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Manhattan (1979)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  25 April 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 98,082 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 233 user | 124 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

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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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 21 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
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep; and one Oscar nominee: Mariel Hemingway. See more »


When Isaac asks Tracy how old he will be when she is thirty-six, she says "sixty-three," and he agrees. Earlier Isaac says that she is seventeen and he is forty-two, which means he is 25 years older than her, and would therefore be sixty-one, not sixty-three. 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 »


Referenced in 50 Films to See Before You Die (2006) See more »


Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550: First Movement (Molto allegro)
(1788) (uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Excerpt played at a concert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Neurotic in NYC
4 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Woody Allen has been churning out mediocre films for so long now that it's easy to forget how good some of his older films were. "Manhattan" is the product of Allen's "mature" 1970s phase, the phase that also produced "Annie Hall" and "Interiors," and it's a wonderful film. It's not the plot that makes it singular -- it's typical upper-crust New York Allen, full of neurotic people in therapy cheating on one another and making mistake after mistake in their pursuit of what they think will make them happy. No, what makes "Manhattan" so effective is its style. Filmed in black and white (because, as Allen's character says in an opening voice over, New York is a city that has always and will always exist in black and white), the film is a love letter to NYC, and it suggests that the neuroses that fill its denizens are as much a part of the city's character as its architecture, culture and diversity. I would instantly be annoyed by the people that populate Allen's films if I met them in any other context. As it is, I can't imagine any Allen film (at least not one set in New York) without them.

Grade: A

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