Woody Allen

"Woody Allen has become the gold standard for comic writing and situational humor… The magic of Allen's cinema is found in the wry distinctions between tragic human relations that often tip toward horror, but are relieved by the saving grace of serendipitous timing." - Garrett Chaffin-Quiray (501 Movie Directors, 2007)

Woody Allen

Director / Screenwriter / Actor
(1935- ) Born December 1, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: USA, Spain, UK
Key Genres: Comedy, Urban Comedy, Ensemble Film, Comedy Drama, Romantic Comedy, Comedy of Manners, Satire, Drama, Sophisticated Comedy, Psychological Drama, Comedy of Errors, Fantasy Comedy
Key Collaborators: Santo Loquasto (Production Designer), Susan E. Morse (Editor), Robert Greenhut (Producer), Alisa Lepselter (Editor), Letty Aronson (Producer), Mia Farrow (Leading Actress), Carlo Di Palma (Cinematographer), Stephen Tenenbaum (Producer), Gordon Willis (Cinematographer), Diane Keaton (Leading Character Actress), Mel Bourne (Production Designer), Charles H. Joffe (Producer)

"After Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen is the most significant comedy auteur in American film history. For more than thirty years Allen, like Chaplin, has written, directed, and starred in groundbreaking comedies at the rate of nearly a film a year since his first movie, What’s New, Pussycat? (1965). Allen also has demonstrated a gift for literary humor, and his writing for The New Yorker magazine resulted in three well-received books: Getting Even (1971), Without Feathers (1975), and Side Effects (1980)." - Wes D. Gehring (Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, 2007)
"While most other recent screen comics have aimed their lamebrain, slapdash spoofery at teenage audiences, Allen Stewart Konigsberg, as he was born, has alone been consistent in catering to more adult tastes. His is a comedy increasingly defined by character: notably, his own." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"Allen's genuinely original voice in the cinema recalls writer-directors like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Preston Sturges, who dissect their portions of the American landscape primarily through comedy. In his creative virtuosity, Allen also resembles Orson Welles, whose visual and verbal wit, though contained in seemingly non-comic genres, in fact exposes the American character to satirical scrutiny." - Mark W. Estrin (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"Great comedians almost always portray little men attempting to cope with the trappings of a civilization that is a bit too much for them, and Woody Allen is no exception. His insecurities - physical, sexual and emotional - are truly of monumental proportions." - The Movie Makers, 1974
"Films directed by the prolific Woody Allen have amused adult audiences over many years. In the best of them, however, there is pain lurking beneath the comic surface." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"Woody Allen is one of the most distinctive American directors of the post-war period. Having released almost a film a year for 35 years, and articulated in literate terms the ethical misgivings of his generation. Allen has staged the vicissitudes of contemporary culture with more humour and pity than any other American director." - Richard Armstrong (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Like the perfect Freudian paradox, by seeming to reveal everything about himself he ends up revealing nothing at all. Perhaps the best way to look at his films is to remember the advice of that friendly little alien from Stardust Memories" 'You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes.' As for searching for the 'real' Woody Allen? Don't waste your time, because there isn't one. Only Allan Stewart Konigsberg." - Andrew Syder (Contemporary North American Film Directors, 2002)
"Releasing a new film each year, he has become the quintessential New York film-maker, offering comic insights into love and death, show-business nostalgia and the intricate workings of the human heart." - Chambers Film Factfinder, 2006
"Allen's career falls into several distinct paths: the early, wilder comedies, such as Love and Death (1975); the more sophisticated comedies of relationships, such as Manhattan (1979); and the Bergmanesque dramas, such as Interiors (1978). One of the most successful and talented directors to have emerged in America since the late 1960s, his private-life troubles with wife Mia Farrow have at times threatened to overshadow his career." - The Movie Book, 1999
"Critically acclaimed director whose turbulent private life has occasionally tended to overshadow his undoubted talents as a film-maker... A rarity among American filmmakers, Allen always retains full creative control over his own material." - Mario Reading (The Movie Companion, 2006)
"In his films he seems so averse to acting yet so skittish about real confession that he risks dealing in self-glorification by neurosis. As an actor he stills momentum and betrays his films' reach for reality. Moreover, some of his films are so small and inconsequential, so much a matter of habit, that they make his productivity seem artificial... Still, there are Annie Hall, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Radio Days, Deconstructing Harry. That's four brilliant films that no one else could have dreamed of. And that's what it's about." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"Blends nightclub jokes, visual humor, and literary references into a wild sense of comedy. Has a good pictorial sense." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right." - Woody Allen
"If my films make one more person miserable, I'll feel I have done my job." - Woody Allen
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Annie Hall (1977) , Manhattan (1979) , Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) , Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) , Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
Recommended
Bananas (1971), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), Stardust Memories (1980) , Zelig (1983) , Broadway Danny Rose (1984), Radio Days (1987), Husbands and Wives (1992), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Small Time Crooks (2000), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Match Point (2005)
Worth a Look
What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966) [originally directed by Senkichi Taniguchi], Take the Money and Run (1969), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) , Another Woman (1988), Shadows and Fog (1991), Celebrity (1998), Melinda and Melinda (2004), Whatever Works (2009), Blue Jasmine (2013)
Approach with Caution
Interiors (1978), September (1987), New York Stories (1989) [also directed by Francis Ford Coppola & Martin Scorsese], Alice (1990), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Hollywood Ending (2002), Scoop (2006), Cassandra's Dream (2007), Midnight in Paris (2011), Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Not Recommended
Anything Else (2003), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), To Rome with Love (2012)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Woody Allen / Favourite Films
Amarcord (1973) Federico Fellini, Bicycle Thieves (1948) Vittorio De Sica, Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Luis Buñuel, 8½ (1963) Federico Fellini, The 400 Blows (1959) François Truffaut, La Grande illusion (1937) Jean Renoir, Paths of Glory (1957) Stanley Kubrick, Rashomon (1950) Akira Kurosawa, The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman.
Source: Sight & Sound (2012)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    In the Mood for Love
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