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
Woody Allen was working on a script about two New Yorkers who try to solve a murder when he got stuck. When blocked, Allen noticed a book on Russian history at his home. As the deadline was fast approaching for delivery of a contracted screenplay, Allen got inspired and decided to spoof the genre of Russian novel and history for this movie instead, putting the other script on the back-burner. As such, the other script was not finished until later, but it eventually became Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993). See more »
The young Boris has blue eyes, but the adult Boris has brown eyes. 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 Woody Allen's most entertaining and amusing comedies
Woody Allen films fall into different categories-his early films verge on slapstick while still being bitingly satirical (Sleeper, Bananas, Play It Again, Sam, among others) while his later works generally fall into one of two categories: contemporary social satire or nostalgic period pieces, generally set in the 1930s or 1940s. Love and Death is probably the most cerebral of the slapstick films and what I suspect a collaboration between Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman and the Marx Brothers would have looked like had one ever taken place. Sight gags abound along with the philosophical discussions Woody Allen films have as a matter of course. It's a hilarious film that spoofs Bergman, the military, patriotism and, of course, love and death. Most highly recommended.
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