7.7/10
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115 user 65 critic

Love and Death (1975)

In czarist Russia, a neurotic soldier and his distant cousin formulate a plot to assassinate Napoleon.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Boris
Diane Keaton ... Sonja
Georges Adet Georges Adet ... Old Nehamkin
Robinson Frank Adu Robinson Frank Adu ... Drill Sergeant (as Frank Adu)
Edmond Ardisson ... Priest
Féodor Atkine ... Mikhail (as Feodor Atkine)
Albert Augier Albert Augier ... Waiter
Yves Barsacq Yves Barsacq ... Rimsky (as Yves Barsaco)
Lloyd Battista ... Don Francisco
Jack Berard Jack Berard ... General Lecoq
Eva Betrand Eva Betrand ... Woman Hygiene Class
George Birt George Birt ... Doctor
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... Andre
Gérard Buhr ... Servant (as Gerard Buhr)
Brian Coburn Brian Coburn ... Dimitri
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Storyline

In Russia, Boris Grushenko is in love with his pseudo-intellectual cousin Sonja, who loves him since he too is a pseudo-intellectual, but she is not in love with him. Instead she is in love with his brother Ivan. But as Ivan doesn't seem to return her affections, she is determined to marry someone - anyone - except Boris. If that person isn't the perfect husband, then she has to find a suitable lover in addition. Boris' pursuit of Sonja has to take a back seat in his life when he, a pacifist and coward, is forced to join the Russian Army to battle Napoleon's forces which have just invaded Austria. Despite Sonja not being in the picture while he's away at war, Boris' thoughts do not stray totally from women. Although they take these two divergent paths in their lives, those paths cross once again as they, together, both try to find the perfect spouse and lover, and try to assassinate Napoleon. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Comedy Sensation of the Year!

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1975 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

La última noche de Boris Grushenko See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,123,742

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,123,742
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack was originally scored with the music of Igor Stravinsky, but Woody Allen thought it made the scenes "unfunny". He discovered Sergei Prokofiev's lighthearted music worked far better. See more »

Goofs

Klieg lights can be seen reflected on Boris's eyeglasses and in the eyes of several characters in numerous scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boris: How I got into this predicament I'll never know. Absolutely incredible. To be executed for a crime I never committed. Of course, isn't all mankind in the same boat? Isn't all mankind ultimately executed for a crime it never committed? The difference is that all men go eventually, but I go six o'clock tomorrow morning. I was supposed to go at five o'clock but I have a smart lawyer. Got leniency.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev is listed in the credits as "S. Prokofiev," just the way he would have been listed in the credits of a Russian film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The MGM DVD release deletes the pre-title Prokofiev overture. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Love for Three Oranges, Suite for Orchestra, Op. 33
(1919) (uncredited)
(excerpts)
Written by Sergei Prokofiev
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The last of Woody's uneven (but still hilarious) comedies
11 October 2001 | by craigjclarkSee all my reviews

"Love and Death" is one of my favourite Woody Allen films, right up there with "Manhattan," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "Deconstructing Harry." Sure, the jokes are scattershot and don't always work, but when they do the film is a gut-buster. ("A tremendous amount of wheat!") Parodying everything from Russian literature to foreign films (especially those of his beloved Ingmar Bergman), it's also one of Allen's most overtly philosophical films with characters breaking into syllogisms and formal arguments at the most unlikely moments. Students of philosophy should get a kick out of it.

That said, it is accessible to just about anybody. Almost nobody does fish-out-of-water comedy as well as Woody Allen (see also "Bananas" and "Sleeper"), and Diane Keaton shines as usual as the promiscuous object of his desire. And look for Jessica Harper in a small role as the cousin who rattles off a convoluted list of romantic entanglements worthy of Chekhov.

This was the last step of Allen's formative period. After this, his films would get a lot more focused.


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