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

Seven stories are trying to answer the question: what is sex? Or maybe they are not trying.


Woody Allen


David Reuben (from the book "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask" by) (as Dr. David Reuben), Woody Allen (written for the screen by)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Victor / Fabrizio / The Fool / Sperm
John Carradine ... Doctor Bernardo
Lou Jacobi ... Sam
Louise Lasser ... Gina
Anthony Quayle ... The King
Tony Randall ... The Operator
Lynn Redgrave ... The Queen
Burt Reynolds ... Switchboard
Gene Wilder ... Doctor Ross
Jack Barry ... Jack Barry
Erin Fleming Erin Fleming ... The Girl
Elaine Giftos ... Mrs. Ross
Toni Holt Kramer Toni Holt Kramer ... Toni Holt (as Toni Holt)
Robert Q. Lewis ... Robert Q. Lewis
Heather MacRae ... Helen Lacey (as Heather Macrae)


Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" in which a court jester gives an aphrodisiac to the Queen and is, in the end, beheaded to "What Happens During Ejaculation?" in which we watch "control central" during a successful seduction. Written by Scott R. Vaughn <scott@vaughn.hon.msu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If you want to know how this man made a movie out of this book... "Everything you always wanted to know about sex* - *But Were Afraid to Ask" you'll have to see the movie! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The fourth feature film directed by Woody Allen. See more »


When the policeman comes to see about the transvestite's stolen purse, he says "I'll have to fill out a report, sir", while the transvestite was still in women's clothes. The word "sir" is not in the subtitles. See more »


Doctor Ross: Don't bring in a sheep into this office! My mother just got finished paying for it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits shown over footage of rabbits. See more »

Alternate Versions

After being banned in Ireland on March 20 1973, a cut version was passed in 1979 and theatrically released in 1980. This edited:
  • the scene in which a shepherd goes to see a doctor and tells him how he has fallen in love with a sheep. The line, "the greatest lay I ever had" was removed.
  • The bread intercourse scene was removed entirely.
Modern video releases are uncut with an 18 certificate. See more »


Referenced in Paris-Manhattan (2012) See more »


Red River Valley
(pub. 1896) (uncredited)
Music by James Kerrigen
Played on harmonica by Woody Allen
See more »

User Reviews

Some work, some don't
15 September 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Italian

Release Date:

6 August 1972 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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