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Manhattan (1979)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  25 April 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 98,207 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The actual age difference between Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway is 26 years (almost the same as the characters they play in the movie, which is 25 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 »


Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »


Oh, Lady Be Good
Music by George Gershwin
Performed by New York Philharmonic (as The New York Philharmonic)
Music director: Zubin Mehta
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

For anyone who's been in love, or anyone who loves New York.
3 January 1999 | by (Little Italy) – See all my reviews

No-one can question Woody Allen's status as one of America's premier film directors, and anyone well-versed with his works should not hesitate before nominating 'Manhattan' as his finest film. This movie is a masterpiece; visually and intellectually, it shows Woody Allen at the absolute peak of his art. Shot in a stylistic black and white widescreen format, the cinematography of 'Manhattan' is breathtaking, and Allen's dialogue and command of situation are even better than usual, if that is possible. The heartfelt angst and bittersweet hopelessness of the characters are uncamouflaged even by the sleek cinematographic style of the movie. This movie is Woody Allen's valentine to the city he has such a symbiotic relationship with, and nowhere have I seen New York filmed as artistically as here. Mariel Hemmingway and Diane Keaton give inspired performances around Woody's perfectly played character resulting in what can only be considered a modern masterpiece.

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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
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He shouldn't have accepted that harmonica. DinahtheCat
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