Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) Poster

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This is a very funny parody of pop sex-psychology literature…
Nazi_Fighter_David29 September 2008
The film is entirely about sexual perversions, even though it is not technically erotic… Allen has taken some of the most popular clinical treatments of sexual fetishes and has placed them into very unusual situations…

Gene Wilder, for example, falls in love with a sheep; Woody Allen plays a medieval court jester who gets his lance stuck in his lady's chastity belt while the king is off fighting in the Crusades; a giant breast is released upon the countryside; an Italian couple can only find happiness in public sex; and we are taken into the inner labors of a male human body as it tries to seduce a woman in a car…

Each individual scene is quite well done… The tales are rapid filled with irony about the overly exaggerated importance of sex in our culture…
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Hit & Miss, But What Hits Is Hysterical
shark-4328 February 2002
An uneven early work of Allen's, really just a series of sketches tied around the unbelievable popularity of the "sex" book "Everything You Wantedto Know About Sex, But Was Afraid To Ask" which in the early 1970's was THE book in popular culture. Many of the sketches are too long and "peter" out, but ALL of them have very funny jokes and insight, but two of the sketches are classics and are as funny as anything Allen ever wrote: Gene Wilder's bit where he plays a man who is destroyed after a certain "fetish" is introduced into his life and the last sketch, where they show the inside controls of a man's body as he gets ready to have sex with a date: Burt Reynolds and Tony Randall help run the master control room. This is brilliant and clever. Some times it's refreshing to just go back to Allen's early, silly films like Sleeper and Take The Money And Run, even though the man has gone onto important funny films with deep dramatic throughlines: Crimes & Misdemeanors, Deconstructing Harry and Husbands & Wives.
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Rabbits, sperm, giant breasts and a woody!
Nriks28 January 2003
Representing something of an early high point in Woody Allen's career, this scattershot spoof of David Rueben's highly popular sex-manual has become somewhat sadly overlooked in favour of the more mature and whimsical charms of 'Annie Hall' and 'Manhattan', but 'Everything you always wanted to know about sex' is just as enjoyable as his later works, if not more so.

Although the overt intellectualism that many of Allen's detractors criticize in his subsequent work is already beginning to take form here, not only in the concept (seriously, who'd adapt a sex-manual?) but also in execution, which owes more to the high-brow Fellini and Godard than the low-brow Mel Brooks or John Waters, includes a great deal of metaphysical surrealism, bizarre camera angles and deliberately self-indulgent dialog. Here Allen's filmmaking approach is more self-serving than ever before, casting himself as a medieval stand-up comedian, a heroic leading man and a sperm, yet still finding time to feature in a lengthy satire on early-seventies European cinema. The reason it all comes together without succumbing to self-importance is down to the simplicity and stupidity of most of the set pieces.

The more interesting segments come at the beginning of the film, and if seeing Woody trying hopelessly to unlock Lynn Redgrave's chastity belt and miss-quoting Shakespeare to form a condemnation of T.B. doesn't bring a smile to your face, then the sight of Gene Wilder in the throws of foreplay with a sheep will probably do little to convert you. Humour for the most is juvenile, puerile and immature, but carried off with such hilarious comedic style, that the Farrelly brothers should really reassess their careers. Allen is as likable as ever in his many surreal incarnations -- appearing in fifty percent of the sketches -- his ultimate triumph being the oily, Italian play-boy causing a stir when he and his frigid girlfriend par-take of a little outdoor nookie. And even if he is less confident when trying to be socio-satirical, as in the molestation game show, Woody still manages to inject a wit and ingenuity to the proceedings, always carrying off the gags to his trademark self-deprecating style.

However, despite technical assuredness, the finished product borders on the same hit and miss territory that befalls most anthology films, however, it has to be handed to Allen for making a genuinely intelligent movie that basically celebrates boob-gags and outbursts of rampant misogyny. The best policy with 'Everything you always wanted to know...' is to ignore the false starts of the later segments, and howl at the sight of Woody fighting a giant breast ("Don't worry, I know how to handle tits"). Nevertheless, if your idea of sophisticated humour doesn't include bestiality, orgasms, transvestism, homosexuality, ejaculation, perversion or Burt Reynolds, then feel free to give it a miss.
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Silly Allen is good Allen
itamarscomix16 April 2006
'Everything You Always To Know About Sex' is probably the last time Woody Allen really fooled about and made an ass of himself with minimal artistic pretenses, and given the mediocre quality of recent disposable duds like 'Melinda & Melinda' and 'Anything Else', it's quite refreshing. True, this 1972 collection of extremely lewd skits isn't quite as impressive and thought-provoking as some of Allen's best works, like 'Annie Hall', 'Manhattan' or for that matter even the follow-up 'Sleeper'; yet there's an energy to 'Everything You Always Wanted To Know' that Allen has not shown for at least a decade, and in that light it's still entirely classic.

