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Woody Plays the Fool

By Mike Smoody

"Everybody plays the fool sometimes..." but none better than Woody Allen. Today (and possibly forever), Woody Allen is known as the cerebral comedian, but we should never forget his foolish roots. Here is a list of reminders.

  • Take the Money and Run

    2004 by Woody Allen

    In his first great movie, Allen plays the most dangerously incompetent criminal of all time. If he can remember to put on his pants before leaving the house, no bank is safe. Full of classic gaffes; its humor never grows stale.

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  • Bananas

    2000 by Woody Allen

    The awe-inspiring cover art is explanation enough!

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  • Play It Again, Sam

    2001 by Herbert Ross

    This romantic comedy blends physical and intellectual humor. Allen's lovelorn character tries to get back into dating after his wife leaves him; his misery along the way is our delight.

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  • Sleeper

    2000 by Woody Allen

    Many claim that Sleeper is the greatest film made by an American director. It is not hard to see why in this exploration of a man's existential crisis after he awakes from a two hundred year cryogenic sleep. As an extreme outsider he faces many obstacles, not least of which is one-on-one combat with a giant pudding.

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  • Love and Death

    2000 by Woody Allen

    An epic film, worthy of inclusion along such Russian masterpieces as War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov, Allen takes on life's most serious subjects. Fans of Russian literature will take special pleasure in watching this one.

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  • Zelig

    2001 by Woody Allen

    Zelig's tragedy is his tendency to adopt the persona of whomever he is with. Allen's virtuoso performance in such a variety of roles--from a baseball player for the Yankees, to a gangster for Al Capone--should certainly have secured him an Oscar.

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