Woody Allen’s first period piece since Love and Death seven years earlier is set in the early 1900s, and revolves around six characters getting together in a country house in upstate New York to celebrate the upcoming wedding of the distinguished philosopher Leopold (Jose Ferrer) and his much younger fiancée Ariel (Mia Farrow, in the first of thirteen appearances in Allen’s films).
The hosts are Leopold’s cousin Andrew (Allen himself), a Wall Street broker and part-time inventor of flying machines and magic lanterns, and his wife Adrian (Mary Steenburgen), while their other guests are rakish Dr Maxwell Jordan (Tony Roberts) and his nurse girlfriend Dulcy (Julie Hagerty). And with love so abundantly in the air, none of them can resist indulging in a little partner-swapping. After all, none of the other couples will ever find out – will they?
Inspired both by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night, this delightful ensemble roundelay is ravishingly shot by the great Gordon Willis in rich autumnal colours.
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