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Annie Hall (1977)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  20 April 1977 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 140,146 users  
Reviews: 409 user | 133 critic

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.

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Title: Annie Hall (1977)

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Top 250 #164 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rob
...
...
...
Pam
...
...
Mom Hall
...
Duane Hall (as Christopher Wlaken)
Donald Symington ...
Dad Hall
Helen Ludlam ...
Grammy Hall
Mordecai Lawner ...
Alvy's Dad
Joan Neuman ...
Alvy's Mom (as Joan Newman)
Jonathan Munk ...
Ruth Volner ...
Alvy's Aunt
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Storyline

Romantic adventures of neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer and his equally neurotic girlfriend Annie Hall. The film traces the course of their relationship from their first meeting, and serves as an interesting historical document about love in the 1970s. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

comedian | singer | love | 1970s | death wish | See more »

Taglines:

A nervous romance.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anhedonia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$39,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Alvy and Annie are making up stories about people in the park is reminiscent of the Paul Simon song "America". "Laughing on the bus/Playing games with the faces/She said the man in the gabardine suite was a spy/I said his bow tie is really a camera". Paul Simon plays Tony Lacey in the film. See more »

Goofs

During the Lobster scene in the beach house, the refrigerator is placed so close to the oven that it would be impossible to open the oven door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alvy Singer: [addressing the camera] There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. The... the other important joke, for me, is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Christopher Walken's name is misspelled in the credits as "Christopher Wlaken". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Holidays of Future Passed (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No.41 in C Major K.551, Molto Allegro
(1788) (uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"That was the most fun I've ever had without laughing"
7 June 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) is something of a hopeless romantic. A cynical, death-obsessed New York Jewish comedian, Singer has never been able to maintain a steady relationship with a woman. He has been married twice, and divorced twice. He broke up with one woman because of their disagreements over the "second shooter" conspiracy of John F. Kennedy's assassination, or perhaps that was just his excuse. To paraphrase Freud, possibly Groucho Marx, he simply "would never want to belong to any club that would accept someone like him for a member." He doesn't drive because he is paranoid about driving; he has been seeing a psychiatrist for the past fifteen years, though these appointments were long ago reduced to simple "whining" sessions. There is an inherent uncertainty in everything that Singer says – as though he really knows what he's talking about, but he can't convince himself that he's got it right.

When he accompanies a friend (Tony Roberts) to a tennis game, Singer's first and foremost concern is that the club will deny him entry because he's a Jew. However, that fateful game serves forth something so much more significant and life-changing – he comes to meet the ditsy and exuberant Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Despite clearly having very little in common, something clicks between the two eligibles, and they embark on a tumultuous years-long relationship that will inevitably fail to materialise into anything further. Erupting with clever dialogue and witty cultural references, 'Annie Hall's' script is one of the best you'll ever see. Not only is the conversation entertaining to listen to, but – even with all the talking to the camera and interacting with random extras – it actually manages to seem startlingly realistic. This is no small thanks, of course, to the main actors, who embody their characters so perfectly that we're unsure if they are acting or merely playing themselves.

Though he had previously released a few well-received, light-hearted affairs, it was 'Annie Hall' that blasted writer/actor/director Woody Allen into the realms of super-stardom. In an uncharacteristic move for the Academy, Allen's film won four 1978 Oscars, including Best Actress (Keaton), Best Original Screenplay (Allen, Marshall Brickman), Best Director (Allen) and Best Picture – not undeservedly, though millions of 'Star Wars' fans would, I'm sure, disagree. Having revisited 'Annie Hall' for the first time in a year, having since enjoyed many of Allen's other films, I am genuinely amazed at his transition from silly comedian to insightful observer on human relationships. Of course, a noticeable evolution in his film-making style is evident in both the science-fiction 'Sleeper (1973)' and the Russian historical spoof 'Love and Death (1975),' but neither boasts the the intelligence nor the sophistication of this film, which wholly discards the Chaplin-like slapstick of Allen's previous films and adopts the Tracy-Hepburn screwball comedy of a decade later.

Originally slated – and filmed, in fact – as a New York murder mystery with a romantic sub-plot, 'Annie Hall' was taken by editor Ralph Rosenbaum and cut down (massacred, if you will) into the modern, witty 1970s screwball comedy that we still enjoy today. It is truly amazing that such an extensive post-production reshaping had no obvious ill effects upon the general flow of the film, though the structure in itself is so hectic that we probably wouldn't notice it, anyway: Allen frequently cuts forwards and backwards in time, his modern characters are able to revisit and discuss the past, characters in split screens interact, Allen regularly breaks the "fourth wall" and addresses the audience directly. Some of the discarded murder mystery elements from 'Annie Hall' were later incorporated into another Allen film, 'Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993),' which also co-starred Keaton.

Aside from Allen and Keaton, numerous smaller roles provide a crucial framework for the overall structure of the film. Tony Roberts is Rob, Singer's old friend and confidant. Paul Simon (of Simon and Garfunkel) plays a record producer who takes a keen interest in both Annie and her singing. Shelley Duvall is a reporter for 'The Rolling Stone' magazine, and a one-time girlfriend of Singer. There are also tiny early roles for Christopher Walken (as Annie's somewhat disturbed brother), Jeff Goldblum (who speaks one memorable line at a party – "Hello? I forgot my mantra") and Sigourney Weaver (who can be briefly glimpsed as Singer's date outside a theatre). Two slightly more unusual cameos come from Truman Capote (as a Truman Capote-lookalike, no less) and scholar Marshall McLuhan (whom Singer suddenly procures from behind a movie poster to declare to a talkative film-goer that "you know nothing of my work!").

Easily the most innovative and energetic of the films I've so far seen from Woody Allen, 'Annie Hall' is a spirited glimpse at the incompatibility of human beings, and a cynical yet bittersweet meditation on the falsity of the perfect romantic Hollywood ending. It is also a considerable comedic achievement, and Allen would repeatedly recycle his trademark neurotic New Yorker screen persona, most notably in 'Manhattan (1979),' but never with more success than this premium outing in excellence. The engagingly-convoluted storyline moves with such briskness that you don't realise just how very little happens, and that, by the film's end, our characters are exactly where they were at the beginning. Nevertheless, Allen manages to say something significant about human relationships – they're totally irrational, crazy and absurd, but we keep attempting them because of what they give us in return. Or, at least, what we think they give us.


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Horribly dated, or perhaps something else damiano-1
Most overrated film?? cocobug1
Favorite or Funniest Scene lewis-51
New Yorkers take themselves way too seriously brentnevers
Most Overrated Movie of the last 40 years. uscdude
Why did Alvy eat ham and lobster if he was Jewish? burtsbeesfan
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