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 once said, "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia." See more »
During the boot camp "training montage" Boris's uniform changes between one with black cuffs and collar and one with red cuffs and collar. 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 »
Watching Love And Death today I had the feeling that back when Woody Allen was going to Midwood High School in Brooklyn, a few years before I did, he was forced to do a book report on War And Peace and hated it. He vowed to get even with Tolstoy and all the rest of those heavy Russian dramatists and in Love And Death I do believe he succeeded.
And if you ever were forced to sit through all that turgid prose and heavy dramatics than Love And Death is the film you've longed for. The time is the Napoleonic Wars and the flower of Russian manhood is answering the colors. But Woody comes from a different patch than the other flowers bloomed in and he's not that crazy about sacrificing for old mother Russia.
The overall tone of Love And Death is a homage to Groucho Marx and years earlier I could have seen the Marx Brothers doing something like Love And Death with a bit more creative control, just like what Woody Allen has with his movies. But the military scenes were out of the Bob Hope school of cowardice playbook.
Lest anyone think that only Russian literature got a good satire, Allen includes a take off on Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude as Allen and Diane Keaton both go into those stage soliloquys about what the future holds for them as a couple.
Love And Death a must for Woody Allen and a missionary film for those looking to convert someone to being a Woody Allen fan.
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