February 16th, 2011: Bananas (1971)

What It’s About: New York nebbish Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) girlfriend Nancy (Louise Lasser) dumps him, setting in motion a bizarre series of events that culminates in Fielding joining the revolution in, and ultimately becoming the President of, the tiny Latin American republic of San Marcos.

Why Watch it Today?: Fidel Castro became the premier of Cuba today in 1961 after leading the revolution to overthrow the government.  Woody Allen spends a lot of time in Bananas in Castro garb, and San Marcos is a thinly veiled parody of Cuba, its revolution, and the American response.  Allen made Bananas in his “zany” period, and so viewers used to (or who dislike) his more introspective work post Annie Hall may find this refreshing.  Worth watching for Howard Cosell’s cameo alone.

Where to Get It:   Public libraries, iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.com

The Trailer:

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