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A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 12,454 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 35 critic

A wacky inventor and his wife invite two other couples for a weekend party at a romantic summer house in the 1900s countryside.

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Title: A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Leopold (as Jose Ferrer)
...
...
...
Adam Redfield ...
Student Foxx
Moishe Rosenfeld ...
Mr. Hayes
Timothy Jenkins ...
Mr. Thomson
Michael Higgins ...
Reynolds
Sol Frieder ...
Carstairs
Boris Zoubok ...
Purvis
Thomas Barbour ...
Blint
...
Mrs. Baker
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Storyline

Centred around a weekend party at the home of inventor Andrew Hobbs and his wife Adrian, attended by randy doctor Maxwell Jordan, his nurse Dulcy, renowned philosopher Dr.Leopold Sturgis and his fiancée, this is a light comedy concerning their various emotional, intellectual and sexual entanglements, loosely based on Ingmar Bergman's 'Smiles of a Summer Night' . Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Six characters in search of love [Video]


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comedia sexual de una noche de verano  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen wrote the role of Ariel for Diane Keaton, but she couldn't take the part because she was busy promoting her film Reds (1981) and preparing for Alan Parker's Shoot the Moon (1982). See more »

Goofs

Jose Ferrer sings the song, "The Lord's Prayer", which was not written by Albert Hay Malotte until 1935, even though the film was set much earlier. See more »

Quotes

Ariel: He taught me a lot...
Andrew: Like what?
Ariel: Like how to listen to Mozart.
Andrew: With your ears, right?
See more »

Connections

References Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64
(1844)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Mendelssohn)
Performed by Vasil Stefanov (as Vassil Stefanov) and the TVR Symphony Orchestra
Soloist Stoika Milanova
Courtesy of Monitor Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shakespeare and Bergman and Sprites and Spirits oh my
31 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

When I look at his filmography on this site and count the films I consider great from the 70s till the early 90s I only stumble over two or three entries I am not fond of. Granted, some are greater than others, but Woody Allen essentially created consistently excellent films for two decades. Whether comedy or drama, whether set in New York or elsewhere, his films are not only great American films, but they belong in the international arena of film art.

Having said all that, and hopefully having disclosed my own bias in discussing the man's work, I can say without further ado that I loved "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy." It is hardly the type of Woody Allen film that would receive dozens of critical accolades and nominations (in fact it was only nominated for a Razzie), but I think that can be explained by the fact that Woody Allen set a bar of expectation for himself. When you watch "Manhattan" or "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and then this you see a change of pace, a sort of lighter tone. That does not, however, mean that this film is without its merits. Taken strictly as a film, not as a Woody Allen film, it is plain wonderful. I think that goes for most of his films (except maybe some of the more recent ones).

Allen, of course, is up to his usual tricks again - he takes a Bergman film ("Smiles of a Summer Night") and spoofs it, makes it his own and I think successfully. The atmosphere of this film is what makes it so watchable - the beautiful blend of humor, nostalgia and unfulfilled desire, which I think he perfected in "Radio Days," come through exquisitely. It's also an interesting move away from the stark atheism, or at least agnosticism of his earlier films - the presence of spirits, shadows and ghosts, things unexplained by science, unaccounted for by our sentient experience.

The most interesting aspect of it is that this mystical theme is hardly incongruous with Allen's other films, including his tragedies. Whether his films underline the hopelessness of existence (like "Interiors") or the mystical, and thus hopeful nature of human relationships, they only differ by the mood the storyteller is in when he speaks of them.

Here we have an entirely Shakespearean comedy full of criss-crossing love affairs, absurd relations, untamed desires all leading to hilarious revelations, or serious revelations under the most comic circumstances. Jose Ferrer is remarkable as Professor Leopold, a cold, atheistic intellectual, an accomplished thinker and professor. Contrary to his character, Allen bestows him with some of the funniest lines in the entire film. For example, when he realizes that his marriage to Mia Farrow's Ariel will be the end of his bachelorhood and that he is attracted to Julie Hagerty's nurse Dulcy, he attempts to compliment Dulcy over a game of chess. He says: "You have a wonderful flair for spatial relationships." These little speeches are completely in line with the comic absurdity of the whole, like Tony Robert's Maxwell, a romantic doctor who, gets shot not once, but twice in the film (once for love and once for revenge {meant for someone else}, nonetheless), or Woody Allen's stockbroker / inventor Andrew.

There is such joy in this film, such passion. Yes, maybe "Radio Days" is more articulate and personal on the subject, maybe "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is one of his best tragedies, "Manhattan" one of my favorite of his films along with "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Another Woman." And, while "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" is not as great, in my humble opinion, as the aforementioned films, it is still a great film, if that makes any sense.


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