was Woody Allen's Bergman movie, and Stardust Memories
was his Fellini movie, then you could say that Sleeper
is his Buster Keaton movie. Relying more on visual/conceptual/slapstick gags than his trademark verbal wit, Sleeper
is probably the funniest of what would become known as Allen's "early, funny films" and a milestone in his development as a director. Allen plays Miles Monroe, cryogenically frozen in 1973 (he went into the hospital for an ulcer operation) and thawed 200 years later. Society has become a sterile, Big Brother-controlled dystopia, and Miles joins the underground resistance--joined by a pampered rich woman (Diane Keaton at her bubbliest). Among the most famous gags are Miles' attempt to impersonate a domestic-servant robot; the Orgasmatron, a futuristic home appliance that provides instant pleasure; a McDonald's sign boasting how many trillions the chain has served; and an inflatable suit that provides the means for a quick getaway. The kooky thawing scenes were later blatantly (and admittedly) ripped off by Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
. --Jim Emerson
Classic Woody Allen comedy that satirises seventies dystopianism whilst resurrecting the slapstick comedy of the silent-movie age. Miles Monroe (Allen) is a health-food store owner whose body is frozen after an operation goes badly wrong. When he wakes up 200 years later he discovers a world run by a totalitarian government and experiences severe culture shock as he struggles to come to terms with the poet Luna (Diane Keaton), the Orgasmatron, and a resistance movement who wish to destroy the Dictator's Nose.
From the Back Cover
Divine comic madness! Sleeper
is an inspired work!
Drawing on the great tradition of silent comedy, Sleeper is Woody Allen's first film to tame his verbal wit and showcase his emerging skill with visual and physical comedy. Starring Diane Keaton (directed by Allen for the first time), Sleeper is a bizarre mixture of New York neuroses, splendidly lunatic sight gags, Alice in Wonderland illogic, and too-funny-to-be-painful satire.
When cryogenically preserved Miles Monroe (Allen) is awakened 200 years after a hospital mishap, he discovers the future's not so bright: all women are frigid, all men are impotent, and the world is ruled by an evil dictator...a disembodied nose! Pursued by the secret police and recruited by anti-government rebels with a plan to kidnap the dictator's snout before it can be cloned, Miles falls for the beautiful - but untalented - poet Luna (Diane Keaton). But when Miles is captured and reprogrammed by the government - to believe he's Miss America! - it's up to Luna to save Miles, lead the rebels, and cut off the nose...just to spite its face.