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Bananas (1971)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 19 July 1971 (Sweden)
When a bumbling New Yorker is dumped by his activist girlfriend, he travels to a tiny Latin American nation and becomes involved in its latest rebellion.

Director:

Woody Allen
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Fielding Mellish
Louise Lasser ... Nancy
Carlos Montalbán Carlos Montalbán ... General Emilio M. Vargas
Nati Abascal ... Yolanda (as Natividad Abascal)
Jacobo Morales Jacobo Morales ... Esposito
Miguel Ángel Suárez ... Luis (as Miguel Suarez)
David Ortiz Angleró David Ortiz Angleró ... Sanchez
René Enríquez ... Diaz (as Rene Enríquez)
Jack Axelrod Jack Axelrod ... Arroyo
Howard Cosell ... Howard Cosell
Roger Grimsby ... Roger Grimsby
Don Dunphy Don Dunphy ... Don Dunphy
Charlotte Rae ... Mrs. Mellish
Stanley Ackerman Stanley Ackerman ... Dr. Mellish
Dan Frazer ... Priest
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Storyline

Fielding Mellish (a consumer products tester) becomes infatuated with Nancy (a political activist). He attends demonstrations and tries in other ways to convince her that he is worthy of her love, but Nancy wants someone with greater leadership potential. Fielding runs off to San Marcos where he joins the rebels and eventually becomes President of the country. While on a trip to the states, he meets Nancy again and she falls for him now that he is a political leader. Written by Scott R. Vaughn <scott@vaughn.hon.msu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Revolutionist That Shook the World With LAUGHTER!

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for comic sexuality including some pin-up nudity, some drug use and crude language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Yiddish | Italian

Release Date:

19 July 1971 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

El Weirdo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$136,200
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Woody Allen's second and last co-writing collaboration with his old friend Mickey Rose. The two high school friends would go their separate ways professionally, with Rose moving to Los Angeles and writing for various television shows and the occasional film. The two remained friends - Allen was best man at Rose's wedding and the two talked regularly by phone until Rose's death in 2013. See more »

Goofs

When Fielding is driving his Volkswagen and talking, there is a shot where his lips clearly aren't moving. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Don Dunphy: Good afternoon. Wide World of Sports is in the little republic of San Marcos where we're going to bring you a live, on the spot assassination. They're going to kill the president of this lovely Latin American country and replace him with a military dictatorship. And everybody is about as excited and tense as can be. The weather on this Sunday afternoon is perfect; and if you've just joined us, we've seen a series of colorful riots that started with the traditional bombing of the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the credits flash in time to the music. Additionally, the cards are shot with machine gun fire. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #10.1 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Quiero La Noche
Words and music by Marvin Hamlisch
Sung by The Yomo Toro Trio
[Played during the opening titles and credits]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"You cannot bash in the head of an American citizen without written permission from the State Department."
29 December 2007 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

When asked why he titled his third feature-length picture 'Bananas,' Woody Allen replied, "because there's no bananas in it." This, in a nutshell, pretty much summarises the general tone of the film. During the first ten years of his directing career, it's interesting to see Allen slowly developing his craft; as the years go by, from 'Take the Money and Run (1969)' to 'Sleeper (1973),' {and culminating in 'Annie Hall (1977)'} we notice how he learned to assimilate an unrelated collection of gags into a mature, cohesive narrative. 'Bananas (1971)' sits somewhere in the middle of all this, with a more developed story than its predecessors, but maintaining its roots as an anarchic comedy, much in the same vein as films like 'Duck Soup (1933)' and 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).' Though I had not anticipated enjoying 'Bananas' very much, I must say that the film provided countless moments of immeasurable hilarity. Though slightly uneven in parts {as is often the case, some jokes hit while others miss}, the film delivers the promised laughs.

The storyline is characteristically simple and absurd. After a revolution breaks out in the small South American nation of San Marcos, a mediocre, unintellectual New Yorker, Fielding Mellish (Allen), travels there to impress his ex-girlfriend (Louise Lasser). After the fascist government tries to have him assassinated, poor Fielding falls in with the rebel gangs, somehow eventually becoming the President of the Latin American republic. This absurd plot line allows Allen to pile one gag on top of another, and, interestingly, the story itself never seems to lose its way or go off on any tangents. The film's satirical take on war, with the Vietnam War still raging in 1971, was very timely, and Allen also aims a few jabs at the media's handling of warfare – in the ridiculous and inspired opening, ABC's Wide World of Sports arrives in San Marcos to commentate the assassination of the current President. Later, Howard Cosell returns to host the consummation of Fielding's marriage, with an enthusiastic crowd watching the awkward couple tussling beneath the covers. 'Bananas' is a type specimen of one of Woody Allen's "early, funny movies."


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