When I was about 17, I worked in a repertoire cinema during the summer breaks. It was a beachtown, and there was this old art deco cinema. In it I was first exposed to films that I had no idea would become some of my all time favorites: BEING THERE, DAYS OF HEAVEN, LOCAL HERO, and the subject of this post:<br><br>Woody Allen's MANHATTAN.<br><br>I know that name brings a lot of baggage with it, but this was back in 1979. Back then, Woody was a white-hot movie maker. After a string of legendary comedies, he scored a WOW with ANNIE HALL and took best picture for his troubles.<br><br>So then MANHATTAN came out, and there was Diane Keaton again, and many must have wondered, "Again?". What is this, a black and white ANNIE HALL II? Many were disappointed with it.. <br><br>In my opinion, MANHATTAN on the big screen makes me forget there WAS an ANNIE HALL. So much less nervous, so much more mature and artful. What was interesting about MANHATTAN back then was that Woody--<br><br>(SPOILERS---)<br><br>-- falls in love with a 17 year old going on.. 18. It wasn't that it was 'dirty', or so terribly 'illegal'-- despite banging the carp out of her-- it was just a unique portrayal of a unigue couple in love. <br><br>Anyhow, 22 years later I'm in Los Angeles and I see this film play at a ratty, stinky, but kind hearted rep cinema. I'm waiting in line at the Men's Room (it's a small cinema) and a guy asks me if I've seen Manhattan before. I try not to smirk. I've seen it about 1.4 times per years he's been alive. I say, "Yes I have.. it's quite good." <br><br>"Better than ANNIE HALL," he asks, having JUST seen it in a double feature. I tell him MUCH better. A tall young guy behind me in line nods in agreement. (Life is good..)<br><br>Then, in the cinema, many of the young LA hipsters see this movie for the first time. Two of my friends with me have never seen it. My poor wife has-- of course- this being her fourth time (we own the DVD) and she was genuinely blown away by it the way it was meant to be seen (despite the stained movie screen).<br><br>Anyhow, when our 'modern' audience learns that Woody's doing 'a girl that does homework.. I'm dating a girl who's father is younger than me..' I heard this SHOCK hit the audience.<br><br>This wave of MY GAWD!!! washed up to the screen, splashed off of it, whiplashed back and nearly drowned the lot. You could feel some people thinking, Jesus, we should get the hell out of here. Won't the THOUGHT POLICE arrest us all for just watching this movie?<br><br>But as the story progresses, and Woody illustrates how most adults (including his own character) act like 14 years olds at best, 17 going on 18 Tracy (played sublimely by Mariel Hemingway) looks like-- and probably is-- one of the richest, emotionally balanced creations to ever appear in a Woody Allen flick.<br><br>The lesson this young girl teaches about maturity is astounding, and if you've never seen MANHATTAN, by all means, now's the time.<br><br>Unless, of course, you're on a wooden boat, and one of your crew has just placed a foot on Plymouth Rock..<br><br>PEACE<br><br>(I'm signing off pretty much for a week or so. VA-K. Have fun all, but not too much.)<br><br>Do you rhumba? Excellent! Now pick a rhumba and sit down.. GM
....uh...ok.<br><br>When I was younger, I remember seeing this film (I think it was like 74-75-76 era) in the theater that I thought was absolutely great!!<br><br>Now I think it sucked..this movie...Towering Inferno.<br><br>End of story. <br><br>I feel the same way about Woody Allen movies.<br><br>
i never did get into woody allen movies...in fact, i couldn't tell you a single woody allen movie i have watched, but i know i have watched one or two. i distinctly remember watching one about 5 years ago, but???<br><br>perhaps mighty aphrodite? deconstructing harry (i am pretty sure this was it)? hmmm. i just know i haven't seen the older stuff (pre 90's); although, i remember first going to the movies in around 1976 (i was 6). i think i saw some motorcycle movie with my dad, but i can't remember the name. in 1977 my whole gradeschool went to close encounters of the 3rd kind...that was cool. i also saw star wars about this time. all this remembering is making my head hurt.<br><br>i'll have to check out manhattan. thanx for the tip.<br><br>[color:blue] -sean</font color=blue>
#6490 - 05/06/0202:12 PMThe Ending Sticks in My Mind (spoiler)
As Mariel Hemingway's character is about to leave for Paris, saing goodbye to Woody, the last line in the movie (I'm drawing strictly from memory here) is, "You have to learn to trust people." The look on Allen's face is devastating; none of his friends and associates in the movie have given him any reason to trust them. The movie is "about" a lot of things, but betrayal is definitely one of them.<br><br>John<br>[color:red]I don't need no...</font color=red>
If you're new to Allen, the bad news is that you must acquire a taste for him. Most of his recent movies will help you acquire a bad taste. The good news is that many of his earlier films are truly classics. Here's a fun WOODY ALLEN starter kit:<br><br>BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (BROADWAY/MOBSTER SEND UP)<br>SLEEPER (CHARLIE CHAPLAIN/ SCI-FI)<br>LOVE AND DEATH (ABSURD PERIOD RUSSIAN ROMANCE PIECE)<br>CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (PROFOUND DRAMA)<br>MANHATTAN (AMAZING LOVE STORY)<br><br>Sean, if you enjoy these films, you will become a Woody Allen fan. Then, you'll have OTHER movies to discover. Although I feel these are the best, there are many that are pretty darn good. I'll warn you though that anything before STARDUST MEMORIES is a little better than most after it.<br><br>If you want to laugh, start with SLEEPER.<br><br>Enjoy,<br><br>NTO1<br><br>Do you rhumba? Excellent! Now pick a rhumba and sit down.. GM
Not bad recall. It's London, not Paris, and "You have to learn to have faith in people." Whenever she says this, I translate it to, "You know, not everyone has to be a 14 year old.. not even you.."<br><br>But that wouldn't be as romantic..<br><br>:-)<br><br>Do you rhumba? Excellent! Now pick a rhumba and sit down.. GM
I like all of his movies especially the old ones. Sleeper Love and Death.<br>I recently saw again after a long time, Sleeper and Annie Hall. The first time I saw Annie Hall I might have wet my pants. This time the jokes seemed a little stale or I just wanted more out of them. The lobster behind the fridge ...<br>Sleeper I thought was going to be dated I laughed through the entire thing. The orb, when he wakes up, the whole bit.<br>What's up Tiger Lily? is that the one where he is robbing the bank and misspells gun? "Clearly this is, I have a gub."<br><br>Paul Morrison ... Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. -Mark Twain
"What's Up Tiger Lily" is a serious Japanese 007 type film that Woody bought the rights to and editted with sound dubbing to create a not so serious film about a secret egg salad recipe!<br><br>I LOVE that flick! If you haven't seen it, you must.<br><br>[color:red]Alec</font color=red>
I love Allen's films as well. In his case it's sometimes hard to maintain the separation between the life and the art, as Yeats calls it, but so what. There are lots of artists whose private lives are a mess, but whose art is superb. I think Allen is one of them.<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
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