If anything, the film is closest in its spirit to early Allen films like 'Bananas' and 'Sleeper', but it actually feels more like a British comedy, and is clearly influenced by shows like 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' and 'The Benny Hill Show', in it's chaotic and rude humor. Still, Allen's mark is all over the skits, even when he isn't in them. One of the best of the bunch, in fact, is the skit titled 'What Is Sodomy', which stars Gene Wilder. Influences of both Monty Python and Mel Brooks can be felt in it, but it's entirely Allen; and still, it's Wilder that makes it perfect. Even more Pythonish is the fabricated game-show 'What's Your Perversion'.

The best and most memorable is the last skit, entitled 'What Happens During Ejaculation', in which Allen does a wonderful portrayal of a sperm, and we catch a glimpse of the action in the control room of a man's body during sexual intercourse. The skit is brilliantly satirical and ranks with Allen's best moments, nearly overshadowing the rest of the film. Still, it's not without it's unforgettable moments; other than Wilder, also worthy of special praise is John Carradine who is wonderful as the ultimate parody of a mad scientist, and let's not forget Woody Allen as a fool in the Middle Ages misquoting Hamlet and getting his hand stuck up the Queen's chastity belt, and his wonderful performance as an Italian Casanova.

So no, it's not quite one of Allen's best films, but it's close. The humor is dirty, yes, but not childish; Allen's intelligence is there, but it's much lighter than 'Annie Hall' or other classics, and like a Monty Python or a Mel Brooks it bears multiple viewings. A movie that's funny as hell, essential for Allen fans, and recommended for all.
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When Woody Allen was funny
wjfickling18 July 2004
Ever since the mid-70s, I have had a nostalgia for Woody Allen's early films. Everyone needs to grow, it's just that I think Woody has grown in the wrong direction. In the films that followed "Annie Hall" he seemed to be trying to be Bergman at times and Fellini at others, when I always thought he was better just being Woody. Why? Because he was funny, and this film is the funniest of them all.

This is Woody at his zaniest, his most anarchic, his most irreverent, his wildest. It is zany in the same sense that the Marx Brothers were at their height. He isn't afraid to have segments that are just plain crazy and unbelievable. I wonder if David Reuben realized that Woody was actually mocking his book when he sold the rights. A classic. 8/10
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Uneven but sometimes brilliant series of sketches about sex.
runamokprods17 June 2010
While all the early Woody Allen films are funny and worthwhile, this is probably the most uneven to my taste.

Allen took the famous, serious non-fiction book about sex, and turned it into a series of short comedy pieces. A couple segments are pure genius (inside the male body during sex, Gene Wilder falling in love with a sheep), a couple are pretty good (Woody as a medieval court jester trying to have an affair with the queen, who is locked into a chastity belt, a mad scientist creates a giant milk squirting breast that goes on a rampage) and a few are real duds.

Also, of all the Allen films, this might have the worst DVD print/transfer quality.

It's bizarre and disturbing is that a lot of Allen's brilliant early work seems to be going out of print. Hopefully this is just a temporary state of affairs, and better re-releases are ahead. But if you're a fan you might want to grab copies of this, Bananas, Sleeper, Take the Money and Run, etc now, while you can.
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Bad taste done tastefully.
The_Movie_Cat8 January 2000
Everything You Always Wanted to Know... is frequently looked down upon as it fulfils its promise completely. That is, it contains a lot of sex.

To downplay the film on such a level is to do it a disservice: what may be overlooked is that, apart from the subject matter and the brevity with which such a topic is treated, this is shot extremely well.

