One of Woody's early 'funny' films
- Sleeper review by CP Customer
Regarding his recent output, perhaps Mr Allen finds life less amusing now. I sympathise. But there is solace in the many pleasures Sleeper has to offer. After 32 years, not only does it still look good, but the music is also great, and the gags are a perfect highbrow/lowbrow mixture, meaning that the kids and I can be equally entertained.
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Bonanza of great one liners.
- Sleeper review by Steve
With Sleeper, Woody reached an early peak. The character of the cowardly, neurotic New York Jewish intellectual was in place. He looked to Bob Hope for mannerisms and his hesitant speaking style (and bursts of poetic gallantry). And the physical humour could only be more suggestive of Buster Keaton if it was in b&w. The scenes with Woody imitating a robot butler about to get his head replaced is all time great silent slapstick.
It is a sci-fi comedy. Woody wakes up 200 years after a botched operation on his ulcer, trademark glasses still in place, into a society like Brave New World. Which allows for comic comparisons between the now vanished Greenwich Village and the mock-Californian culture that has replaced it.
Interestingly, like Bananas, the plot concerns a rebel movement driven to replace a totalitarian dictator (Keaton even sings the rebel song from that film). Woody scored the film and recorded the ragtime soundtrack which is used to great effect during the slapstick scenes.
The film represents a giant leap forward for Woody. This isn't an inconsistent film, it all works. There is nothing here that is of questionable taste. And best of all, is Diane Keaton, a co-lead who shares a felicitous rapport with the star but is also equally a great comedy actor and even introduces a glimmer of genuine romance. When she is on, everything is a little more fun.
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