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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection and a great deal for the price
Most of Woody Allen's great early films are here (the only exception being 'Take the Money and Run', his very first, which is absent for some reason). This is a wonderful 'starter' set for anyone curious about Allen, and a must have for any fan who doesn't already have all the titles seperately.

My brief comments on the films (on a 4 star scale)...
Published on 21 Jun 2010 by K. Gordon

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
It's ok, but you have to like Woody quite a lot to bother with this, cos these films are a bit boring otherwise.
Published 3 months ago by JD


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5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy collection of movies, 26 July 2010
By 
Aurimas Nauseda "ARN" (Siauliai, Lithuania) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Worthy collection of movies of Woody Allen showing the early trends of his cinema.

Some additional footage (comments of film critics, comments of the director would be an advantage) for this box of DVDs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great set, although a similar version currently on sale at Amazon also includes 'Manhattan', 21 Jun 2010
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Woody Allen Collection: Volume 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Most of Woody Allen's great early films are here (the only exception being 'Take the Money and Run', his very first, which is absent for some reason). This is a wonderful 'starter' set for anyone curious about Allen, and a must have for any fan who doesn't already have all the titles seperately.

My brief comments on the films (on a 4 star scale)

Bananas (1971)***1/2 Incredibly funny, broad, slapstick, surreal political satire as Woody takes over a Latin American country to impress a girl. A few bits feel dated, and it didn't make me laugh quite as much as 'Take the Money and Run' when I recently re-watched Allen's 'early funny films', but it still has more than it's share of great comic moments. The whole trial sequence is genius worthy of the very best of the Marx Brothers. (Or, in a more modern context Monty Python) Personally I don't love the score -- it tends to underline jokes that don't need the help. It was after this that Allen went away from having music written for his films, using existing pieces instead, which became a huge part of his filmmaking style.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972) *** While all the early Woody Allen films are funny and worthwhile, this is probably the most uneven to my taste. Allen took the famous, serious non-fiction book about sex, and turned it into a series of short comedy pieces. A couple segments are pure genius (inside the male body during sex, Gene Wilder falling in love with a sheep), a couple are pretty good (Woody as a medieval court jester trying to have an affair with the queen, who is locked into a chastity belt, a mad scientist creates a giant milk squirting breast that goes on a rampage) and a few are real duds. Also, of all the Allen films, this might have the weakest DVD print/transfer quality.

Sleeper (1973) ***3/4 While all of Allen's early comedies are pretty wonderful, this film represents a big leap in technical proficiency. For the first time you sense him really thinking about how the camera is telling the story. And in finding Diane Keaton, Allen was finally paired with an actress who's comedic strengths were a great match for his. This film relies less on verbal jokes (although there are brilliant lines) and more on visual gags. It almost feels like you're watching a great silent comedy at times. Better music too, with jazz taking over from traditional score the first time in Allen's films. A funny, inventive, sophisticated if sometimes wonderfully silly comedy, with almost no dead moments. For me it represents the beginning of the shift from Allen as a brilliantly funny writer and comic who happened to make films, to becoming one of our very best filmmakers.

Love and Death (1975) **** 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.

Annie Hall (1977)**** Quite simply one of the best films about romantic relationships ever made. Brilliantly written. Brilliantly acted -- Diane Keaton is tremendous, the supporting cast is full of gems and Allen himself takes the leap to present himself as a real (if funny) human being and not a walking joke. And brilliantly photographed by the great Gordon Willis of 'The Godfather' and many of most important films of the 70s and 80s. Wildly funny and ultimately heartbreaking. It's hard to imagine anyone who has ever been in love, or struggled through grown-up relationships NOT identifying with a lot of this film. I loved it in my late teens when it first came out, and I love it even more 32 years later. Every time I see it I notice different details, depending on my own current life experiences. A film of enormous wit, humor, invention, and understanding of the human heart. Its completely unique, playful and idiosyncratic in style and approach, but that experimentation somehow only makes it more accessible and universal. If you haven't seen it, you owe yourself a try, even if you're not a Woody Allen 'fan'. And if you saw it long ago, it may be time for another look.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Overview of Woody Allen 60s/70s, 7 Jun 2010
This box set was totally enjoyable. It gives a good flavour of what Woddy Allen was up to in the 60s and 70s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Collection, 25 Dec 2009
By 
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Woody Allen's collections are great!
I love the boxing and the slim cases of the films!
Totally recommended for any film lover!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen, 8 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. Wynne Davies (UK) - See all my reviews
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This early Woody Allen collection is extremely funny, very thought provoking and cleverly done. Recommended all the titles but especially 'Everything you always wanted to know about sex' hillarious.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 11 Jan 2010
By 
lovemurakami "tooty2" (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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What a fabulous collection of early Woody Allen films. To be honest for the money its worth buying this set just for 2 absolute classics, Manhattan and Annie Hall. this is a great boxed set for any Allen fan but also a great gift or purchase for anyone who hasn't seen a Woody Allen film. Superb value
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side splitting ., 4 Aug 2009
By 
R. Stewart (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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WA "let me lay you down on the lunar surface and commit interstellar perversion with you".

Brillant.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody is the funniest writer even and he can act as well!!!, 30 April 2009
By 
This compilation of Woody's earliest films is what I watched at the cinema in my late teens. Sleeper, Manhatten and Annie Hall especially hold great memories for me. I know from friends that Woody is either a love or hate guy. I love him and love this box set. I think he has another 3 box sets of his later stuff which I'll be getting soon.

Pete O'B
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, 15 July 2014
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It's ok, but you have to like Woody quite a lot to bother with this, cos these films are a bit boring otherwise.
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0 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen collection, 26 Jun 2010
By 
Richard Latus - See all my reviews
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At first view these Woody Allen films are entertaining. Woody wants people to find him funny. However, look a little more closely behind the humour, and you see that Woody lets himself down.

When it comes to looking for laughs. In 'Everything you always wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask'. Woody scrapes the barrel. He has a total disregard for moral decency.

Woody loves to play himself off as a witty hypochondriac or as a 'hard done to' immature loser. Often trying to explain himself.

In the film Annie Hall. Woody played himself intellectually. Yet, as with 'Manhatttan also. Woody portrays his girlfriends inferior.
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Woody Allen Collection: Volume 1 [DVD]
Woody Allen Collection: Volume 1 [DVD] by Woody Allen (DVD - 2007)
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