Sleeper (1973)

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A health food store owner wakes up from cryogenic stasis to find himself 200 years in the future and the unlikely hero of a political underground set on toppling the Big Brother style government.

One of Woody Allen’s funniest films, Sleeper is scattershot spoof of science fiction movies packed with his trademark one liners and clear homages to the silent era. For me, it’s easily at its best when parodying the health food fads of the time “All of your friends have been dead for nearly 200 years!” “They can’t be, they ate organic rice!” but there’s also plenty of slapstick in the style of Chaplin, Lloyd and Keaton as well as some clear nods to the Marx brothers. It’s a great mix of po-faced 1970’s sci-fi – you wouldn’t know it was a comedy until Allen’s goofy face first appears – and plain silliness and although it’s a little hit and miss, when it’s funny, it’s very funny.

I personally could have lived without the ragtime soundtrack (one of my most hated styles of music) but as a whole, Sleeper is a lot of fun.

6.5/10

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