1001 Films: Sleeper (1973)

It’s the year 2173 and Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) has just woken up from a 200 year long sleep. Apparently two decades ago he checked himself into the hospital for a standard operation, ended up in a coma and they decided to cryogenically freeze his body and he’s just now being awoken to help a rebel force rise up against an oppressive government. Somehow when you read the above synopsis you think that the one part of it all that sticks out is the face that the movie stars Woody Allen. He also wrote and directed the film as well. However, it’s not one of those classic science-fiction adventure genre films that I’m talking about here. This is a movie that feels a lot like Allen was forced to sit through something like this and hated it so he made the same kind of movie but inserted his neurotic punch-line gun slinging character that he plays in every of his films into the film and sprinkled it with a lot of the slapstick sped up slip on a banana peel Benny Hill inspired comedy. It’s hard for me to hate on a film where it’s so obvious that the maker had was able to make exactly what he intended to. When artists make art they make it because they want it made, it’s only after the creation of that art that they then begin to hope that other people out there in the world will see why they like it too and like it in a similar manner. When I was younger I remember seeing clips here and there of Benny Hill, but at no time was I ever in love with his style of comedy or his character. So when I was made to see Allen pay tribute to a comedian that he obviously admired, and I didn’t, it just became an exercise in me giving him a pass. But when more or less the entire film became a cinematic pass for Allen I had to start to question as to whether that was allowable. Can I just say that it wasn’t for me and move on? Somehow I’m weary of doing that. Because watching the movie I can just say that people who like Benny Hill might like it and unfortunately I loathed the movie, sans a couple of really good Allen jokes that he delivered sparsely throughout the movie. IMDB says 7.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes says 100% I say 1.5/10  
  • http://ctcmr.com Aiden R.

    Aw, man. Sorry to hear you hated this. I think this might be my favorite Woody comedy, but then again, I was pretty stoned the last time I saw this. Oh, college…

  • http://www.gmanreviews.com Andrew Robinson

    I’m guessing the being stoned part helped a lot… maybe if I got myself an orb this movie would be hysterical

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