A notable example of this is Allen's technique of having actors speaking with their backs to the camera. A very European style of filming, and one which, understandably, is most brought into play during the third vignette, a pitch-perfect satire of continental cinema. Also look out for the grand-scale surrealism that occupies the last two sequences: a 400-foot breast rolling down a well-shot hillside or a giant tongue may seem crude in context, but looked at solely for cinematic technique this is pure Fellini. This may seem to be overstating it, but never has a bawdy, slightly crass, comedy vehicle been so well conceived for the big screen. Even the opening sequence involving a multitude of white rabbits is shot with the screen in mind, a twitching nose and red eye the only objects punctuating an effective white counterpoint for the introductory credits.

And so to the content itself, which doesn't match the quality of the production and sags in the middle. The first three sketches are quite wonderful, the third, as mentioned, is exquisite, and the scenes with Gene Wilder romancing a sheep may not be as sophisticated, but are probably the funniest. The first sketch sees Woody as a medieval jester paraphrasing Shakespeare, though the gags really don't get any better (or more tasteful) than "T.B. or not T.B., that is the congestion". For this is a film that has no limits, and its content flirts with notions of bestiality, transvestism, the female orgasm, ejaculation and sex in public places. Not all of these are carried off particularly well, the transvestite sketch falling resolutely flat. There is also evidence of Woody's homophobia, casting himself as a sperm dreading being ejected during a "homosexual encounter". In fact, an eighth sketch was filmed, which suggested homosexuality arises as a direct consequence of fear of women. This was cut not on bounds of taste but due to the fact that Woody couldn't think of a good enough punchline.

Worst point of the film though, has to be the "What's My Perversion?" segment. While extremely satirical, this one leaves an extremely bad taste in the mouth as Woody seems to be going full-out to offend with this piece. While the basic idea could cause some amusement, seeing a panellist quizzing a contestant as to whether he's a rapist or a child molester is several stages beyond funny. Simarily, the sketch ends with a Rabbi's wife on her knees eating pork. An unnecessary addition to the film.

However, it is of importance in terms of Woody's screen "character". The rough edges, arrogance and pseudo-intellectualism of his mid-seventies work onwards has yet to emerge, and here we still have Woody very much as he was in "Casino Royale" - ie., a bit of a nerd and on the losing end of life. Amazing to think that in just two years time he was writing himself as a lothario who was exceptionally good in bed.

In conclusion, then, a worthwhile view if you're a student of film or a fan of Woody's, but if you're watching this one for the comedy then it's purely hit-and-miss.
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A Woody Allen Must See
boycebrown-12 May 2004
This is a wildly hilarious comedy about sex and nothing less. One of the very under rated skits is Gene Wilder's love affair with a lamb. Of course, the one that can't be missed is the all famous medievil one with the fool. It has some very low points, (let's face it, the giant tit was awful), but overall a ten! Most people think that this movie appeals to guys, but I'm a girl and this is one of my favourite of Woody's films. If you're anxious about talking about sex, or highly religious perhaps this movie will not strike your fancy. However, if you like romance stories, alot of shagging from different points of the world, and above all, Woody himself then this is your movie! ****/****
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Everything you wanted to know, indeed.
kokosnuss7418 August 2003
`Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex' is a landmark, and of course a great exercise in comedy. Dividing the movie in 7 different segments (with some not including himself in the leading role) was the best Woody Allen could do, and this movie works better than his previous attempt (Bananas) and his posterior `Sleeper'.

In a way, it's less ambitious and targets all audiences. All short films are hilarious, in a crescent order. My favorite is the last, which satirizes the humanly body functions during intercourse. A must see, for all generations of movie likers. Rate: 5/5
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A big disappointment
bross319 June 1999
My girlfriend and I rented this one expecting a lot of fun and hilarity about sex and relationships ala Annie Hall... and ended up with a movie filled largely with unfunny sketches. It wasn't long before we started hoping that the "next one will be funny" and it really never was all that funny. The main reason for renting the film was what I had heard about the final sketch about ejaculation. While I admit that bit was pretty hilarious it certainly wasn't worth sitting through the rest of this to see... if only we'd fast-forwarded through the first hour or so...
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Don't want to know
Lejink5 April 2019
What do you think would age worst from 1972, maybe glam rock, possibly hot pants and tank-tops or a Woody Allen sex comedy? Well, after watching this excruciatingly unfunny movie, I know where I'm casting my vote.

Of course, sex permeates everything Allen ever wrote, often quite amusingly, but here with full rein on the subject, he turns out a series of badly misfiring extended sketches which in the end serve only to embarrass the actors playing them out.

