Woody Allen was no more felicitous a director in 1971 than later, but this is still one of his best pictures, if only because his limited ambitions (to make a funny movie) match his limited abilities.
One of "the early, funny ones", as he'd later joke, though I say Allen got wittier as he got more ambitious. This is Duck Soup for Kissinger, & a string of gags that prove that Allen can't do slapstick. But putting the National Review in a stack of porn mags is one of his best gags, and Bananas reminds us that, before he creeped audiences out as a dirty old man, he had surprising box office hits as a dirty young man.
Allen's genius is on display: a New York deli take-out order for fifteen-hundred revolutionaries highlights his penchant for the absurd, and an quartet sans instruments in the dictator's palace hints at surrealism. Never mind that the instruments hadn't arrived when it came time to shoot, BANANAS succeeds in its high concept spirit despite its fly-by-night production.