This is one of Woody Allen's earliest films -which should rank with the all-time greatest comedies. Although it was made back when the trial of The Chicago Seven was still fresh and Tobacco was still advertised on television, Bananas is timeless and still topical: J. Edgar Hoover in drag; the CIA sending US troops to fight on both sides of a revolution because they are afraid of being on the wrong side. One can usually recall a few scenes from a good movie, but Bananas is one of those great movies which one can replay in the mind from beginning to end. (Bananas is neatly bracketed at the beginning and end by Howard Cossell playing himself in bizarre Wide World of Sports coverages.) Allen has total control as writer, director and lead actor as in his later films, but in Bananas, the humor is broader and more cinematic. He plays the nebbish Fielding Mellish with less of the existential whining that mars his later films. There is a youthful resiliance like a toy punching bag that keeps coming back up. That is what made Chaplin's little tramp both comical and endearing.
When a bumbling New Yorker is dumped by his activist girlfriend, he travels to a tiny Latin American nation and becomes involved in its latest rebellion.
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