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
When Boris' father visits him in his prison cell, near the end of the movie, he tells him about Raskolnikov killing two women and about getting told by the brothers Karamazov. Rodion Raskolnikov is the protagonist in Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic "Crime and Punishment", in which he murders two women and does not know how to deal with the moral consequences afterwards. "The Brothers Karamazov" is another epic book by the same Russian writer. The dialogue also evokes "The Possessed", "Raw Youth", "The Idiot", "The Insulted and Injured" (usually "The Insulted and Humiliated"), "The Gambler", "The Double", "Bobok", all of them novels by Dostoyevsky. See more »
When Sonja accompanies Beethoven's "Spring" violin sonata, the music on the piano is visibly an orchestral score, whereas the piece they are playing is a duo. Besides, the "violinist" never moves his left hand's fingers. See more »
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.
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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 »
The MGM DVD release deletes the pre-title Prokofiev overture. See more »
One of the funniest movies of all time. The War & Peace and Chekov slant gives it a great feel. Allen and Keaton are at their best, and funnier than Grace & Burns, Hepburn & Tracey, etc..
One of the better lines, "To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love, but then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy then is to suffer but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore to be unhappy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down."
This classic comedy is very rarely known, and worth watching it over and over.
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