Play It Again, Sam (1972) Poster

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10/10
My favorite Woody Allen film
epnichols7 January 2005
This is one if my favorite movies of all time. It is best seen right after Casablanca; I like to watch the two back-to-back to get the full effect. I laugh out loud throughout the movie, as I see myself portrayed so well in Allen's character. The movie is a must for any slightly-geeky single man or anyone who enjoyed Casablanca. I think of this as the story of a lovelorn geek on a quest for love, guided by his faith in Bogart. The cast is astounding; along with Allen's performance, Diane Keaton added a good amount of reality, sensitivity, and humor. Her character is quite believable. Tony Roberts is hilarious; his deadpan delivery of all the phone number lines prevents the joke from getting old even on multiple viewings.
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8/10
Play it again, Woody
Galina24 October 2006
Directed by Herbert Ross, "Play It Again, Sam" (1972) is Woody Allen's film from the beginning to the final credits. Allen wrote the screenplay based on his Broadway play and he starred as Allan, a neurotic movie buff who writes the film reviews (what else?). Allan not just loves movies; he lives in the movies' world and constantly takes advices on how to get the girls from the legendary hero of his all time favorite movie "Casablanca", Humphrey Bogart's Rick. I am not a fan of "Casablanca" at all but if my favorite Artist is so much in love with it, maybe I should give it another try.

When Allan's wife Nancy leaves him, his best friend Dick (Tony Roberts) and his lovely wife Linda (Diane Keaton) try to fix him up with several eligible pretty young ladies. Very typically for Woody's characters, he is a total failure with them. The only woman he feels comfortable with, he shares the same insecurities and neuroses, the one whose Birthday he remembers and who he desperately wants is Linda, his best friend's wife. "Play It Again, Sam" is a remarkable movie for several reasons and one of them - it was the beginning of a wonderful working (and not only) relationship between Allen and Keaton that would result in the movies "Bananas" (1971), "Sleeper" (1973), "Love and Death" (1975), "Annie Hall" (1977), "Interiors" (1978), "Manhattan" (1979), "Radio Days" (1987), and "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (1993) and will bring them both well deserved fame and Oscars. Made 34 years ago, "Play It Again, Sam" holds up very well and I would call it my favorite earlier Woody's film and the best Woody's film that he has not directed.

8/10
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See "Casablanca" First
w2amarketing24 September 2002
My first and foremost thought about this movie is that you MUST see "Casablanca" (1942) first, for two reasons:

First, "Play it Again, Sam" contains not only archival footage from the 1942 classic, but numerous dialogic and other references which would be lost on someone who hasn't seen "Casablanca."

Second, and more important, is that the surprise ending of "Casablanca" is revealed in the *very first scene* of "Play it again, Sam."

Beyond that, "Play it again, Sam" is probably second only to "Annie Hall" among the Woody Allen / Diane Keaton films. Woody fans will enjoy the neurotic, psychosexual ramblings of the central character, which are typical of his movies, as well as the numerous elements of physical comedy, which are not as common in Woody Allen films. And watch for the scene in the art gallery -- it's a classic!
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8/10
one of Woody's best
Robert D. Ruplenas24 June 1999
Perhaps Woody's best effort in his 'neurotic schlep' persona. The script is a comic whirlwind, with too many brilliant scenes to enumerate (I can't resist mentioning the blind date's arrival - the desperate preparations and the pathetic introduction are funny but painful, in that we have all been in that position; his demonstration of authentic Chinese rice-eating technique is another classic). The device of the imaginary Bogart alter ego works well, especially in the climactic scene with Diane Keaton. In my book this ranks with Sleeper, Manhattan, and Annie Hall as Woody's best films.
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9/10
Hilarious Woody Allen romp
The_Void28 June 2005
I'm a big fan of Woody Allen. While his films often have something wrong with them, you can always count on a good time and a laugh while you're watching - and that's certainly what you get here! Woody Allen films are always best when Woody himself stars in them; his neurotic persona is a great base for laughs, and he certainly delivers in this film! For some reason, Woody Allen chose not to direct this film himself and Herbert Ross has got that job. Due to the cast, and Woody's script, however, this is very much another Woody Allen flick, no matter who is in the director's chair. This film also features the first screen pairing of Allen and Diane Keaton, who would, of course, go on to make Allen's masterpiece 'Annie Hall', along with Tony Roberts, who also co-stars here. The plot of the movie plays out like a tribute to Casablanca, and it sees recently dumped Allen falling in love with his best friend's wife, all the while under the watchful eye of the great Humphrey Bogart, whom he sees in his daydreams.

The humour in this film is awesome and also amazingly funny. Scenes that see Woody Allen blunder his way through dates are hilarious, and Allen's dialogue is at its dry and witty peak. The scene in which he tells of a fight he had with two 'hairdressers' being an excellent example of his writing. Allen tends to play the same sort of character in all of his films, and the one here shows him doing that again. This would be a problem, if he weren't so amazingly good at it. As the man festers in his own pathos; we can really believe it, and this gives the film a great sense of believability and also offers up a prime example of Allen acting at his best. The film isn't a complete one-man show, however, as the underrated Tony Roberts, along with Diane Keaton also give grand performances. The movie tributes in the film are many, with most pointing to the great Casablanca - and this is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. On the whole, this is an intelligent, entertaining and hilarious movie from one of cinema's best comedians. Highly recommended!
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10/10
Woody's overlooked 70's gem
JawsOfJosh19 October 2000
While he did not direct it, but rather, only wrote a screen adaptation of his own play, this overlooked slapstick film from 1972 is one of Woody Allen's finest treasures. Back in the day when Woody was just as slapstick as he was verbal, "Play It Again, Sam" tells the story of Allen as a divorced film critic crushed by the failure of his marriage. A huge fan of Humphrey Bogart, Allen soon looks to an imaginary incarnation of Bogie to guide his fearful (and clumsy) voyage back into the single life. He is aided by his best friend Dick and his wife Linda (Woody regulars Tony Roberts and Diane Keaton), who assist him in setting up one disastrous date after another. Soon enough, Woody discovers that sometimes you actually find true love but it doesn't always work out the way you wish.

Personally, I don't care too much for the whole Bogart-as-mentor thing. I spend most of the film cracking up at Woody's clumsy gestures and neurotic nay-sayings. As usual in an Allen film, Keaton gives a sweet, self-effacing performance. Because the film was directed by Herbert Ross, the typical rambling dialogue and back-and-forth editing is toned down a bit, so for an Allen vehicle, the movie feels more mannered and has more of a narrative strength than Woody's other wacky 70's productions. Still, Woody has never made me laugh harder - ever.
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9/10
Riotous
Boyo-224 August 2001
Easily my favorite movie with Woody that he did not direct, 'Play it Again, Sam' is a hysterically funny homage to Bogart, divorce, adultery, dating, an overactive imagination, meeting women in museums, and calling your office with all the telephone numbers you can be reached at..this is some great stuff and Woody's social awkwardness and pratfalls and neuroses will have you laughing throughout.

One of my favorite scenes is Woody trying to meet an attractive woman at a museum. She turns out to be a little more unhappy than he is but is also very funny in her darkness.

The very best is Woody getting set up on a blind date with Jennifer Salt. His nervousness will stay in your mind long after the movie is over.
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9/10
One of the Best Romantic Comedies by Woody Allen
Claudio Carvalho14 February 2014
In San Francisco, the neurotic, awkward and clumsy film critic Allan (Woody Allen) that is a fan of "Casablanca" is left by his wife Nancy (Susan Anspach) that is tired of their boring life. His friends Linda (Diane Keaton) and her husband Dick (Tony Roberts) try to help him finding available acquaintances to date him. Allan is advised by his alter ego Bogart (Jerry Lacy) how to behave with women, but Allan is too weird and the women never go in a second date with him. Soon Allan finds that he is in love with Linda, but Dick is his best friend and he does not want to make a move despite Bogart advices.

"Play It Again, Sam" is one of the best romantic comedies by Woody Allen in the beginning of his successful career. I saw this movie for the first time when I was still discovering Woody Allen and last time I had seen was on VHS on 12 November 2000 and I have just seen it again on a DVD recently released in Brazil. The neurotic Allan is hilarious and his discussions with Linda about neurosis and medicines, and his jitters with his dates are very funny. It is curious also to see the typical New Yorker Woody Allen filming in San Francisco. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Sonhos de um Sedutor" ("Dreams of a Seductor")
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8/10
Very good Woody Allen film
preppy-39 December 2005
Allen plays a film critic who has been cruelly dumped by his wife. He wants to meet other women but is very neurotic (no surprise there). He idolizes Humphrey Bogart who shows up from time to time to give him advice on dealing with woman. His best friends--couple Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts--try to help also. Naturally he ends up falling for Keaton.

Allen didn't direct this (Herbert Ross did) but he wrote it. So it sounds like a Woody Allen film but doesn't LOOK like an Allen film. For one thing it was shot in San Francisco--not New York! It's also somewhat dated in 1970s dialogue and fashion. There's also a running joke involving Roberts and telephones that doesn't work today. Still this is a very good film.

It is an affectionate take-off on "Casablanca" and other old films also. Allen is playing has patented neurotic character but I've always found him funny and his disastrous dates are just great. Also him, Keaton and Roberts always worked well together and it makes their relationship seem very believable. And Jerry Lacy is VERY funny playing Bogart and giving Allen advice.

If you don't like Woody Allen movies this probably won't change your mind. But I found it fast, funny and very entertaining. And the dated 70s touches were actually quite funny. I give this a 8.
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I think the Pepto Bismol helped
Chrysanthepop9 April 2012
'Play it Again, Sam' is Woody Allen's tribute to 'Casablanca'. It's been ages since I've seen 'Casablanca' and it didn't appeal to me as much. It may be advisable to watch it before seeing Allen's film, mainly due to the frequent references and the story itself is a homage. Obviously the director's a big fan of Humphrey Bogart and perhaps he sees a lot of himself in the moviestar.

The whimsical narrative structure follows Allen's usual style. The characters have also been witnessed in Allen's other films. Allen himself plays his signature neurotic persona rambling on about psychosexual stuff. Tony Roberts does a fine job as Linda's fiancé who's usually absent when Linda needs him. Diane Keaton is outstanding. She looks stunning and her performance is excellently natural. Jerry Lacy does a good job of mimicking Bogart. In addition, I liked the soundtrack and enjoyed the playful cinematography.

This film is classic Allen, a delight to watch. Even though I didn't like 'Casablanca' when I last saw it, 'Play It Again, Sam' makes me want to give it another chance. Perhaps I should.
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