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.
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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.