Sunday, June 08, 2014

Film Classics of the 20th Century

In this ongoing series on film classics of the last century, we've looked at Diamonds Are Forever,  Sleepless In Seattle,  My Little Chickadee,  Tootsie,  After Hours,  Edward ScissorhandsChristmas in Connecticut, Desk Set,  When Harry Met Sally . . .,  Who Done It?,  That Darn Cat!,  Cactus Flower,  Family Plot, House Sitter,  and Outrageous Fortune.   Film classics are the films that grab you, even on repeat viewings, especially on repeat viewings.

Sleeper is a comedy which was a laugh riot in 1973 and remains one today.

Woody Allen teamed with Marshall Brickman for the screenplay -- the first of four scripts they'd write together (the other three: Annie Hall, Manhattan and Manhattan Murder Mystery).

The film is set in the 22nd century.  200 years prior, Miles Monroe (Allen), part owner of the Happy Carrot Health Food Restaurant,"  was frozen and now he's awakened by rebels who want to use him for a top-secret program.

Miles can be used because he has no records on file -- everyone else has been finger printed and photographed by the government.

It's a different world in the future, where cigarettes are good for you.  But it's a world many in 2014 will recognize, thanks to the revelations of Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

When the government forces storm the compound, Miles goes on the run.

He disguises himself as a robot and ends up working in Luna's home.

There he battles, among other things, chocolate pudding.

Luna battles the same battle taking place in the US right now.  Confronted with the abuses of her government, she insists, "I absolutely do not want to hear about it."

Luna is played by Diane Keaton. In her second pairing with Woody Allen, Keaton really comes into her own.

Miles goes on the run and drags Luna along.

He gets captured by the government and reprogrammed.

Luna lives in the wild.

She joins a group of rebels, they abduct Miles and attempt to break his programming.

But he confuses himself with Blanche Du Bois of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.

Providing Keaton with a hilarious moment where she riffs on Marlon Brando's Stanley Kowaiski.

In a homage to the best of the Marx Brothers, Luna and Miles end up discovering the leader of the corrupt government is only a nose and decide to take the nose out.

The hilarious comedy is not just one of Woody Allen's finest films as a director, it's one of the true classics of the last century.

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