Sleeper (1973)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

More accessible than many Woody Allen films

Could have pushed the story harder, still a Woody Allen movie

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Sleeper

Studio:  United Artists

Genre(s):  Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  December 17, 1973

MPAA Rating:  PG


Woody Allen takes flight!

In 1973, Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) goes into the hospital with an ulcer…and ends up waking up in the future as part of a clandestine cryogenic experiment.  Miles finds himself on the run from the military in a world he doesn’t understand.  First kidnapping and then teamed with a socialite named  Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton), Miles must find the Underground and help liberate the future for everyone.  Unfortunately for Miles and Luna, an evil plot called Project Aries is out to ensure that the people may never be free again!


Have some fruit!

Directed by Woody Allen, Sleeper is a sci-fi comedy and is the follow-up to Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask (1972).  The film was crafted by Allen and Marshall Brickman.  The movie was well received by fans and critics and has become a cult classic of Allen’s early films.

Woody Allen was just finding his footing with Sleeper as a director and as an actor.  Sleeper has a bit of a reputation of being a decent sci-fi film in addition to being a good comedy (Allen met with Isaac Asimov and Ben Bova to help make the script more legitimate).  As a fair-weather fan of Allen, I find Sleeper to be one of his more universally accessible movies.


You’re disguised as a robot…I’m disguised as She-Hulk

Sleeper has some smart writing.  The idea of a modern, everyday man in the future is a fun twist.  The story is often compared to H.G. Wells’ The Sleeper Awakes from 1910 which had a similar story concept.  Instead of being a psychological thriller, the sci-fi is infused with comedy and that helps make Sleeper stand-out from the average Woody Allen film.

Woody Allen is Woody Allen.  He babbles, lusts after women, and revels in sarcasm.  Woody Allen as an actor is pretty polarizing so if you don’t like Allen, this might be a hard film for some.  Allen is teamed with his often comedy match in Diane Keaton who as always is likable and bubbly to Allen’s downer style of humor.  The two have always worked well together play off each other.


I will shoot the nose!

The movie does resort to a lot of physical comedy.  Though Allen’s writing and dialogue are top notch, a lot of the humor is a result of things like jetpacks, giant fruit (and banana peels), and sex machines.  In addition to this prop comedy, there is slapstick comedy…it is almost like Benny Hill at points.

Sleeper is an odd movie.  A modern version of this movie would be Idiocracy (2006) by Mike Judge which had a lot of similar themes but pushed the ideas of Sleeper even further.  Sleeper feels really original.  It is a Woody Allen film and Woody Allen plays his normal self.  I do feel Sleeper is one of those Woody Allen films that can be enjoyed by people who aren’t Woody Allen fans.  Allen followed Sleeper with Love and Death in 1975.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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