6. Woody's Flirting
Film: Love And Death (1975)
If Sleeper was Woody’s poke-in-the-eye for science-fiction, Love And Death is his rapier swipe at Russian epic novels. To be honest, those Russian epic novel bastards had it coming, being so Russian and epic and whatnot. Thank God Woody took ‘em down a peg or too, really.
Anyway, the plot centres on Allen’s cowardly pacifist Boris Grushenko, who gets conscripted into the Russian army in an attempt – of course – to dissuade his cousin, Sonja (Diane Keaton) from marrying someone else and instead sleep with him.
In so doing, Grushenko has more than a few mock-philoshopical debates with Sonja, pays homage to the likes of Chaplin and the Marx Brothers, and witnesses some pretty amazing humourous anachronisms – his signature glasses being the most obvious. Perhaps the double-speak scenes should be favourite, but there’s something about this flirting scene that never fails. When he whips out that sword... there just aren’t words enough to describe it.