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 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

1. Hannah and Her Sisters--A happy ending for a change and the best ensemble cast Woody ever put together.

2. Love & Death- Allen's "Bob Hope" movie with a brisk pace and numerous quotable one liners. Love the use of Prokofiev music, too. Woody originally wanted to use Stravinsky!

3. Annie Hall- The movie that kicked Star Wars' ass! Well la di da! big grin Allen's most famous film, featuring Diane Keaton's Oscar-winning performance and about as creative and interestingly shot comedy as we're ever going to see. Best Picture, 1977!!!

4. Crimes & Misdemeanors- Allen's best use of a comedy and drama in the same film. Martin Landau is fantastic, as is Alan Alda as an arrogant and successful TV producer.

5. Alice- Mia Farrow's best dramatic performance since Purple Rose of Cairo; Farrow gets absolutely no credit for her excellent performances, but she does here.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)

ANNIE HALL--Probably his funniest, and most meaningful, film. It really caught the spirit of an era. Not only Allen's best, but one of the finest films of the seventies.

WHATEVER WORKS--It was actually written for Zero Mostel, but polished up for the currently day. It really hearkens back to the days when Allen was major box-office, not relegated to art houses. Great film!

RADIO DAYS--His sweetest, most nostalgia-filled film. It makes you wish you inhabited the era it takes place in.

THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO--Nostalgia done as fantasy. Sort of a companion piece to RADIO DAYS.

MATCH POINT--A veddy, veddy British mystery, wrapped up in a very Allen-esque viewpoint.

I think Woody Allen has actually entered another terrific phase in his career, which is being sadly neglected by the majority of movie fans. His last half-dozen or so films are absolutely top-notch, and amongst the best films being made right now.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

ANNIE HALL--Probably his funniest, and most meaningful, film. It really caught the spirit of an era. Not only Allen's best, but one of the finest films of the seventies.

WHATEVER WORKS--It was actually written for Zero Mostel, but polished up for the currently day. It really hearkens back to the days when Allen was major box-office, not relegated to art houses. Great film!

RADIO DAYS--His sweetest, most nostalgia-filled film. It makes you wish you inhabited the era it takes place in.

THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO--Nostalgia done as fantasy. Sort of a companion piece to RADIO DAYS.

MATCH POINT--A veddy, veddy British mystery, wrapped up in a very Allen-esque viewpoint.

I think Woody Allen has actually entered another terrific phase in his career, which is being sadly neglected by the majority of movie fans. His last half-dozen or so films are absolutely top-notch, and amongst the best films being made right now.



Wow, I'm going with the same picks as ManEatingCrow. EXCEPT.. replacing 'Whatever Works' (virtually unseen but hilarious) with either 'LOVE & DEATH' or his latest, 'YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER'. (Leaning toward 'Stranger')

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Manhattan

Sleeper

Bullets Over Broadway

Crimes And Misdemeanors

Mighty Aphrodite




I will add the why latter as I have to run to the hospital right now to pick my Mom up.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   quiller007   (Member)




WHY ONLY FIVE?!!! I can easily pick 20 of his films that I'd rate five stars
and still leave too many great ones off the list.

Den

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

WHY ONLY FIVE?!!! I can easily pick 20 of his films that I'd rate five stars
and still leave too many great ones off the list.

Den


'cause I like to keep you sons o' bitches reined in, that's why.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2011 - 12:43 PM   
 By:   quiller007   (Member)

WHY ONLY FIVE?!!! I can easily pick 20 of his films that I'd rate five stars
and still leave too many great ones off the list.

Den


'cause I like to keep you sons o' bitches reined in, that's why.