Not only are the scenes shockingly infantile in both conception and execution, they would struggle to make the Cheshire Cat smile. Perhaps I would exempt from blame only the last of the seven vignettes, a mildly ribald skit on bodily functions, featuring cameos from the likes of Tony Randall and somewhat improbably Burt Reynolds. However the rest are bereft of either wit or humour with occasional moments of look-away badness. These include a crude, school-boyish episode surrounding a mediaeval queen's chastity, a dry-as-a-bone Italian comedy spoof with a sex-mad couple having sex in public places, all spoken in Italian, without subtitles, a weak 50's monster-movie parody where Allen is pursued by a massive mammary, a 50's quiz-show take-off entitled "What's My Perversion" ("Are you a rapist?" is one guess, another, which looks especially bad in the light of future events in Allen's own life is "Are you a child molestor?") and a middle-aged man frolicking about in women's clothes in a chapter entitled "Are transvestites homosexual?". Laugh, I nearly died.

However the worst of them must be the criminal waste of Gene Wilder in a thoroughly offensive sketch which sees him fall in love with a sheep which includes a scene where the sheep is got up in suspenders. Another lowlight scene is one where a young woman is set up for a gang-bang for a bunch of cub-scouts.

I'm going to stop here in case I remember any more from a movie I just want to forget. I usually champion Allen's early comedies over his later serious works but this is as bad as it gets and one which I'd like to think shames its maker now.
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Woody both hits and misses here, but he saves the best for last
gridoon201913 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask)" (is this a long title for a movie or is this a long title for a movie?) is the most ambitious and expensive film that Woody Allen had made up to that point (1972) in his career. Here he gets his first (of many) casts filled with famous actors in big or small roles, there are special effects that hold up surprisingly well (especially in the laboratory sketch), and Allen experiments with all sorts of gimmicks: from all-Italian dialogue in one episode to black and white photography and intentionally bad picture quality in another. However, "Everything...." is also IMO the least successful of Woody's first films, at least in terms of laughs; it never comes close to matching "Bananas". While there are some characteristically witty Woody lines here (like "Before we know it, Renaissance will be here and we'll all be painting" or "Now we owe THEM a dinner!"), there are also some crude and tasteless lines that crash spectacularly ("I want to measure your respiration while they're gangbanging you"), as well as idiotic pieces of comedy (pretty much the entire transvestite sketch) that are more at the level of Benny Hill than Woody Allen. Some of the sketches (including the notorious "sheep" one) are too "one-joke" even for their brief running times. However, the entire film is largely redeemed by the seventh and final episode, which takes us inside the brain - and body - of a man on a date; this sketch is so imaginative and daring that, once you've seen it, you'll never forget it; it ranks right up there with such classic bits of comedy as the cabin scene in "A Night At The Opera". **1/2 out of 4.
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Young, anarchic Allen
Grouchy200313 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers

Allen's a comic genius. That said from a man who has read at least seven times each one of his short stories books. And his early movies (specially "Bananas"), featuring the same nonsense and anarchic sense of humor, are also a great watch when you feel like laughing out loud. Of course the late Allen films, his consolidation as a filmmaker, are the also very funny but on a more mature level "Annie Hall", "Manhattan", "Crimes and misdemeanors" and "Hanna and her sisters".

Being a whole fan, then, both of the early and the mature Woody Allen, I find this picture good but not top quality. A very funny title scene with the music of "Let's misbehave", by Cole Porter, followed by sketches that have their ups and downs. The Middle Age sketch, for example, is quite boring and predictable, with little great lines. Then comes the sheep sketch, great fun but way overlong. The one with Allen as an italian (reminiscent of Antonioni's style) is eccentric and great. Then comes the one with the man who dresses as a woman, hmm not so good. The one with the giant breast has hilarious moments and features a great parody of many movies. The top quality one with the TV show and the rabbi and, finally, the human body one, a classic. "Well, at least he's jewish", says sperm-Allen before coming out of the testicles.

Watch this only if you've already enjoyed other pictures by Allen, specially the absolutely wonderful "Annie Hall". And PLEASE read the tales- you don't know what fun you're missing.

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When it works it works fantastically, and only a few times isn't too funny
Quinoa198416 April 2006
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is a success for Woody Allen if only for him being able to go through a whole host of satirizing that is always, if not hilarious, cleverly crafted and impeccably cast. Certain scenes I would mark as some of the funniest I've still ever seen from Woody Allen. But like a Monty Python sketch movie ala the Meaning of Life, you may or may not get all of the scenes consistently on edge and classic. But in terms of experimenting with form, it is one of the very best that Woody has come up with, at a time when he was making his "early, funny movies".

