“I wanna go back to sleep! If I don’t get at least 600 years, I’m grouchy all day.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
… to timely satire (when shown a photo of Norman Mailer by an inquisitive archaeologist, Allen informs him that Mailer “donated his ego to Harvard Medical School”):
… to mind-blowing lunacy (Allen wins a Miss America award [!]:
… and later — oh, so randomly — channels Blanche DuBois in a scene from A Streetcar Named Desire).
For such a silly story, Sleeper is surprisingly full of memorable moments: few will be able to forget the botched “nose cloning” sequence near the end of the film, for instance:
… or the movie’s coterie of futuristic “gadgets” — including the efficient Orgasmatron box:
… the drug-providing “Orb” (which provokes Allen into a rare fit of laughter on-screen):
… and some instant chocolate pudding powder which quickly grows out of Allen’s control.
Though most of the supporting actors are unknowns, Keaton — in her second film with Allen, after Play it Again Sam (1972) — is charmingly nutty as Allen’s foil and love interest, who undergoes a dramatic transformation from squealing hedonist to committed revolutionary:
Meanwhile, Allen himself has loopy fun channeling Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Bob Hope (among others). Like the best must-see films, Sleeper — which, mercifully, never takes itself too seriously — can easily be revisited by film fanatics from time to time, and is the perfect introductory Allen movie to show to one’s non-ff friends.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)