
The parodic element plays a vital role in »Love And Death«. Parody on Russian cultural personalities, on Frenchmen, on religion, on great film makers, etc. Woody Allen has really had a great time and great fun, much of it probably spontaneously, writing this one.
A delight for Woody Allen fans - and a great, great laugh for everyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not surprised this was rumored to be Allen's favorite film. I'd say it's the best of his flat out comedies. All the strengths he was gathering as a filmmaker came together in this brilliant satire of (among other things) 19th century Russian literature, war, epic films about war, Ingmar Bergman, etc. etc. It's very very smart, and very very funny.

An amazing mix of sophisticated intellectual verbal comedy, parody, low and high-brow visual gags (from speeded up film of bopping a character repeatedly over the head with a bottle, to homages to great images from early Russian films) , terrific cinematography, and some real ideas, both political and philosophical.

Diane Keaton is wonderful, and fully comes into her own as Allen's on screen equal partner. And the look of the film shows the deep visual sophistication that would become a hallmark of the next phase of Allen's career; Annie Hall, Manhattan, etc.

With this film Allen completed his journey from brilliant joke teller to brilliant director-writer. It would be his next film, Annie Hall, that would make the world realize he was a world class filmmaker. But you can see the all groundwork laid here, and have a lot of fun in the process.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 April 2002
Format: DVD
I first watched this film aged approx 16 I loved it then and love it now. The line I best remember is when he portrays his brother as a raw meat eating thug and then says to the camera..'Don't get me wrong, I love him like a brother...Just not one of mine.'
I discovered Woody Allen in 'Love and Death' and have never kicked the habit. His appearence puts half of humanity off - to me this makes him even more comedic and his strange appearence in this film adds to the laughs..the most unlikely hero. The DVD collection of Woody Allen films is slowly expanding and because of his timeless and clever wit the older Woody Allen films will always be watched.
For those of you who love his asides and often quiet one-liners - try 'Manhattan Murder Mystery' with Woody, Diane Keaton and Alan Alda. Another Allen classic.
Overall this film gets 5 stars based on the film alone. It is a pity there are no real extras..an interview with Woody or some outakes would be great. Then again, Woody has never really been the revealing type. Read 'The unruly life of Woody Allen' by Marion Meade (2000).
The lack of extras is a bit disconcerting considering how much we pay for DVD in this country..but vat least with Woody Allen the film is worth buying for the sheer pleasure of seeing that strange little man perform.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Love And Death is Woody Allen's 1975 film which provides a very funny, although not entirely successful, parody on Russian literature (including Dostoevsky and Tolstoy's War and Peace) - even to the extent of staging mock battle scenes reminiscent of (although, unsurprisingly, not as convincing as) those in Bondarchuk's 1967 film of the Tolstoy novel. Being the Allen film which immediately preceded the Oscar-winning Annie Hall, I regard Love And Death as acting as something of a bridge between Allen's 'early funny ones' (Take The Money And Run, Play It Again Sam, Bananas, Sleeper - albeit there were some moments of philosophising in these early films) and his subsequent, more mature and 'serious' films.

Whilst Love And Death has a very high joke content (almost as high as what is, for me, Allen's funniest out-and-out 'straight comedy', Play It Again Sam) and thus succeeds admirably from a purely comedic standpoint, as a parody of Russian 19th century literature and society it is less convincing. Whilst there are numerous scenes and examples of dialogue where Allen hits the mark (e.g. when confronting the main reasons why the Russians must avoid defeat by the French - 'Do you want all that rich food, heavy sauces and croissants?', 'No!'), much of the film's depiction of this 'alien culture' becomes rather 'clunky', and, at times towards the end, descends into unconvincing farce. I have found this difficulty relating to the convincing portrayal of foreign cultures (albeit in an admittedly comedic setting) to be something of a bugbear with Allen - one that is (to some extent) evident with his later Shadows and Fog, and reaches catastrophic proportions with the later, UK set, films Match Point and, worst of all, Cassandra's Dream.
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