Before Woody Allen became known for serious, character driven comedies including Annie Hall and Manhattan he made screwball comedies and Bananas remains one of his most hilarious.
When bumbling product tester Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) is jilted by his politically-aware girlfriend Nancy (Louise Lasser), he decides that an awareness-raising holiday is in order. So he heads to the tiny Central American republic of San Marcos, only to become kidnapped by anti-government rebels, triggering a series of unlikely events that sees Mellish himself become both President and the FBI’s number one target.
Gag for gag and one-liner for one-liner, Woody Allen’s second feature is one of the funniest that he ever made, satirising everything from relationships to dictatorships in the vein of his beloved Marx Brothers. There’s some pointed political satire for those minded to look for it, but surreal whimsy rapidly takes over as San Marcos’s new official language is deemed to be Swedish and J. Edgar Hoover disguises himself as a large black woman for the purposes of one of the maddest courtroom showdowns ever filmed.
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