The highlights for me include the climactic (err, maybe pun intended) end sequence showing the inner workings (with Tony Randall and Burt Reynolds present in the control room) of intercourse; the faux game show involving sexual questions (and yes, that is Regis Philbin) with a truly belly-laugh of a finale involving a Jewish mother; best is the Gene Wilder sheep scene, which was my favorite when I first saw the film as a kid. Interestingly enough, even when there are segments that aren't as funny as the others (the sci-fi spoof with the giant boob, or the opening segment sent in medieval times), it does become a little more humorous in future viewings. One that really did become funnier seen in my older years is the foreign film spoof where Italian mixes with god knows what, almost dead-on spoof wise.

Is the film on the brilliance level of Manhattan or Deconstructing Harry? Maybe in spots, but on a very different level. I could almost see myself recommending the film to those who are new to the Allen filmography. It's unpretentious, and very keen on the subject matter at the peak of the sexual revolution, something that might've inspired the ZAZ team for their Kentucky Fried Movie. Or, at the least, have wondered what it's like when Wilder puts S&M garb on a sheep, it's worth a viewing (some of his dialog with the sheep is a killer every single time I see it). Cute opening titles, by the way.
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Some work, some don't
bob the moo15 September 2002
In a series of sketches Woody Allen looks at aphrodisiacs, bestiality, cross dressing, perversions, sexual experiments and the functioning of the body during intercourse. All this answers key questions about sex that perhaps we were all to afraid to ask.

Woody Allen apparently just noted down all his comedy thought about sex and decided to make them into a movie. The end result is a strange beast – like sex it has bits that are fantastic and bits that aren't quite as fun but you gotta do them to get to the good stuff! The questions that are asked in subtitle are never actually answered and several times are barely relateable to the actual sketches themselves – so don't expect to learn very much but get ready for some laughs – but not as many as you'd hope.

Allen's comedies are either surreal quick fire comedies or witty plot based things. This is one of the former, or at least wants to be. Some of the sketches are very imaginative and very funny – what's my perversion, the experiment and the innerspace look at sex are all funny. However some others are mildly amusing or totally pointless (the cross dressing one doesn't really work).

That said it is still quite funny despite the lapses. The cast are good – but I wanted to see Woody more as the weakest sketches were without him and needed his influence. Faces like Lynn Redgrave, Carradine, Tony Randall, Burt Reynolds, Barry etc are all good but only really serve to distract.

Overall fans will enjoy this example of his `earlier funnier work' but for others they may find that too many of the jokes don't hit as hard as you'd want and some just plain misfire. The hits only just outweigh the misses but it's still work a watch.
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no longer up to date
imdb-130326 December 2002
I gave this one a vote of only 4. Don't get me wrong, I really like Woody Allen movies and it doesn't bother me that it is old, but the jokes are poor, seeing it from todays perspective. I can imagine that it was really good at that time, but talking about sex and perversions nowadays doesn't startle anyone.
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Allen's real breakthrough
Denny-457 January 2007
Well, it's quite interesting to watch this classic. The title of the film itself really catchy. Every segments of the film is "different", although it's related on sex issue. It's like been done by several directors. Here in "Do Some Women Have Trouble Reaching Orgasm?" segment you can see Allen doing homage to Antonioni and Fellini. The scene of giant boob in "Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research Accurate?" is so wacky. The only Allen's movie that depicting clearly and hugely female breast and it's tits. Fall in love with a sheep? That's lunatic! You can see it on "What is Sodomy?" segment. The 'What Happens During Ejaculation?' segment is the finest and the climax. It tells that even a single sperm have consciousness to afraid being ejaculated. Although the story is not from Allen, it's Allen's movie with his wildest imagination.It's his real breakthrough.
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Funniest film Woody Allen has ever done
SavvyDalmia6 February 2018
I don't know why films like this one aren't made anymore. (Probably because PCness has made it really hard to get away with a lot of jokes.) Equal parts ridiculous and shocking, perhaps a bit too shocking for delicate sensibilities, the film does not have a boring moment. Thoroughly entertaining, extremely noneducational, and highly hilarious.
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"That was really something. I never thought it could be like this. Never in my wildest imagination."
oOoBarracuda9 June 2016
Forever unwilling to go with the flow of conventional movie making, Woody Allen went to the "off limits" topic of sex with his 1972 feature Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask. Bringing together an all-star cast including Gene Wilder, Burt Reynolds, and Tony Randall, in a way only Woody Allen can, in a series of vignettes to explore the book by David Reuben of the same title. Seven separate episodes make one movie, and the only thing they all have in common is their subject matter and the fact that they were excerpts from Reuben's book.

