Edit
Manhattan (1979) Poster

(1979)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (6)
Woody Allen disliked his work in this film so much he offered to direct another film for United Artists for free if they kept Manhattan (1979) on the shelf for good. Allan later reportedly said: "I just thought to myself, 'At this point in my life, if this is the best I can do, they shouldn't give me money to make movies'."
Apparently, there exists a clause in the studio's contract for the film that mandates that the movie must always be shown in letterbox format in any home video release and/or TV/cable broadcast.
Apparently, after the success of Annie Hall (1977), which had been Woody Allen's big recent success made directly before his previous film Interiors (1978), United Artists executives told Allen's producers, Charles H. Joffe and Jack Rollins, to give Allen a message. That was: "From now on, make whatever you want".
First film in black-and-white directed by Woody Allen.
This is one of the very few Woody Allen films to not have opening credits.
The film features the music of George Gershwin including his famous piece, 'Rhapsody in Blue', which has been said to have inspired the movie. In a discussion with 'Silvio Bizio', Woody Allen said that the picture "evolved from the music. I was listening to a record album of overtures from famous George Gershwin shows, and I thought 'This would be a beautiful thing to make a movie in black-and-white, you know, and make a romantic movie".
Woody Allen has said of this film: "I presented a view of the city as I'd like it to be and as it can be today, if you take the trouble to walk on the right streets".
While this is Woody Allen's least favorite of the movies he has directed, this was the most commercially successful film of his career. He said years later that he was still in disbelief that he "got away with it".
While talking to Mary in the museum, Isaac (Woody Allen) says that the brain is the most overrated body part. While in Allen's film Sleeper (1973), his character Miles Monroe says that it's his second favorite body part.
Meryl Streep shot her scenes for this movie during breaks in filming on Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Famous Manhattan cultural landmarks and significant locations seen in the movie include Central Park, the Queensboro Bridge, Bloomingdales, Broadway, Madison Avenue, Greenwich Village, Zabar's, Riverview Terrace, Fifth Avenue, the Russian Tea Room, the Hayden Planetarium, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Staten Island Ferry, Sutton Square, Park Avenue, the Temple of Dendur, Elaine's Restaurant, the East Side and the Upper East Side, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to Jeff Stafford at the TCMDb, "When Manhattan (1979) was first released, there was some criticism leveled at the film for its depiction of a romance between a teenager and a 42-year-old man but several biographical sources have suggested that the relationship had a real-life parallel in Woody Allen's two-year romance with actress Stacey Nelkin (Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), 1983). Reportedly, Allen met Nelkin on the set of Annie Hall (1977) (1977) when she was a mere 17-year-old extra (Her small part ended up on the cutting room floor). Certain aspects of the Isaac-Tracy relationship may also have been inspired by Allen's real-life correspondence with 13-year-old pen pal, Nancy Jo Sales".
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture's cinematographer Gordon Willis once said that this film was his favorite of all the movies he had shot.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Woody Allen plays a TV writer in this movie. In real life, Allen was a television comedy writer during the 1950s.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
All music on the movie's soundtrack were pieces of music from composer George Gershwin. The compositions were performed for the film by two orchestras, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the "Every Woody Allen Movie" website, "Isaac's full list of things that make life worth living [were]: Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony, Louis Armstrong's Potato Head Blues, Swedish movies, Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, those incredible Apples and Pears by 'Paul Cezanne', the crabs at Sam Wo's, [and] Tracy's face".
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to Wikipedia, "The famous bridge shot was done at five in the morning. The production had to bring their own bench, because there were no park benches at the location. The bridge had two sets of necklace lights on a timer controlled by the city. When the sun came up, the bridge lights went off. [Cinematographer Gordon] Willis made arrangements with the city to leave the lights on and that he would let them know when they got the shot. Afterwards, they could be turned off. As they started to shoot the scene, one string of bridge lights went out, and [Woody] Allen was forced to use that take".
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Mariel Hemingway was Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tracy in this movie but lost to Meryl Streep for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) who ironically also appeared in Manhattan (1979) as Isaac (Woody Allen)'s ex-wife Jill.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Stacey Nelkin, whom Woody Allen dated while she was at New York's Stuyvesant High School, was reportedly the inspiration for the character of Tracey.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When released on video, it was the first cassette to be encoded with the letterbox format.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of eight cinema movie collaborations of Woody Allen and actress Diane Keaton, Allen co-starring in six of them and directing seven of them.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the box office, the film was the sixth highest grossing film in the USA in 1979 and grossed more money than Woody Allen's Academy Award winning success Annie Hall (1977).
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In an interview with 'The Reeler', director of photography Gordon Willis said of this film: "After the completion of Annie Hall (1977) we simply proceeded to shoot Manhattan. Woody Allen felt New York should be in black-and-white... we both did. I pushed for anamorphic (widescreen) because I like the graphics.... thought it would be a very good combination for the picture........ Widescreen.... black-and-white. I think we talked about shooting it at lunch one day. We both like the same things..... it was an easy decision".