Oh yeah? Just for that, here goes... the top 5 Woody Allen films are:

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1970)
BANANAS (1971)
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972)
EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX (1973)
SLEEPER (1973)
LOVE AND DEATH (1975)
ANNIE HALL (1977)
INTERIORS (1978)
MANHATTAN (1979)
STARDUST MEMORIES (1980)
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY (1983)
ZELIG (1983)
BROADWAY DANNY ROSE (1984)
THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985)
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986)
RADIO DAYS (1987)
SEPTEMBER (1987)
ANOTHER WOMAN (1988)
CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989)
ALICE (1990)
SHADOWS AND FOG (1992)
HUSBANDS AND WIVES (1992)
MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993)
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994)

and all the rest of 'em! So there and take that!!! smile

Den



 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 5:10 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I guess the proportion of Woody Allen fans to the rest of the world is well reflected here, too; even the (younger) Europeans don't like The Woodman.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 6:47 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) - because I think it's his most profound, brilliant, and exceptionally written masterpiece. The exploration of moral ambiguity and how it's played for comedy and tragedy, mixed ever so carefully, superbly acted by all (Landau shoulda won an Oscar). I think it's just a flawless film in every regard and I never tire of it. The symbolism in this movie is compelling, and I also think it's one of his most visually interesting films.

ANOTHER WOMAN (1988) - this is perhaps Woody's most underappreciated masterpiece IMO. I like it almost as much as CRIMES for many of the same reasons, sans comedy. The multiple meanings layered within the story are fascinating to explore, the concept of self delusion coupled with insecurity and aging, played expertly by Gena Rowlands with wonderful supporting turns from Ian Holm ("I accept your condemnation.") and Gene Hackman. I think Woody is at his best when he makes films like this.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1968) - still one of the funniest movies ever made; nothing more to say except, "Apt naturally."

ZELIG (1983) - few comedies are this clever, this inventive, this visually creative, and this effective. No movie like it. None.

SHADOWS & FOG (1992) - like Another Woman, here's another oddball that nobody seemed to care about, but I loved every second of it. It's a bizarre film to be sure, but man it's so incredible to look at and there are just so many wonderfully crafted scenes of expert filmmaking. Plus there's a scene with Woody trying to steal a fingerprinted wine glass that is hysterical. Really fun, magical, and beautifully shot little flick. My affection for it originated when I was a pre-teen and had some of Woody's comedy books, one of which had the play called Death that this film was based on. The source material is even better (and funnier), but I thought this was a great adaptation.

I used to put Woody on a pedestal right up there with my filmmaking hero Clint Eastwood. Sadly, after Small Time Crooks (2000) and other changes in his career, he turned into some monstrosity that I don't even recognize anymore. I've seen almost all of his films, including the handful from the past decade. Didn't like any of them. At all. Terrible on every level. I'm convinced somebody else made all these awful movies like Melinda & Melinda and Match Point and Cassandra's Dream. Ugggggg. This is one woody that went soft years ago. But I still worship his genius of yesteryear.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 7:36 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Good picks, Ally. smile I have a hard time disagreeing with anyone's choices, because at any given time I could go for any of his movies pre-2000...even INTERIORS! wink

Crimes & Misdemeanors is what made me a fan of his; I was 18 at the time. An Allen film has that air of sophistication and enough cultural references to interest a lad or lass just begininng to embrace the arts, philosophy, etc. I loved the world he created in those movies. Woody in London and with Scarlett Johanssen is just...wrong.

Anyone else remember the "Inside Woody Allen" comic strip? Our local paper carried it.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 7:43 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

"Hannah and Her Sisters" -- This is Woody at "perfection" level on all counts -- story, script, performers/performances, combination of humor/wit/drama, and on an equal level his music selection. Woody, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Maureen O'Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, and all the other superb supporting cast are absolutely riveting throughout the film. I have many "favorite" scenes in this film, but my "most favorite" is Woody spying Dianne Wiest (Holly) in a record shop and going in to remind her of the worst date of his life. It's an amazing, very funny, beautiful scene.

"Manhattan" -- This is the finest valentine ever filmed to/for a city (or anything/anyone else). The Gordon Willis b/w cinematography is masterful, the Gershwin score is sublime and the story is very New York and very Woody (and not a little bit disturbing given Allen's romance with a teenager, wonderfully played by Mariel Hemingway at her most beautiful).

"Love and Death" -- Hilarious homage to Ingmar Bergman with some fantastic sight gags, silliness, mayhem and an hysterical "Death" giving Woody the sort of "ending" he obsesses upon in nearly all his personal films.