In the first episode, Woody Allen acts as a jester trying to seduce the queen in an effort to find out if aphrodisiacs work. The second segment delivers Gene Wilder as a medical doctor dealing with a man who brings the confession to him that he is in love with a sheep, only to fall in love with the same sheep. The third segment again features Allen, as a married man who is having trouble giving his wife an orgasm, unless they have intercourse in public. The fourth segment involves a married man, who is a cross dresser, at a dinner party who just can't stay out of his wife's dresses. The fifth segment involves a game show where people share their deepest sexual secrets with a panel of celebrities trying to guess what they are. The sixth episode features a team of scientists and a runaway breast. The final vignette features Allen, again, this time as a sperm to illustrate for the audience what happens during ejaculation. Each scene, of course, with the brilliant comedic writing of Allen is a joy to watch, no matter how guilty you feel watching it.

This film reminds me why I love Woody Allen. Really, is there a better comedic writer than him? I was happy to see Gene Wilder's segment early on. It's tough to watch anthology movie just to see one actor, so his being early on was a nice treat. Even though I started out watching this only for Gene, you'll stick with it for Woody Allen. I love his brand of humor, just above the brow, and wish more comedies of today could be like this. Wilder's performance as an M.D. who falls in love and starts a relationship with a sheep shows his range as an actor. He was funny and serious when necessary and illustrates his comedic acting abilities! The most incredible part of his performance was the 24-second scene that showed his reaction to the man in his office confessing his love for a sheep. That reaction is something all actors should aspire to, and needs to be required viewing at film schools and the like.

Watching Gene Wilder in a Woody Allen film is enough to make one nostalgic for what could have been if only the two had more pairings. Of course, the collaboration between Wilder and Mel Brooks was incredible, likewise was the joining of he and Richard Pryor, but I wish there had been more Allen/Wilder films. Maybe it's not too late, these two legends are still with us, and although Wilder is retired from acting, perhaps a great Allen script could be the one to bring him back. I'll hold out hope, while enjoying the film they did make.
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An uneven film that hits more than it misses
TheLittleSongbird25 July 2014
Most of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask works very well and most of it is hilarious. It's not a visually sumptuous film, but it is still assuredly made especially Why Do Some Women Have Trouble Reaching an Orgasm? with visuals reminiscent of Michelangelo Antonioni and it's very inventive in the What Happens During Ejaculation? The music is slinky and nostalgic, and the dialogue has Woody Allen's writing style all over it, the Do Aphrodisiacs Work?, Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research and Experiments Accurate? and What Happens During Ejaculation? being the most quotable segments. It's all strongly directed by Allen that is in keep with the very silly and sometimes rude feel without losing control of it, and the performances are fine with Allen giving the most memorable performance, Tony Randall does great playing it straight, Lynn Redgrave allures and gives the dialogue a Shakespearean quality and John Carradine is just delicious. As said, most of the segments work apart from two, Are Transvestites Homosexuals? is completely unmemorable dialogue and gags-wise and the ending may leave a bad taste in the mouth and What Are Sex Perverts? has a clever idea that completely runs out of steam quickly and is very tasteless. Do Aphrodisiacs Work? is too long, drags a bit and a touch forced at times but is very quotable, Allen is endearing even with his character's intentionally awful jokes and Lynn Redgrave is great. Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research and Experiments Accurate? is conceptually outrageous (and understandably will be too much for some), does start off a tad slow and the giant boob looks poor, but again once the boob has a mind of its own and goes on the loose it is outrageously funny and you cannot go wrong with Carradine as a mad scientist. Why Do Some Women Have Trouble Reaching an Orgasm? does fall apart a little at the end but is very neatly done with very funny dialogue, the part with the electric dildo is most inspired, and the Antonioni-like visuals and the Fellini-esque atmosphere makes it a likable segment overall. Allen and Louise Lasser work very well together as well. What Is Sodomy? is strange but is hilarious from the get go and has a terrific performance from Gene Wilder, one of his funniest performances. The sheep's adorable as well. The highlight segment is What Happens During Ejaculation?, it's the most quotable and most consistently funny of the seven and with its surreal quality is visually the most imaginative as well. In conclusion, uneven but of the seven segments only two are misses, the others are either ones with shortcomings but have enough to make them work or strong hits. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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Seven Hilarious Sketches
souther0212 September 2010
After sufficient deliverance of merlot, I saw the movie I had not seen in a year. It is hilarious, however I had my least and most favorite stories. "The Fool and The Queen" as I call it, is still my favorite. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are characters I really care nothing about, although Woody's Movies mention them frequently. It is interesting to note here that unless you watch the movie credits of any Allen film it is almost impossible to "disseminate" the actual writers. The assemblage of short films is outrageous. Everyone has their favorite skits, and the the short film in this movies where Woody plays a Frenchman is contagiously hilarious. It looks like MGM spent a sizeable amount of money on the whole movie, but it was obviously worth it. The last two shorties are good examples, with the giant mammary glands run amuck. Then the "machineries of joy" in the very last story was an epicurean delight, but oh so much worth the financial debauchery invested in this classic humor overdose about the human sexual condition. She was worth all the trouble, I imagine.
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"It'll show those fools who called me mad!"
majikstl23 April 2007
Though it is all about sex, Woody Allen's EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX* (BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK) is really all about movies. Taking Dr. David Reuben's book, a pop culture phenomenon of the late 1960s, Woody uses it only as a starting point for indulging in his second greatest passion, film-making. Indeed, he tosses aside most of Reuben's self-help, non-fiction sex manual and only quotes chapter titles as inspiration for his various vignettes, each designed to parody some aspect of our pop media. What the book and the movie do have in common however is that they are products of their time (post-sexual revolution, pre-politically correctness) and as such their outlook on their common topic is a bit dated.

