13 July 2010

Woody Allen: Day Seventeen

After the fallout with Mia Farrow in 1992 Woody Allen reunited with an old flame for 1993's Manhattan Murder Mystery. Diane Keaton was cast in a role originally intended for Mia Farrow and the best part Manhattan Murder Mystery is seeing Diane Keaton and Woody Allen alongside each other for the first time since 1979's Manhattan and her first performance in a Woody Allen film since her cameo in Radio Days. The idea for Manhattan Murder Mystery was part of the screenplay for Annie Hall. Woody Allen obviously went a different direction and we all know how that turned out. Diane Keaton is the star of the film but there is a great supporting performance from Anjelica Huston. The film also stars Alan Alda, Ron Rifkin, and Joy Behar (whose dream was to appear in a Woody Allen film).

Larry and Carol (Allen and Keaton) are a New York couple experiencing empty nest syndrome. The day after spending an evening with their neighbours from down the hall they find out that the wife has suddenly died from heart failure. Carol is shocked and suspicious because Lillian (Lynn Cohen) made no mention of heart problems. Larry wants to forget about the whole ordeal but Carol becomes very suspicious of the husband, Paul (Jerry Adler). Carol and Larry begin investigating Lillian's death. Larry insists that Carol is crazy to suspect foul play but their friend Ted (Alda) is intrigued by Carol's findings. Anjelica Huston stars as an acquaintance of Larry's who also becomes interested in the mystery.

Manhattan Murder Mystery is a decent film with a good mystery. The best part of the film is the chemistry between Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. It is a refreshing change to have another actress in a Woody Allen film besides Mia Farrow (who appeared in thirteen films).

Next up: Bullets Over Broadway, the film that started my Woody Allen obsession.

My list:
1. Hannah and Her Sisters
2. Manhattan
3. Annie Hall
4. Crimes and Misdemeanors
5. Radio Days
6. Husbands & Wives
7. Another Woman
8. The Purple Rose of Cairo
9. Broadway Danny Rose
10. Love and Death
11. Interiors
12. Sleeper
13. Manhattan Murder Mystery
14. Zelig
15. Stardust Memories
16. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
17. Take the Money and Run
18. Oedipus Wrecks from New York Stories
19. Bananas
20. What's Up, Tiger Lily?
21. Alice
22. Shadows and Fog
23. September
24. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy


  1. Really enjoying your Allen retrospective!

    My Top Ten goes as follows:

    1. Hannah and her Sisters
    2. Zelig
    3. Manhattan Murder Mystery
    4. The Purple Rose of Cairo
    5. Match Point
    6. Another Woman
    7. Radio Days
    8. Broadway Danny Rose
    9. Bullets Over Broadway
    10. Alice

    I’m not so much of a fan of 70s Woody, as you can see. My favourite period is probably the run of 80s films with Farrow.

  2. I really love his 80s period too, but there are a couple from the 90s that I really do love.