Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen does the time warp and ends up in the future, 27 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Sleeper [VHS] [1973] (VHS Tape)
Twice in the Seventies I literally fell out of my seat in a theater laughing. Once was when the Israeli tanks came over the hill at Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and the other was when they gave Woody Allen's character a drink of water when he was unthawed at the beginning of "Sleeper." Certainly I can explain the first a lot easier than the second, but it might have something to do with the fact that you expect something more cerebral from Allen than letting water fall out of his mouth. But it struck my funny bone in a way my funny bone is rarely touched.
Allen plays Miles Monroe, who finds himself in the far flung future where he has to explain the peculiarities of the 20th century (such as Howard Cosell) to the historians. Of course the point is to critique the present (which is not past) by looking at the future (which has not happened yet). Miles becomes enamored of Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton), who is even more out of touch than the lost in time Miles, and the pair become involved in an attempt by revolutionaries to overthrow the sterile government of the Leader. Miles is not the heroic type, but he needs to impress Luna, who has fallen for the dashing leader of the revolutionaries, Erno Windt (John Beck).
I never really thought of it before, but I can see where "Sleeper" is Allen's Buster Keaton film. Unlike most Allen films there are several funny physical gags, such as Allen having to pretend to be a robotic servant and getting caught in the orgasmatron. Allen does not make a passable Blanche DuBois, but Keaton does a pretty good Brando ("Hah!"). "Sleeper" is the best of the "early funny films" made by Allen (i.e., the ones before "Annie Hall"), mainly because it does not require you to have a thorough knowledge of Russian literature like "Love & Death." There is also the original jazz score by Allen with the Woodman himself wailing on his licorice whip as a special bonus. Who would have suspected what was in store once Allen turned "serious" in his films?
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Review Details

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4.6 out of 5 stars (48 customer reviews)
5 star:
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Reviewer

Lawrance Bernabo
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota

Top Reviewer Ranking: 22,237