SEX, the movie, is best thought of as being seven individual short films; a few that are hilarious or at least clever, and a couple that just fall flat. The ones that stray most from the movies as their source come off worse. For instance, "Are Transvestites Homosexuals?" is second rate sitcom: Middle-aged man is caught trying on dresses while visiting his daughter's new in-laws. It is a one-gag skit, though burly Lou Jacobi makes the most of the material as the giddy crossdressing poppa. Meanwhile, "What Are Sex Perverts?" begins with a clever concept, but is defeated by its own awkward attempts to be outrageous. Staged as a 1950's TV game show -- grainy, black-and-white images and all -- "What's My Perversion?" looks authentic, but tries to trivialize sexual deviancy for dubious comic effect. Scattered throughout Woody's filmography are tossed-off asides trying to find snickers in wisecracks about rape or child molestation or incest and other sundry unfunny sexual tragedies, and invariably such unnecessary pseudo-ad libs land with a resounding thud. "What's My Perversion?" is made up mostly of such discomforting quips and builds to a joke about a rabbi getting off by watching his wife eat pork. I think Woody is the only person who ever finds such cheap jabs at rabbis even remotely funny.

Fortunately, the rest of he skits come off much, much better. The vignette "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" makes fun of Shakesperean dramas and other similar costume epics; while simultaneously paying homage to one of Woody's screen idols, Bob Hope. Like Hope, Woody contributes wisecracking anachronistic one-liners as a lustful Court Jester with the hots for his Queen. The bit isn't well written with Woody relying far too heavily on intentionally awful puns, but playing Allen's low camp humor about chastity belts off the high-toned pomposity of Elizabethan drama somehow makes it work decently.

The two best vignettes also work well because Woody plays them close to the style of their inspirations. "Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research Accurate?" mimics cheesy, grade-D, drive-in horror movies of the sixties with mad scientist John Carridine hamming it up gleefully in a calculated self-parody. The absurd premise involving a giant mutant female breast terrorizing the countryside ("The cream slowed him up and the milk killed him!") builds to the most awesomely silly climax in any Woody Allen movie. The segment is topped however by "What Happens During Ejaculation?" which takes the phrase "mechanical sex" to its most logical extreme. The segment mimics the Kubrickian coldness of contemporary sci-fi, portraying the male human body as a giant, and not-particularly-coordinated, space station on a carnal mission to boldly go where other men have apparently come and gone before. With Woody taking a small role (literally) as an anxious sperm awaiting for his first and only mission, the segment is silly, yet true enough to almost be worthy of inclusion in a basic biology class.

