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Manhattan (1979)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  25 April 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 96,990 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 232 user | 123 critic | 9 from

The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.


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Title: Manhattan (1979)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily (as Anne Byrne)
Michael O'Donoghue ...
Victor Truro ...
Party Guest
Party Guest
Helen Hanft ...
Party Guest
Bella Abzug ...
Guest of Honor
Gary Weis ...
Television Director
Kenny Vance ...
Television Producer
Charles Levin ...
Television Actor #1


Forty-two year old Isaac Davis has a romanticized view of his hometown, New York City, most specifically Manhattan, as channeled through the lead character in the first book he is writing, despite his own Manhattan-based life being more of a tragicomedy. He has just quit his job as a hack writer for a bad television comedy, he, beyond the ten second rush of endorphins during the actual act of quitting, now regretting the decision, especially as he isn't sure he can live off his book writing career. He is paying two alimonies, his second ex-wife, Jill Davis, a lesbian, who is writing her own tell-all book of their acrimonious split. The one somewhat positive aspect of his life is that he is dating a young woman named Tracy, although she is only seventeen and still in high school. Largely because of their differences a big part of which is due to their ages, he does not see a long term future with her. His life has the potential to be even more tragicomical when he meets journalist Mary... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

book | writing | love | writer | dating | See All (103) »


Woody Allen's New Comedy Hit


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Manhetenas  »

Box Office


$45,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The age difference between twice-divorced forty-two year-old comedy writer Isaac (Woody Allen) and seventeen year-old high-school student Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) was twenty-five years. See more »


In the first scene at Elaine's, as Isaac is beginning to say something, someone (presumably a customer of the restaurant, as it was running while they were shooting) walks in front of the camera. Isaac laughs, and quickly recovers with an impromptu remark about how his girlfriend has to go and do homework. See more »


[first lines]
[music: the opening of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Voiceover]
Isaac Davis: Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Uh, no, let me start this over.
Isaac Davis: Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, save the production company bumper and the film's title, which appears as part of a flashing neon sign in New York City. See more »


Embraceable You
Music by George Gershwin
Performed by the New York Philharmonic (as The New York Philharmonic)
Music director: Zubin Mehta
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Talky and Tedious
11 December 2004 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

You really have to be a Woody Allen fan to appreciate this '79 film that explores contemporary personal relationships in the Big Apple. The film's script is so huge as to approach infinity. Allen drones on and on and on and on about nothing in particular. Occasionally, the script conveys some tepid humor, but mostly it is just tedious.

Ostensibly, "Manhattan" is a tribute to NYC. But, since the film was written and directed by Woody Allen, and since the plot revolves around Allen's character, my impression is that the film was meant more as Woody Allen's tribute to himself.

In a major support role, Diane Keaton is good. And, at times, the B&W photography is engaging. However, more often than not, especially in interior shots, the camera just sits there, while actors parade in front of it. The Gershwin music was nice, but I could have wished for more of it, to help pass the time while watching a diffident Allen mouth his nearly limitless lines.

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What's in the content of 'Manhattan' to make it an R rated movie? calcaylor
why did it shot in Black + white ? noom98
Favourite line... history_beckons
New York Movie Recommendations jontolas317
What’s the best version of Rhapsody in Blue available on CD? harryknuckles
He shouldn't have accepted that harmonica. DinahtheCat
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