Love and Death: One of the Funniest Movies Ever Made

Easily one of Woody’s top ten, too, incidentally. A 1975 film from early on in his impressive 50 film, thereabouts, directing and acting career.

Inspired by War and Peace and the Napoleonic Wars period, albeit with a heavy European pessimistic philosophy base and Jewish culture tangents, Love and Death is an outstanding steady run of gags and jokes for anyone who loves language and the gamut of different types of comedy (puns, pratfalls, non-sequiturs, high comedy, visual comedy, wild juxtapositions, manic pacing, etc.) There is something for every kind of funny-bone and sense of humor in this classic.

This is also one of the funniest satires in the Allen canon, one of his funniest performances, one of Diane Keaton’s best performances, and one of Allen’s most appropriate uses of music with his scenes (he uses nothing by famous excerpts by Prokofiev and other Russian composers).

An imaginative delight and tour de force from beginning to end, I think it’s one of his best five comedies easily. If you’ve never see it, you owe yourself a treat. If you love the possibilities of language and clever writing, it’s a must-see for any educated English-speaking filmgoers and film aficionados.

(Also highly recommended, another early film that out-Gumped Forrest Gump, seamlessly working Allen’s nebbish character into the realms of more thoughtful, far-ranging history. A clever, technological wonder of its time.)

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