On the same inspired wavelength as the Mel Brooks 2000 Year Old Man routines, Stephen Leacock's parodies of the Russian novel, and any number of insane SJ Perelman dialogues. It's another episode in Allen's Jewish-neurotic romance with Diane Keaton, this time with Napoleon's invasion of Russia interfering. This allows a string of terrific visual gags using battles, Death the Grim Reaper, swords, grand opera, village idiots, snow, Napoleon and Olga Georges-Picot: 'Are you in the mood?' 'I've been in the mood since the late 1700s'. Less stylised than Sleeper, it's somehow not as satisfying to watch: in the cod-Russian manner, there are a lot of dark interior conversations between the lovers which tend to indulgence. But the running metaphor of Wheat is excepted honourably from this criticism, and as less than half-a-dozen lines are bum, Love and Death is an almost total treat.
Love and Death
Cast and crew