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Yet another Woody Allen comedy that features a clarinet player. Woody is frozen and resurrected by anti-government radicals so as to assist them in their attempted conspiracy: overthrow the currently oppressive government. As the humble man sets out to explore the crazy new world, he discovers the unthinkable: Orgasmatron booths, and much, much more to do with comical sexual revolutions.
Director Woody Allen's "Sleeper" is a delightful comedy, sci-fi romp.
Promotional Line: "Woody Allen takes a nostalgic look at the future"
Quote from Miles Monroe: "I haven't seen my analyst in 200 years.
The story's premise has a clarinet player, health food store operator who lived in Greenwich Village New York , Miles Monroe (Allen) who was cryogenically frozen in 1973, after he had gone in for a simple operation, and something went wrong. The story begins 200 years in the future, where, in secret, underground antigovernment doctors have snuck his capsule into a lab. They thaw him out, and took him back to their house / headquarters where he fully recovers in a few days. They then inform him about why they had illegally revived him from his frozen sleep, and the reality of their totalitarian government, run by an absolute dictator, known as "Our Leader." The doctors then instruct him that his mission must be to find out what the government's Aerie's project is, and stop it. Miles, is reluctant to take on the assignment, but is given no choice when the government police suddenly show up at the house, forcing Miles to flee.
He barely escapes by disguising himself as a mechanical servant, in a delivery truck. He is the last mechanical servant to be dropped off, at an eccentric poet's house, by the name of Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton). This easily to become upset, poetic princess totally loves her life as it is, and doesn't understand dissension. After a disastrous dinner party, where Miles has problems with using new age mechanical devices, and fights a monstrous instant pudding attack, Luna decides to take him in to the local mechanical fix-it shop, where she can get his head changed and his circuits checked.
After a hilarious sequence of events in the fix it shop, Miloe escapes and jumps into Luna's electric car, as she returns to pick up what she believes is now her esthetically more pleasing, better performing robot. After he pleads his case with her, she starts to scream for help. Miles is forced to hijack her car, making her a hostile, uncooperative prisoner. After some rather funny occurrences, Luna, however, manages to arrange secretly with the police to have Miles caught and herself rescued, by borrowing a space suit from some rather odd people. Much to her dismay, the police upon finding Luna and Miles, want to destroy her on the spot because of the contamination she received for being with "the alien." Miles rescues her in a unique way, and escapes with her, as the air from space suit propels them at a fast speed up a river.
Thus begins their adventures, and the laughs keep coming, as Luna manages to find Bruno, the leader of the Marxist underground, when Miles is captured and is assimilated into "society" after a humorous brainwashing treatment, which takes away his identity, and gives him a new self that is more socially acceptable for this totalitarian run society, where every aspect of one's life is planned for, by an all knowing government.
Bruno and his boys, with Luna kidnap Miles from his new apartment and mechanical dog, Rex, and undo his brain washing. Then it is their mission to find out what the Aerie's project is and gum up the works.
Sleeper is a classic because of its hilarious, creative screenplay, brilliant pacing, gifted direction, physical comedy that is perfectly done, clever props & sight gags, and a terrific cast. A ragtime - style musical score, by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, in which Allen is a member, adds to the fun of the film, enhancing the action of the story. Comedy Sci-Fi is difficult to pull off. In a mixed bag of films that includes "Galaxina," "Ice Pirates," and "Spaceballs," "Sleeper" is definitely the cream of the crop.
One of my favorite scenes involves Keaton and Allen. As Allen attempts to regain his identity, he acts out a scene with Keaton, from "Streetcar Named Desire," with Keaton playing Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando), role and with Allen playing Blanche DuBois (Vivian Leigh). Hilarious.
The comedic talent of Woody Allen isn't limited to writing, directing, and a humorous delivery of his lines. His physical acting is also chortle provoking. Favorite sequences of scenes that illustrate this fact are the ones where he impersonates a humanoid robot. His performances in these scenes have the charm and whimsy of the silent film work of Chaplin and Keaton.
Diane Keaton's flair and talent for comedy is showcased in this film, and it works well with Woody Allen's abilities. She successfully transforms from a self-centered, hypersensitive poet, to a hostile, whining captive, to a back to basics rebel.