"The Purple Rose of Cairo" - Wonderful "little movie", filmed to perfection. Great central performance by Mia Farrow and wonderful conceit of movie character coming off the screen because a "real person" has seen the film so many times he just had to say something. This movie was a "gift" when it was released and always seems to be a "gift" upon repeat viewings.

"Annie Hall" -- I'm not the biggest fan of this film, although it IS wonderful and funny and kooky and brilliantly done. Woody has had better stories, but it's the central character and Woody's interactions with her that make the film work wonderfully.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)


Crimes & Misdemeanors is what made me a fan of his; I was 18 at the time.


Me, too. I was fortunate enough to have first seen the movie at a USC screening, after which Martin Landau came to the class and was interviewed by Charles Champlin. It was so cool because I grew up watching Landau on Space 1999 and Mission Impossible. It was a delight to speak with him, and I told him then that CRIMES was his best work ever. Still holds true for me today (ED WOOD being close competition).

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 8:13 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)


Crimes & Misdemeanors is what made me a fan of his; I was 18 at the time.


Me, too. I was fortunate enough to have first seen the movie at a USC screening, after which Martin Landau came to the class and was interviewed by Charles Champlin. It was so cool because I grew up watching Landau on Space 1999 and Mission Impossible. It was a delight to speak with him, and I told him then that CRIMES was his best work ever. Still holds true for me today (ED WOOD being close competition).


Lucky dog!

Landau was enjoying a career rennaissance with TUCKER and C&M; his Oscar for Ed Wood was definitely deserved. Alan Alda was another Woody stock player that did some good work with Allen. Speaking of stock players, I wonder why Tony Roberts vanished from the "team"?

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Alan Alda was another Woody stock player that did some good work with Allen.

"If it bends, it's funny. If it breaks, it's not funny."

"Comedy is tragedy plus time."

big grin

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 10:54 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Alan Alda was another Woody stock player that did some good work with Allen.

"If it bends, it's funny. If it breaks, it's not funny."

"Comedy is tragedy plus time."

big grin


One of the many brilliant reasons why Woody has so many Best Screenplay nominations.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

No one has mentioned Husbands & Wives '92. Which may turn out to be Allen's last great film. I think I'm right in thinking that Woody was going through the messy break-up with Mia Farrow at the time. It must have come out in the screenplay, as the three women (incl. Farrow) in this film are just awful. I must see Stardust Memories again, I enjoyed it when it came out, a lot of people didn't.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 1:28 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

No one has mentioned Husbands & Wives '92. Which may turn out to be Allen's last great film. I think I'm right in thinking that Woody was going through the messy break-up with Mia Farrow at the time. It must have come out in the screenplay, as the three women (incl. Farrow) in this film are just awful.

It's pretty raw with its depiction of domestic bitching. Sydney Pollack was excellent in this. Don't know why there was so much shaky cam at the film's opening, though.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Husbands and Wives almost made my list. I think it was hilarious, and Sydney Pollack was AWESOME. The scene in which he's arguing with his girlfriend and saying "Get in the f***in' car!" = priceless. In regard to the shaky-cam, it was innovative for the time, giving the movie a documentary fly-on-the-wall style that was really effective. What was once a clever idea is now of course overused, but at the time, it was nifty.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2011 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

I prefer the early funny ones. (or words to that effect)
I have Woody's 2 LP set of his standup stuff and at least one of his books.

 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2011 - 4:24 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Husbands and Wives almost made my list. I think it was hilarious, and Sydney Pollack was AWESOME. The scene in which he's arguing with his girlfriend and saying "Get in the f***in' car!" = priceless.

That last confrontation scene with Pollack, Davis, and Liam Neeson could have been a disaster, but it comes off as so real and downright visceral, especially when Pollack tells Lysette Anthony what he really thinks of her in his regret for leaving his wife is quite...uncomfortable...I was humiliated for her!

Yes, Husbands & Wives features a great set of performances, but is too draining to include in my personal top five.

I miss Sydney Pollack. frown

 
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