: : : Manhattan

Story

Manhattan, Woody Allen's follow-up to Oscar-winning Annie Hall, is a film of many distinctions: its glorious all-Gershwin score, its breathtakingly elegant black-and-white, widescreen cinematography by Gordon Willis (best-known for shooting the Godfather movies); its deeply shaded performances; its witty screenplay that marked a new level in Allen's artistic maturity; and its catalog of Things that Make Life Worth Living. But Manhattan is also distinguished in the realm of home video as the first motion picture to be released only in a widescreen version. You wouldn't want to see it any other way. Allen's "Rhapsody in Gray" concerns, as his own character puts it, "people in Manhattan who are constantly creating these real, unnecessary, neurotic problems for themselves, because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about the universe." It's a romantic comedy about infidelity and betrayal, the rules of love and friendship, young girls (a radiant and sweet Mariel Hemingway) and older men (Allen), innocence, and sophistication. (a favorite phrase is used to describe a piece of sculpture at the Guggenheim: "It has a marvelous kind of negative capability.") The movie's themes can be summed up in two key lines: "I can't believe you met somebody you like better than me," and "It's very important to have some kind of personal integrity." OK, so they may not sound like such sparkling snatches of brilliant dialogue, but Manhattan puts those ideas across with such emotion that you feel an ache in your heart. --Jim Emerson

Cast

Woody AllenIsaac
Diane KeatonMary
Michael MurphyYale
Mariel HemingwayTracy
Meryl StreepJill
Anne Byrne HoffmanEmily (as Anne Byrne)
Karen LudwigConnie
Michael O'DonoghueDennis
Victor TruroParty Guest
Tisa FarrowParty Guest
Helen HanftParty Guest
Bella AbzugGuest of Honor
Gary WeisTelevision Director
Kenny VanceTelevision Producer
Charles LevinTelevision Actor #1
Karen AllenTelevision Actor #2
David RascheTelevision Actor #3
Damion SchellerIsaac's Son
Wallace ShawnJeremiah
Mark Linn-BakerShakespearean Actor (as Mary Linn Baker)
Frances ConroyShakespearean Actress
Bill AnthonyPorsche Owner #1
John DoumanianPorsche Owner #2
Raymond SerraPizzeria Waiter (as Ray Serra)
Llewellyn LaffordBroadway Pedestrian (uncredited)

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Theme(s): Satire/Parody/Comedy
  • Director: Woody Allen
  • Producer: MGM/UA
  • Length: 96 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaApr 25, 1979
    JapanFeb 16, 1980
    AustraliaFeb 21, 1980
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaSep 7, 2004
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