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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)

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Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" in which a court ... See full summary »



(from the book "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask" by), (written for the screen by)
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Title: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Jacobi ...
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Jack Barry ...
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Elaine Giftos ...
Mrs. Ross
Toni Holt ...
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Robert Q. Lewis ...
Helen (as Heather Macrae)


Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" in which a court jester gives an aphrodisiac to the Queen and is, in the end, beheaded to "What Happens During Ejaculation?" in which we watch 'control central' during a successful seduction. Written by Scott R. Vaughn <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You haven't seen anything until you've seen everything See more »




TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

31 January 1973 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Are Transvestites Homosexuals?  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask" title, which is, at its full length, with thirteen words, is the longest ever title for a Woody Allen feature film. It's still the longest too when one counts its shorter eight word version "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex". Allen's second longest feature film title is You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010). See more »


In the final scene, The Operator says to think of baseball players to prolong sex and then says "Willie Mays, Joe Namath, Mickey Mantle". However, Joe Namath was a football player, not a baseball player. See more »


Dr. Bernardo: Here I'm studying premature ejaculation in a hippopotamus.
Victor Shakapopulis: How often does that problem come up with a hippo?
Dr. Bernardo: Here I'm forcing a man to have intercourse with a large rye bread. They're getting on famously! Here I'm going to take the brain of a lesbian and put it into the body of a man who works for the telephone company.
Victor Shakapopulis: But why? What good will this do anybody?
Dr. Bernardo: It'll show those fools who called me mad!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits shown over footage of rabbits. See more »


Referenced in New York at the Movies (2002) See more »


Red River Valley
(pub. 1896) (uncredited)
Music by James Kerrigen
Played on harmonica by Woody Allen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rabbits, sperm, giant breasts and a woody!
28 January 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Representing something of an early high point in Woody Allen's career, this scattershot spoof of David Rueben's highly popular sex-manual has become somewhat sadly overlooked in favour of the more mature and whimsical charms of 'Annie Hall' and 'Manhattan', but 'Everything you always wanted to know about sex' is just as enjoyable as his later works, if not more so.

Although the overt intellectualism that many of Allen's detractors criticize in his subsequent work is already beginning to take form here, not only in the concept (seriously, who'd adapt a sex-manual?) but also in execution, which owes more to the high-brow Fellini and Godard than the low-brow Mel Brooks or John Waters, includes a great deal of metaphysical surrealism, bizarre camera angles and deliberately self-indulgent dialog. Here Allen's filmmaking approach is more self-serving than ever before, casting himself as a medieval stand-up comedian, a heroic leading man and a sperm, yet still finding time to feature in a lengthy satire on early-seventies European cinema. The reason it all comes together without succumbing to self-importance is down to the simplicity and stupidity of most of the set pieces.

The more interesting segments come at the beginning of the film, and if seeing Woody trying hopelessly to unlock Lynn Redgrave's chastity belt and miss-quoting Shakespeare to form a condemnation of T.B. doesn't bring a smile to your face, then the sight of Gene Wilder in the throws of foreplay with a sheep will probably do little to convert you. Humour for the most is juvenile, puerile and immature, but carried off with such hilarious comedic style, that the Farrelly brothers should really reassess their careers. Allen is as likable as ever in his many surreal incarnations -- appearing in fifty percent of the sketches -- his ultimate triumph being the oily, Italian play-boy causing a stir when he and his frigid girlfriend par-take of a little outdoor nookie. And even if he is less confident when trying to be socio-satirical, as in the molestation game show, Woody still manages to inject a wit and ingenuity to the proceedings, always carrying off the gags to his trademark self-deprecating style.

However, despite technical assuredness, the finished product borders on the same hit and miss territory that befalls most anthology films, however, it has to be handed to Allen for making a genuinely intelligent movie that basically celebrates boob-gags and outbursts of rampant misogyny. The best policy with 'Everything you always wanted to know...' is to ignore the false starts of the later segments, and howl at the sight of Woody fighting a giant breast ("Don't worry, I know how to handle tits"). Nevertheless, if your idea of sophisticated humour doesn't include bestiality, orgasms, transvestism, homosexuality, ejaculation, perversion or Burt Reynolds, then feel free to give it a miss.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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