One of Woody Allen’s earliest self-conscious acknowledgements of his weakness for the Great Themes, Love and Death strives at every turn to lampoon its maker’s grandiose impulses. Allen stars as a cowardly and sexually imbecilic scholar forced to enlist in the Russian army during the Napoleonic invasion. While away at war, he spends his time pining for his already-engaged cousin (Keaton), who shares his love of loopy, pseudo-intellectual pontification. A Silver Bear winner at the Berlin Film Festival, this giddy mix of the high- and lowbrow boasts one of the best laugh-a-minute ratios in the Allen canon, turning nearly every one of the director’s acknowledged heroes—from Tolstoy to Bergman, T.S. Eliot to the Marx Brothers—into a punchline.