Bananas (1971) Poster



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A very young Sylvester Stallone appears in the subway scene playing a hoodlum with another youngster.
In an interview, Woody Allen was asked why he named the movie "Bananas". His response: "Because there are no bananas in it." A reference to the 1920s novelty song "Yes we have no bananas."
According to the Eric Lax biography, the musicians in the dinner scene at General Vargas' house were actually to be playing instruments, but the rented instruments hadn't arrived, and rather than wait, Woody Allen decided the miming would fit with the tone of the film.
The majority of the scenes in the film were improvised. When Woody Allen felt he had captured the right shot, he would move on to the next one.
The movie is ranked at the No. #69 spot on the American Film Institute's "100 Years...100 Laughs" Top 100 List.
Woody Allen said he made a conscious decision not to show any blood to maintain the light, farcical tone of the film.
The movie's mock-TV ad for New Testament cigarettes earned the movie a "Condemned" rating by the Catholic Church.
Conrad Bain, Charlotte Rae and Mary Jo Catlett all appear in small roles. All three performers would later appear on the TV sitcom Diff'rent Strokes (1978).
The third feature film directed by Woody Allen, and the first in which he had nearly full creative control.
Howard Cosell was allowed to improvise most of his part.
Working title: "El Weirdo".
While the rebels are watching Esposito make his first speech as the new Presidente, Fielding asks, "What's the Spanish word for straitjacket?" The answer is "camisa de fuerza" or literally, "force shirt" or "shirt of force".
Third and final of three films that writer Mickey Rose co-wrote with Woody Allen. The first two films were What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966) and Take the Money and Run (1969).
The picture was originally conceived as a star vehicle for actor Robert Morse.
The film was partially inspired by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra's "Don Quixote". The film's original script title was "Don Quixote U.S.A.".
The movie was made and released around the time just before the film's lead stars Woody Allen and Louise Lasser had been married but were divorced in early 1970.
In an interview with Robert B. Greenfield of Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Woody Allen said: "They say it's a political film but I don't really believe much in politics. Groucho Marx has told me that The Marx Brothers' films were never consciously anti-establishment or political. It's always got to be a funny movie first".
According to the Virgin Film Guide, "subsequent events in Central America have only enhanced the film's appeal".


Sylvester Stallone:  Uncredited, as a subway thug. This was one of his earliest film roles. According to website Every Woody Allen Movie, "Allen initially sent Stallone back to the casting agency after deciding he wasn't 'tough-looking' enough. Stallone pleaded with him, and eventually convinced him to change his mind".
Don Dunphy:  As himself.
Howard Cosell:  As himself.
Allen Garfield:  As a man on a cross.
Roger Grimsby:  As himself.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Woody Allen initially intended to end the movie with him emerging from a riot with his face darkened from soot; the black rioters would then mistakenly claim him as one of their own. As with Take the Money and Run (1969), Allen's editor, Ralph Rosenblum, convinced him to go with an ending more organic to the story that came before it.

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