"This trial is a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."
- Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen)
Premiere - 07/01/2006
"Allen floors the accelerator in a manic take on revolution in Latin America."
Woody Allen leads a revolution in a small Latin American dictatorship in this hysterical comedy that parodies everything from the American media and political activism to the CIA and the judicial system. Allen plays Fielding Mellish, a nebbish unwilling to commit to anything--until he meets Nancy, played by Louise Lasser. Mellish soon finds himself fighting with guerrilla forces in the small third world country of San Marcos, and he becomes an international figure, even appearing on ABC's WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS with Howard Cosell (who plays himself). The film is loaded with sight gags that pay homage to Chaplin, Bergman, and the Marx Brothers. It also tackles politics, government, and religion, even breaking for a commercial for cigarettes endorsed by the church! One of the most memorable scenes of Allen's career occurs when Mellish defends himself in the funniest courtroom scene since the Three Stooges' DISORDER IN THE COURT. Allen's obsessions with food, sex, and death begin to take form here, on their way to becoming major themes in such films as LOVE AND DEATH, ANNIE HALL, and HANNAH AND HER SISTERS.
Woody Allen plays New York nebbish Fielding Mellish, who becomes involved in political activism just to get Nancy (Louise Lasser) to go out with him. Mellish, disguised in a ridiculous red beard, soon finds himself the leader of a revolution in a small Latin American country. The film is a riotous send-up of everything from Marxism and courtroom drama to American sports and office exercise equipment, filled with hilarious sight gags reminiscent of the Marx Brothers and Chaplin at their best.
San Marcos, the Latin American country Allen's character leads in revolution, is fictional.
Asked why this film is called BANANAS, director-star-cowriter Woody Allen simply replied, "Because there are no bananas in it."
The film at one time was going to be called EL WEIRDO.
Sylvester Stallone plays a small part as a hoodlum terrifying an old woman on the subway.
Woody Allen and Louise Lasser were married from 1966 to 1969.
Fielding (Woody Allen) and Yolanda (Natividad Abascal) have a riotous eating scene that parodies the famous food scene in TOM JONES, which won the 1963 Best Picture Oscar. Coincidentally, the next comedy to win the Best Picture Oscar was 1977's ANNIE HALL, which Allen cowrote, directed, and starred in.
Jacobo Morales, who played the dictator, eventually went on to direct DIOS LOS CRIA (1980), the first Puerto Rican feature film.
BANANAS is number sixty-nine on the American Film Institute's list of "America's 100 Funniest Movies."