ISSUE DATE: July 3, 1972
ALSO APPEARED: Apr. 30, 1979; Aug. 31, 1992
Peering dolefully at the world through weed-colored glasses, Woody Allen looks like a one-man illustration of the blind leading the halt. Nonetheless, at 36, he has become one of America’s funniest writers and certainly its most unfettered comedian. He is also among its most amply rewarded artists. He has produced three bestselling record albums, and written two Broadway hits. Six movies using the Allen talent have grossed more than $35 million. The New Yorker publishes his prose. His last movie, Play It Again, Sam, is doing brisk business in neighborhood theaters across the U.S., while he is feverishly finishing his latest film, soon to be released, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). The relationship to Dr. David Reuben’s bestseller is tenuous, and the movie will probably deserve an R rating (for Rabelaisian). In it, Gene Wilder plays a doctor madly in love with a sheep; and Allen plays, among other wonders, a sperm cell, a libidinous failure named Victor Shakapopolis, a spider, and a court jester caught by a king in the arms of a queen. For the film, Allen has written sketches starring Burt Reynolds, Heather MacRae, Lynn Redgrave and John Carradine as victims of everything from satyriasis to frigidity. Sex is certain to escalate Woody’s current price for writing and directing a film to 10% of the gross. So why is this man weeping?
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