In the early 1950s Howard Prince, who works in a restaurant, helps out a black-listed writer friend by selling a TV station a script under his own name. The money is useful in paying off gambling debts, so he takes on three more such clients. Howard is politically pretty innocent, but involvement with Florence – who quits TV in disgust over things – and friendship with the show’s ex-star – now himself blacklisted – make him start to think about what is really going on.Read More »
Black-and-white Sven Nykvist cinematography highlights this Woody Allen comedy about fame and obscurity among Manhattan celebs. Journalist Lee Simon (Kenneth Branagh), makes a play for actress Nicole Oliver (Melanie Griffith), subject of his current story. Lee is separated from his wife Robin (Judy Davis), a schoolteacher who’s totally lost and insecure — until TV producer Tony Gardella (Joe Mantegna) becomes fascinated with her. Concerned about her possible sexual inadequacies, Robin recruits a prostitute (Bebe Neuwirth) to instruct her on oral sex techniques. On the town, Lee becomes transfixed by a blond supermodel (Charlize Theron), who teases him throughout the night, eventually dropping him before they get home.Read More »
Jasmine French used to be on the top of the heap as a New York socialite, but now is returning to her estranged sister in San Francisco utterly ruined. As Jasmine struggles with her haunting memories of a privileged past bearing dark realities she ignored, she tries to recover in her present. Unfortunately, it all proves a losing battle as Jasmine’s narcissistic hangups and their consequences begin to overwhelm her. In doing so, her old pretensions and new deceits begin to foul up everyone’s lives, especially her own.Read More »
October 20, 1971, Woody Allen. At this point he was writing Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask, had just finished Bananas, and had only been in analysis for thirteen years.
He appeared a total of seven times on the Dick Cavett Show; the clip in Annie Hall (“In the event of war, I’m a hostage”) is not from any of these appearances, but was staged for the movie – as explained by Dick in the short introduction.
The interview is one hour plus a few minutes for questions from the audience.
Woody: “The thing is, I can only write comedy. When I try to write something serious, it doesn’t come out serious.”Read More »
A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray’s life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizarre hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music.Read More »
Here’s an edited synopsis from the website TV Party:
Promoted by Woody as “an hour of horny comedy,” the show was refreshingly adult by the standards of 1969 network TV. After wacky animated titles that depicted Allen as an astronaut, a guillotine victim and Virgil Starkwell, his Take The Money & Run character and after the first of 3 very funny Libby’s commercials featuring Tony Randall as detective Justice Dunn, the show opens with the monologue.Read More »
In 1987, Woody Allen was at the height of his fame and adulation: he had just made one of his most popular and acclaimed films, Hannah and Her Sisters, and his relationship with Mia Farrow was the stuff of very carefully crafted legend. Promoting his new film, September, he was profiled for 60 Minutes talking about his work, his life, Farrow, and the upcoming birth of their first child. Like all 60 Minutes profiles, this one lasted about 20 minutes on air.Read More »
The second film to be made from Woody Allen’s successful stage comedy (following a 1969 feature starring Jackie Gleason), Don’t Drink the Water is a made-for-television adaptation directed by and starring Allen himself. The fish-out-of-water premise remains the same: Allen plays Walter Hollander, a caterer from New Jersey who takes his family on vacation to a fictional Eastern European country. The trip turns sour when, thanks to a series of misunderstandings involving some inopportune snapshots, they are accused of espionage. The family goes on the run, taking refuge in the American Embassy. There, with the help of a wily young diplomat, they try to figure out a way to return to America without sparking an international incident. Though this version is set 25 years later than the original film, the changes are mostly cosmetic: the visual style is hand-held and more frantic, and the script replaces numerous references to the Cold War with a few glancing nods to present-day politics. Another notable change, the addition of an opening montage parodying newsreels, was reportedly the result of network pressure after Allen’s initial cut proved too short for the planned time slot.Read More »
Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents’ business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil’s daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he’s about to marry. (imdb)Read More »