Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Bananas (1971)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Bananas (1971)

In actor/director Woody Allen's early anarchic slapstick comedy:

  • the opening scene of the play-by-play commentary of a Latin-American president's "live, on-the-spot assassination", in the Republic of San Marcos, on the outdoor palace steps for ABC's Wide World of Sports - provided by sportscaster announcer Howard Cosell (Himself), as he asked the dying leader: "Well, of course, you're upset, and that's understandable under the circumstances. l guess now you'll have to announce your retirement"
  • the scenes of clumsy, anxiety-ridden nerd Fielding Mellish (Woody Allen) serving as a guinea-pig for his company's strange inventions as a consumer product tester with a malfunctioning, sedentary exercise-machine ("The Execu-cisor")
  • aspiring playboy Fielding's nervous purchase of a porno magazine (camouflaged by other more intellectual publications such as Time Magazine, Commentary, Saturday Review, and Newsweek) and his embarrassment when a shop dealer made it obvious to other respectable, disapproving customers that he was purchasing a pornographic magazine and his cringing when his order was screamed out by the clerk: ("Hey Ralph? How much is a copy of Orgasm?...Orgasm. This man wants to buy a copy. How much is it?"); Fielding stuttered: "Doing a sociological study on perversion. l'm up to advanced child molesting"
  • Fielding's unsuccessful attempt and cowardice to protect an old woman during a subway mugging by two thugs (including a young Sylvester Stallone in his screen debut)
  • his breakup with red-headed radical Nancy (Louise Lasser) and his whining: (Fielding: "How am I immature?" Nancy: "Well...intellectually, emotionally and sexually." Fielding: "Yeah, but in what other ways?")
  • the scenes of Fielding's involvement as a fake-bearded revolutionary guerrilla in a tiny Latin American banana republic of San Marcos as the guest of dictator Gen. Emilio M. Vargas (Carlos Montalban)
  • the scene of nebbish Fielding viewing a half-naked woman clutching her left breast and crying out: "I got bitten by a snake" - after he had learned about first-aid treatment for snakebite: ("In the event of snake-bite, you make an incision and you suck out the poison - remember, you suck out the poison"); with a huge grin on his face, he pursued her greedily and lasciviously, and was followed by the rest of the rebel camp
  • the scene of a dinner toast when he tensely began chewing on his glass
  • his to-go ordering of almost one thousand grilled cheese sandwiches and seven hundred cups of coffee for his troops at a lunch counter during a South American revolution before being installed as El Presidente
  • the grossly inappropriate speech to upper class dignitaries given by Fielding, now El Presidente of San Marcos and wearing a ridiculous fake red beard, at a high society fundraiser: "Uh, we have more locusts than...uh, locusts of all races and creeds. These, these locusts, incidentally, are available at popular prices. And so, by the way, are most of the women of San Marcos..."
  • his US trial scene in which he cross-examined himself and objected to the judge during his trial for treason in the US: ("l object, Your Honor. This trial is a travesty. lt's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. l move for a mistrial. Do you realize there's not a single homosexual on that jury")
Speech as President of San Marcos (With Fake Beard)
Trial for Treason
  • the closing televised Fielding Mellish Honeymoon Night broadcast (on Wide World of Sports) that was viewed as a boxing match by commentator Howard Cosell, in which Nancy admitted: "Well, Howard, it all went by so fast. I just had no idea that it would be so quick, really. I was expecting a longer bout... Well, as you know, l'm extraordinarily ticklish so l had a kind of a rough time there. l couldn't stop laughing...And you know, l thought it would really get in my way. But l really trained well for this and l think it sort of held me, so there really wasn't any time that l didn't feel in complete control." Then she added: "The timing was a little off, but l think he'll be fine. I mean, he's not the worst l've had. Not the best, but not the worst"

Play-by-Play of Latin-American Assassination

Fielding Mellish as Consumer Product Tester

Awkward Purchase of a Porn Magazine

Subway Mugging

Offering to Suck Out the Poison

To-Go Order of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Coffee

Honeymoon Night: Boxing Match


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