6.8/10
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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)

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 »

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Writers:

(from the book "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask" by) (as Dr. David Reuben), (written for the screen by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam
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Jack Barry
Erin Fleming ...
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Toni Holt Kramer ...
Toni Holt (as Toni Holt)
Robert Q. Lewis ...
Robert Q. Lewis
Heather MacRae ...
Helen (as Heather Macrae)
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Storyline

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 <scott@vaughn.hon.msu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you want to know how this man made a movie out of this book... "Everything you always wanted to know about sex* - *But Were Afraid to Ask" you'll have to see the movie! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

31 January 1973 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Are Transvestites Homosexuals?  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,016,290, 31 December 1973
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Showbusiness trade paper Variety said of this film that it "borrows only the title [from Dr. David Reuben's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) book] and some . . . questions [the segment titles]". See more »

Goofs

Possibly deliberate error by filmmaker. At the very end of the "What's My Perversion" segment. See more »

Quotes

The Queen: Didst I feel aright or didst I feel that thy two hands did upon my royal body cop a feel?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Nothing in Common (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Misbehave
(1927)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
RCA Records
Played and Sung offscreen during the opening and closing credits by Irving Aaronson and His Commanders (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Rabbits, sperm, giant breasts and a woody!
28 January 2003 | by 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.


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