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A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, José Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Jack Rollins, Michael Peyser, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch, French, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, English, German
  • Dubbed: French, 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: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Aug. 2002
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006BT6C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,230 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A Woody Allen turn-of-the-century tale of love and lust. Three couples spend a 'quiet' weekend together to celebrate one of their weddings. Inventor Andrew (Woody Allen) and Adrian are the hosts, while his cousin Dr Leopold has arrived to marry his fiancée Ariel (Mia Farrow). However, Andrew begins to lust after Ariel, as does Dr Maxwell Jordan (Tony Roberts), who has brought along his nurse, Dulcy. There follows a multitude of seductions and sexual misadventures with the bride and groom saying 'I do' to everyone but each other.

From Amazon.co.uk

Woody Allen's 1982 homage to Bergman and Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is a delight from start to finish and must rate as one of his most joyous films. The period setting--Edwardian up state New York--gives the whole thing a misty, elegiac quality.

Part Midsummer Night's Dream (the magic supplied by visions through a spirit glass) and part Smiles of a Summer Night (Bergman's source material provides the basic plot and ensuing couplings), it's a gentle satire on male sexuality and frustration. Allen handles the angst with the lightest of touches. He plays a Wall Street broker who spends his holidays inventing flying machines (they work, with telling consequences). He and his wife (Mary Steenburgen) are increasingly depressed by their ailing sex life. Cue the arrival of weekend guests: crusty academic (Jose Ferrer) and beautiful blue-stocking fiancée previously in love with Allen (Mia Farrow, of course); and insatiable doctor (Tony Roberts) with his latest squeeze, a nurse (the excellent Julie Hagerty). Eighty minutes of unravelling, discovery and renewal follow, accompanied by a Mendelssohn sound track. This is one of Allen's most treasurable pictures.

On the DVD: A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is presented in widescreen that recaptures the pleasure which greeted the setting of this most pastoral of Allen's films on its first release; it really does glow with summery light. The standard stereo soundtrack is perfectly acceptable. Extras include the original theatrical trailer and multiple language soundtracks.--Piers Ford

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
There is no other Woody Allen film quite like this one. Although the protagonists are the usual angst-ridden middle class New Yorkers, the setting is miles-and years- from modern Manhattan. A dilapidated housestead in a beautiful rural location at the beginning of the 20th. century is the base for a film exploring Allen's fascination with human relationships.
The basic story is simple. Leopold (Jose Ferrer-a wonderful performance), a pompous philosophy professor from middle Europe visits Andrew's (Allen) and his wife's house for the last day of his bacherlorhood with his attractive and very much younger wife-to-be Ariel (Mia Farrow). Andrew's friend, the lascivious doctor Maxwell (Tony Roberts) joins them with his latest aquisition Dulcy (Julie Hagerty). None of these relationships is working; there is a great deal of soul searching, arguing, seductions...the normal Allen fayre. At first this seems quite bizarre, as we are so used to seeing this played out against a New York background; it seems alien in this lush rural setting. Allen is, mysteriously, both a Wall Street banker and an eccentric inventor (somewhat like Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). His inventions include an early flying machine which plays its part in one attempted seduction. All this is enough to unsettle the viewer as you're not quite sure what genre this is-comedy, romance,fantasy, drama.
But if you stay with the film long enough, the mind spends less time juggling with the surface matter and starts to be seduced by the atmosphere. There is at the heart of this film the issue of life being what we make of it; the cold professor gradually realises that there may be more to life than what science alone can explain.
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The most gentle of Allen‘s films, so gentle in fact that you feel betrayed by the 1 hour 24min duration, all over so quickly! And as clearly stated on the packet (Sorry couldn’t resist that) teeming with all the visual beauty of an impressionist painting!! a film that will happily withstand repeat viewings, unlike some of the later offerings.
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Nice film which I've had on VHS for 20 plus years

Not what you'd expect from the title

Still in Allen's period of obsessing about NYC neurotics,but a satire ( albeit with little bite ) rather than a rom-com

Obviously a homage to Bergman it does assume some literacy of its viewers,to the extent that in parts Allen is more interested in demonstrating his cleverness and wit than entertaining the audience or maintaining a cogent storyline - at times it feels as if Stephen Fry had written the screenplay

Some interesting additions to his usual ensemble
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Although a used issue, it looks and plays like new. This W.A. film was made in a bit if a hurry as he was involved in making Zelig which was running into problems. He appears to have written and filmed "sex Comedy" in between sorting the Zelig problems. None of this shows in the finished film. It a wonderful, gently, intelligent comedy with all the six actors working well together in this superb ensemble piece. July Hagerty and Mary Sheenbergan, not really part of the Woody Allen "call" roster, really getting to the flavour of the Allen zone, are so good. The print is good too, no problems with questionable fading colour (as sometimes strikes the older films) and excellent crisp sound. This is certainly one of my favourite Woody Allen films. It's not easy to get tired of. Mia Farrow seemed to get some criticism for her performance, but I could never understand this. Watch and enjoy again and again!!!!!
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"MSNSC" is my one of my favourite Woody Allen films. I enjoy watching it every year. Its genuinely witty dialogue is delivered by one of Allen's best ensemble casts: Jose Ferrer as the stuffy Academic Philosopher, who refuses to believe in magic; Mia Farrow as his intended, Ariel, whose etherial appearance belies her salty past; Tony Roberts, as the perennial best friend, Maxwell, a doctor who specialises in philandering; Julie Hagerty, as his wide-eyed but willing nurse, Dulcie, who is extremely well-read in the Katzenjammer Kids; Mary Steenbergen, as Allen's repressed wife, Adrian, who conceals a secret; and Allen who takes his neurotic city-schlub character a charming step further in his role as Andrew, an inventor of wildly impractical wonder machines.

Allen's setting of the film in the early 20th century allows viewers to suspend their collective disbelief. The guests, who arrive for their country weekend in jaunty roadsters, are clad in head-to-toe dusters; the women with their long wasp-waisted skirts and lacy blouses look as if they have stepped out of a Gibson Girl calendar. Adrian's repression, in fact, is emphasised by her tightly-strung corset, and the trouble in her marriage to Andrew is made evident by the camera's focus not on husband and wife but on their mirrored image on the wall of their empty bedroom, with its striped wallpaper and old-fashioned framed sentimental prints of blissful couples.

Andrew and Adrian's white wooden Victorian gingerbread house is set in a New York meadow surrounded by lush woodlands in which the light dances as it filters through the leaves, constantly altering our perspective.
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