Premiere - 07/01/2006
"This delirious anthology of sketches based on questions in David Reuben's best-seller includes contributions by Burt Reynolds, Lynn Redgrave, and Tony Randall."
Ostensibly based on the famous non-fiction bestseller by David Reuben, EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK is a series of comedic sketches from writer-director-actor Woody Allen. All seven segments of the film are posed as questions taken directly from Reuben's book, but act mostly as satirical springboards for Allen's comic genius. They take many forms, from a scenario on medieval adultery to a mad scientist-monster movie parody to a send-up of Italian sex films.
Like many of Allen's early films, the humor in EVERYTHING...combines both quick-witted verbal quips (bearing the influence of Groucho Marx) and outright physical slapstick, but also shows Allen evolving as a filmmaker after his previous two films, BANANAS and TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. Although it seems the logical extension of the scattered plotting of those earlier films, the segmentation of the film allowed Allen to experiment as a filmmaker: the clean and clinical appearance of the famous final sequence would be found again in his sci-fi satire SLEEPER, and the Italian parody (among other sketches) finds Allen imitating the aesthetic features of European masters (such as Antonioni) for the first time, something he would later do again and again. EVERYTHING...is also perhaps Allen's most thoroughly outrageous and subversive comedy, touching on a number of sensitive issues and mining laughs from touchy subject matter.
Essential Cinema |
Short Stories |
Theatrical Release: August 6, 1972.
Complete title: "EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX* (*BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK)."
Segments were cut from the film before its release, including bits of a game show parody called "What's My Perversion'" and a sequence about the black-widow spider called "What Makes a Man a Homosexual'" in which the female spider, played by Louise Lasser, has sex with the male, played by Woody Allen, and then is expected to devour its mate after intercourse. Allen cut the spider sequence because he reportedly didn't know how to end it.
Re-released theatrically in New York City July 6-12, 1990.
Re-released theatrically in Athens, Greece September 28, 1990.