Another valuable tool in genre films, Sobchack suggests, is typecasting because, as he discusses, “It is just one more way of establishing character quickly and efficiently” (77). Sobchack tells us that an audience’s experience of emotional release through a catharsis at the end of the film is another significant element common among genre films. He writes, “Any brief rundown of the basic plots should serve to demonstrate that the catharsis engendered in genre films is a basic element of their structure” (80). Sobchack goes on to say, “The internal tension between the opposing impulses of personal individuation and submission to the group, which normally is held in check by the real pressures of everyday living, is released in the course of a genre film as the audience vicariously lives out its individual dreams of glory and terror, as it identifies with the stereotyped characters of fantasy life.” (80)
In Bananas, we find the followers of the leader fomenting revolution in the fictitious Latin American “banana republic,” San Marcos, are blind adherents to the cause, just as are the sycophantic assistants to the dictator, and the FBI agents who later, on trumped up charges, arrest Woody’s character, Fielding Mellish, who ascended to Presidency of San Marcos. In Sleeper, the entire society is presented as being brainwashed, mind-controlled conformists. Likewise, the rebels are depicted as being conditioned to respond in their roles as revolutionaries. In Love and Death, Napoleon Bonaparte is depicted in his role of taking over Europe. Napoleon’s followers are automaton soldiers obeying orders just as are the Russian soldiers fighting him. The Russian society is presented as a parody of the society Tolstoy depicted in his novel War and Peace. It is portrayed by Woody as a stereotype of Tolstoy’s in a manner in which any familiar with Tolstoy's work would expect the characters to act. In each of these Woody Allen movies, the only character not an automaton is Woody’s character. The female lead characters (Louise Lasser in Bananas and Diane Keaton in Sleeper and Love and Death) start out as robots, but Woody’s character leads his love interest in each film to see beyond her conformist programming and discover her own individuality. This occurs at the end of each movie and provides the satirized, faux catharsis.