Watch: Love and Death 1975 123movies, Full Movie Online – In Russia, Boris Grushenko is in love with his pseudo-intellectual cousin Sonja, who loves him since he too is a pseudo-intellectual, but she is not in love with him. Instead she is in love with his brother Ivan. But as Ivan doesn’t seem to return her affections, she is determined to marry someone – anyone – except Boris. If that person isn’t the perfect husband, then she has to find a suitable lover in addition. Boris’ pursuit of Sonja has to take a back seat in his life when he, a pacifist and coward, is forced to join the Russian Army to battle Napoleon’s forces which have just invaded Austria. Despite Sonja not being in the picture while he’s away at war, Boris’ thoughts do not stray totally from women. Although they take these two divergent paths in their lives, those paths cross once again as they, together, both try to find the perfect spouse and lover, and try to assassinate Napoleon..
Plot: Boris is a simple Russian villager who pines from afar for his beautiful cousin Sonja. Forced against his will into joining the Russian army during the Napoleonic Wars, the cowardly Boris accidentally becomes a military hero. But when his beloved Sonja comes to him with a dangerous patriotic scheme, Boris debates his desires and beliefs.
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|N/A Votes: 722 Popularity: 7.282 | TMDB|
Possibly Allen’s comic masterpiece
Although the critics loved Annie Hall and some of Allen’s other films more than this one, I think this is his best combination of comedy and philosophy. I would strongly recommend this to any fan of Russian history, comedy, philosophy, or Woody Allen.
An Unlikely Pairing: Allen’s Farce and the Russian Novel
“Love and Death” is one of Woody Allen’s “early, funny ones,” before he made darker and more serious films, such as “Stardust Memories” (1980) where Allen’s line about his own oeuvre originates. He made “Annie Hall” (1977) next, and his career would never be the same. On the other hand, being a parody of 19th-century Russian literature, “Love and Death” is full of esoteric references. The major throughline is Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” but there’s enough Fyodor Dostoevsky here for me to have reviewed it as part of my mission to see a bunch of “Crime and Punishment” pictures after reading the book. Moreover, Allen would go on to make three movies (thus far) more heavily and singularly inspired by this particular novel: “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), “Match Point” (2005) and “Irrational Man” (2015). It’s interesting to compare how he went from “Love and Death,” which is non-stop comedic frivolity complete with a gag being performed at every moment to “Match Point,” where there are no jokes.
Indeed, “Love and Death” is not only an homage to literature, but also to early screen comics. There’s even a scene where the sound goes out for some silent slapstick, and the fourth-wall-breaking absurdity of the whole thing seems to be especially indebted to the Marx Brothers. As for the Russian connection, though, there are extended mock-philosophical discussions, angst over the existence of God, somber soliloquies, multiple suitors and lovers for everyone, subplots upon subplots and periphery character galore, a lot to do with class and nationality, and… wheat, I guess. (I love that in a blog post from Alistair Ian Blyth that one of my favorite films of the 1910s, “After Death” (1915), which is based on the prose of Ivan Turgenev, is brought up to help explain the supposed importance of wheat in Russian literature.)
Some of the Dostoevsky references are obvious. Allen has a conversation in a jail cell that entirely exists of characters and titles from his stories, including some gossip about a local named “Raskolnikov” who murdered two women. Additionally, Diane Keaton’s character is named “Sonja,” the hooker with a heart of gold who instigates Raskolnikov’s regeneration in the book. “Love and Death” offers the best character summary of Sonja, though, from her own lips: “I’m half saint, half wh-re” (IMDb censorship, you know). And, naturally, Allen plays the atheistic foil to her pious promise land. Best of all, however, is how the connection with Napoleon between “War and Peace” and “Crime and Punishment” is exploited in this film with two other words surrounding the conjunction. Sonja decides that she and Allen’s Boris should kill Napoleon for the benefit of humanity, which is akin to the rationale of Raskolnikov for murdering the pawnbroker. Ironically, Napoleon was also his role model for this “extraordinary” act. Boris mixes up the roles further by comparing himself to an insect, which is what Raskolnikov said of the pawnbroker, and claiming Napoleon as a great man. Looking at the parodic adaptation this way gives one as much whiplash as Allen and Keaton’s philosophical repartee. To top it off, there are two Napoleons.
There are some allusions to non-comedic films here, too. The ones to “Battleship Potemkin” (1925) and “Persona” (1966) seemed most conspicuous to me. Although “Love and Death” is a lightweight affair, and the jokes are hit and miss, it rewards those who’ve seen and read what it parodies. And, admittedly, Russian novels such as “Crime and Punishment” were just asking for this sort of loving pillory.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 25 min (85 min)
Genre Comedy, War
Director Woody Allen
Writer Woody Allen
Actors Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Georges Adet
Country France, United States
Awards 3 wins & 2 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono
Aspect Ratio 1.33 : 1 (negative ratio), 1.85 : 1 (intended ratio)
Camera Panavision Cameras and Lenses
Laboratory DeLuxe General Inc., Hollywood (CA), USA (prints by)
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm