Bananas is chockfull of sight gags, one-liners and swiftly executed unnecessary excursions into vulgarity whose humor for the most part can’t make up for content.
Woody Allen, as bumbling New Yorker working for an automation film, is rejected by his activist sweetheart Louise Lasser who is involved in revolutions, particularly in fictional San Marcos where dictator Carlos Montalban has seized control. Allen, disconsolate, bids farewell to parents Charlotte Rae and Stanley Ackerman while they are performing medical operation. Landing in San Marcos, he is feted by Montalban, who is setting him up as pigeon to be erased supposedly by revolutionary Jacobo Morales’ men.
Allen and Mickey Rose have written some funny stuff, and Allen, both as director and actor, knows what to do with it. Scenes between Lasser and comedian have wonderfully fresh, incisive touch. Montalban’s dictator is properly arrogant. Morales performs with assurance right up to the point when, drunk with power, he proclaims Swedish the national language.