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Presentations of this film on television (broadcast, cable or home video) required preservation of the widescreen format. This presented a problem in the U.S. since certain F.C.C. technical regulations did not permit a portion of the screen to be left blank as in letterboxing. The problem was solved by making the area above and below the frame gray. The regulations have since been changed and letterboxing with black borders is now permitted.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2001.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of three 1979 movies starring actress Meryl Streep first released in that year. The pictures are Manhattan (1979), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of a number of pictures which were filmed in black-and-white by director Woody Allen during his immediate post-Annie Hall (1977) period between the late 1970s and early-mid 1980s. The films include Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories (1980), Zelig (1983) and Broadway Danny Rose (1984). Allen would then not make another b&w film for about another seven years, until Shadows and Fog (1991).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film's famous black-and-white movie poster featuring an image of a couple sitting on a park bench next to the Queensboro Bridge has becoming iconic in film history.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
First film shot using the widescreen (2.35:1) anamorphic Panavision process for a film directed by Woody Allen.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Woody Allen wanted Jodie Foster for the role of Tracy which in the end went to Mariel Hemingway.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Studio United Artists originally had concerns about letting Woody Allen make a black-and-white picture due to the form's lack of commercial potential but UA executives eventually relented and allowed Allen to make a B&W film.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film features in a cameo Tisa Farrow who is the sister of Mia Farrow who was notably Woody Allen's partner for over a decade and starred in thirteen of his movies. Mia Farrow's first collaboration with Allen was A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982). As such, Tisa Farrow appeared in a Woody Allen film before Mia did.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Manhattan (1979) (1979) was the third consecutive Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination in three consecutive years for Woody Allen but on this occasion shared with Marshall Brickman. The previous two Oscar noms were for Interiors (1978) (1978) and Annie Hall (1977) (1977), Allen winning only one of these, for the latter. For an Oscar, Allen would not be next nominated again for a script until Broadway Danny Rose (1984) in 1984. From there, he would be nominated for the next three films in three consecutive years amounting to four Oscar screenplay noms in a row.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of the book that Jill (Meryl Streep) wrote was "Marriage, Divorce and Selfhood".
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture is ranked at No. #4 on Rotten Tomatoes' "25 Best Romantic Comedies".
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture is ranked at the No. #46 rank on the AFI's "100 Years...100 Laughs" list.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Woody Allen has described the film as being a combination of his previous two films, Interiors (1978) and Annie Hall (1977).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the 'Virgin Film Guide', "The producers petitioned to change the 'R' rating to a 'PG' [for the USA] but were turned down, mostly because of the content concerning the older man [Isaac, Woody Allen] and the teenage girl [Tracy, Mariel Hemingway]".
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Woody Allen was top first billed, Diane Keaton was billed second, Michael Murphy was third billed, Mariel Hemingway was fourth billed, Meryl Streep was billed fifth and Anne Byrne Hoffman was sixth billed.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
First of two Woody Allen films with the word "Manhattan" in the title. The second would be Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) made and first released around fourteen years later in 1993.
2 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie is ranked at the No. #63 spot on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture is ranked at the No. #76 spot on movie magazine Empire's Poll of the 500 Greatest Movies ever made.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture is ranked at the No. #66 rank on the AFI's "100 Years...100 Passions" list.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The only Woody Allen - Diane Keaton film which is in black-and-white.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie inspired the song, "Remember Manhattan", released on Richard Marx's debut album.
1 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Manhattan and New York is known for its skyscrapers. The movie's "Manhattan" title logo formed such high-rise buildings out all of its letters fit with highlighted lit-up square windows.
1 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The ninth feature film directed by Woody Allen.
1 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
1 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Woody Allen and Marshall Brickmam), but failed to win either Oscar.
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
First of five movie collaborations that actor Wallace Shawn has made with Woody Allen. The films are Manhattan (1979), Radio Days (1987), Shadows and Fog (1991), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), and Melinda and Melinda (2004).
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Final major Woody Allen - Diane Keaton movie until Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) debuted around fourteen years later. In between, Keaton did a cameo in Allen's Radio Days (1987) around eight years after this film.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of the dog, a Dachshund, was "Waffles". According to website 'Wienerdogs', "In the movie..."Waffles" [is] a standard smooth Doxie belonging to Diane Keaton...Waffles is seen in the house, being held during a conversation, and taken for a walk during a date".
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
On the DVD, this film features the later United Artists logo in b&w but in Woody Allen's next film Stardust Memories (1980), also in b&w, the UA logo at the start of the movie is in color.
0 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Cameo 

Anne Byrne Hoffman:  The ex-wife of Dustin Hoffman as Emily.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Bella Abzug:  The US Congresswoman as herself, a guest of honor.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tisa FarrowMia Farrow's sister as a party guest.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Judith Crist:  The New York Magazine critic who also appears in Stardust Memories (1980) as a cabaret patron.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Karen Allen:  As a TV actress in a blonde wig billed as television actor #2.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
David Rasche:  As Television Actor #3.
0 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page