Yet, from a somewhat a different perspective the remaining episodes might be the most intriguing. They are "What is Sodomy?" and "Do Some Women Have Trouble Reaching Orgasm?"; the former being about a doctor (Gene Wilder) who has an affair with a sheep and the latter about a woman (Louise Lasser) who is aroused by sex in public places. Both are amusing in their own right, but the added consideration is that Woody uses them to parody the types of films he would soon eagerly try to imitate. "Sodomy," though hilarious in its deadpan way, is not all that different in stilted tone or pretentious theme from Allen's later efforts like INTERIORS, ANOTHER WOMAN or HUSBANDS AND WIVES. And as such, the aloof ennui that he mimics from Bergman and Antonioni for "Orgasm" would reappear with deadly earnest in those same films. It is curious that Woody would eventually embrace stylistics that he had first found so easy to ridicule. Maybe that is why he so ardently avoided any trace of humor in those later films, he realized just how easily they can lapse into self-parody.

With its leering, bawdy approach to sex, the film reflects little of Reuben's glib, simplistic text and instead has more in common with the pseudo-sophisticated raunchiness of the "Playboy" magazine of the era. Yet in its juvenile way, there is something almost innocently naughty about the movie that makes it almost quaint -- especially when compared to today's standards of vulgarity. As such EVERYTHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX* is something of a period piece, reflecting a time when being outrageously tasteless was something unique and not something tiresomely routine.
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The Dr. Bernardo sequence - a satire of W. Reich? (possible spoilers)
wwwhpcom17 September 2001
Warning: Spoilers
What got me about the "rampaging boob" segment of the film is that it seems to be both a satire of the monster movies John Carradine made (especially "The Unearthly") and Dr. Wilhelm Reich's "Organon" research facility in upstate New York, or a combo of both. In both cases, we have men who are shunned by the scientific community for their interesting theories (Reich believed in "bions", subatomic particles that increased a person's health, esp. through sex, and created devices to collect and utilize these particles), build institutes far from cities ("Organon" is in the countryside), and are destroyed by their work (Reich died in prison for selling his devices; Bernardo is crushed by his monstrous mammary gland.)

Or maybe I saw "WR: Mysteries of the Organism" too many times...
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Weird but original concept! 4/10
leonblackwood10 October 2014
Review: I really did have high hopes for this movie, but it just turned out to be another Woody Allen movie that I wasn't that impressed with. The whole film is based around a few mini stories which were all to do with sex, but I only found the last one, which was based on sperm, remotely interesting or slightly funny. The concept was original but the movie extremely dated and the story of the Wilder falling in love with a sheep, was totally strange but funny in a weird type of way. I think it was Gene Wilder's unique style of acting that made the sketch funny because I can't think of anyone else that could have pulled it off. Anyway, on the whole, the movie seemed like an excuse for Woody Allen to get his leg over some  beautiful women, except for the last sketch, but you can't fault it on originality for it's age. Weird Humor!

Round-Up: After watching quite a few of Woody Allen's movies, his journey has definitely been a strange one. All of his films involve a woman in some way and after witnessing his strange personal, you can't help thinking that he has some deep rooted personal issues. This movie was totally based around sex, even with the sheep, so you can't help thinking that his mind is totally devoted to the opposite sex. He also plays on the Jewish religion a lot but he doesn't ram it down your throat. I still have a few of his earlier movies to watch so I'm yet to see his complete journey in film, but so far I am enjoying my mission to find out what he is all about. 

Budget: $2million Worldwide Gross: $18million

I recommend this movie to people who are into there Woody Allen movies which are based around sketches with a sex concept, in some way or form. 4/10
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Or Every Screwed Up thing you never knew about Sex.
bellhollow21 May 2004
What I remember most about this movie is that the whole family watched it and laughed their brains out. Oh come on now, you know that can't happen, but why not have a killer boob running the country or men fighting over sheep. Or what about that woman who can only be satisfied in strange places. If you have ever read the book, you know there is no correlation to this movie. Wonderful comedy that oozes the stupid stuff that makes old Woody Allen movies so hilarious. And then of course there is Tony Randall and the whole brain scene. So is there anything to that remark about girls from New York? Oh well, I'll have to add this movie to my collection so that I can chuckle every time I think of a killer boob.
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