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Woody Allen promotes 'Bananas'

Woody Allen promotes ‘Bananas’

April 29, 1971: Comedian Woody Allen in portrait taken during promotion of his movie “Bananas.”

This photo by staff photographer Harry Chase accompanied an article by Dan Knapp in the May 16, 1971, Los Angeles Times.

In a ‘secret agent’ style, Dan Knapp began his story by writing:

TO: J.E.H..Washington, D.C.
FROM: Agent 6-5 (4321)
The Facts:

Name. Haywood, alias “Woody,” Allen (Hereinafter referred to as “suspect”). Age. 36. Height. 5-5 1/2. Weight. 115 pounds.

Description. Prominent nose, stringy, somewhat wavy hippie-length red hair. Sepulchrally thin. Thick, black-rimmed glasses (fearfully reminiscent of those worn by college professors). Deceptively mild-mannered. Armed as usual with favorite weapon: a rapier (-like wit).

Eduction. Mildred High School, Brooklyn, N.Y. One year, New York University.

Martial Status: Divorced (but aberrantly congenial with ex-wife, Louise Lasser, who costars with him in his latest film).

Wanted for: Subversively provoking docile and sheep-like segments of the public to see through euphemisms, bogus items, self-deception and official con with films and stories disguised as broad, belly-laugh-inducing satire and farce on the order of such arch enemies of the status quo as Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, and the Marx (note this surname) Brothers.

April 29, 1971 report:

Driving a flashy, undented, blue Lincoln and disguised as a short, underweight girl reporter, apprehended suspect Allen in his Beverly Hills Hotel suite. Suspect in the midst of a two-day propaganda interview in behalf of his latest subversive film effort, “Bananas.”

Film in question concerns a hapless young lad of 115 pounds who loses the affections of his girl because he is not enough of a leader. Lad goes to a Cuba-like island in the Caribbean named San Marcos and there becomes involved in a left wing revolution after insidiously consorting with the local dictator and learning all his secrets. To make a long story short, lad becomes a hero, replaces the rebel leader when he goes bananas (refer to title of film), eventually returns to the U.S. where, wearing a long red beard, he wins back his girl and lives happily ever after. Or at least until the following April 15. …

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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