Woody AllenJerry Kupcinet - photographer CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Love and Death

This article is part from The 10 best Woody Allen films

Table of contents


10 curiosities and facts

  1. It is a parody of Russian literature and the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy

    "Love and Death" is a satirical take on Russian literature and the works of authors such as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy. Woody Allen plays Boris Grushenko, a neurotic and hapless soldier who gets caught up in a plot to assassinate Napoleon.

  2. The film was shot in Hungary

    The film was shot on location in Hungary, which doubled for Russia in the film. Many of the film's exterior shots were filmed in Budapest.

  3. The film features Diane Keaton

    "Love and Death" stars Diane Keaton as Boris's love interest, Sonja. This marked the third collaboration between Woody Allen and Diane Keaton following "Annie Hall" and "Sleeper".

  4. The film features Allen's signature humor

    "Love and Death" features Woody Allen's trademark humor, including witty one-liners, sight gags and absurd situations.

  5. The film was a critical and commercial success

    "Love and Death" was a critical and commercial success grossing over $20 million at the box office and receiving positive reviews from critics.

  6. The film's opening credits feature a quote from Shakespeare

    The film's opening credits feature a quote from William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet": "To be or not to be, that is the question."

  7. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards

    "Love and Death" was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay and Best Costume Design.

  8. The film features several philosophical debates

    "Love and Death" features several philosophical debates between Boris and other characters including discussions about the meaning of life and death.

  9. The film's score features classical music

    The film's score features classical music, including pieces by Sergei Prokofiev and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

  10. The film was inspired by the works of Ingmar Bergman

    "Love and Death" was inspired by the films of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, particularly his film "The Seventh Seal", which also features a character playing a game of chess with Death.

About the movie

"Love and Death" is a hilarious send-up of Russian literature particularly the works of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The film follows the misadventures of a cowardly and neurotic soldier named Boris (played by Allen) as he gets caught up in a plot to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte. The film's absurdist humor witty wordplay and affectionate parody of classic literature make it one of Allen's funniest and most clever works.

When the movie was released in 1975 it received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised its clever writing and Allen's performance while others found it too self-indulgent and indulgent. As time puts things into perspective the movie has become recognized as one of Allen's most beloved films and a classic example of his early comedic style.

One interesting fact about "Love and Death" is that it was partly inspired by Allen's love of Russian literature particularly the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy. In interviews he has cited these authors as major influences on his writing.

In my opinion, "Love and Death" is a must-watch for anyone who loves comedy and satire. My favorite scene in the movie is when Boris (played by Allen) is trying to assassinate Napoleon and ends up getting into a philosophical debate with him instead. It's a perfect example of the film's clever writing and Allen's ability to mix comedy and philosophy in a way that feels natural and entertaining. It's truly a memorable experience.


Film sheet

  • Director: Woody Allen
  • Year: 1975
  • Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton Georges Adet Frank Adu, Edmond Ardisson, etc.
  • Awards: Nominated for 2 Academy Awards (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen and Best Costume Design)

Film Reviews

  • "Love and Death is a hilarious comedy that will leave you laughing from beginning to end. Woody Allen once again proves himself to be a master of wit and humor." - The New York Times
  • "With Love and Death, Woody Allen has delivered his funniest film yet. The satire is biting, the performances are superb, and the film is a joy to watch." - Rolling Stone
  • "Woody Allen's Love and Death is a masterpiece of comedic filmmaking. The film is clever, irreverent, and endlessly entertaining." - Time Magazine
  • "Love and Death is a brilliant satire that pokes fun at everything from religion to war. Woody Allen is a comedic genius, and this film is a testament to his talent." - Variety
  • "Love and Death is a clever, witty, and engaging comedy that showcases Woody Allen's talent for writing and directing. It's a must-see for fans of the genre." - Roger Ebert