Zelig (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  15 July 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 29,839 users  
Reviews: 102 user | 53 critic

"Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Horgan ...
The Narrator (voice)
John Buckwalter ...
Marvin Chatinover ...
Stanley Swerdlow ...
Paul Nevens ...
Howard Erskine ...
George Hamlin ...
Ralph Bell ...
Richard Whiting ...
Will Hussung ...
Other Doctor (as Will Hussong)
Robert Iglesia ...
Eli Resnick ...
Edward McPhillips ...


Fictional documentary about the life of human chameleon Leonard Zelig, a man who becomes a celebrity in the 1920s due to his ability to look and act like whoever is around him. Clever editing places Zelig in real newsreel footage of Woodrow Wilson, Babe Ruth, and others. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 July 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Identity Crisis and Its Relationship to Personality Disorder  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The twelfth feature film directed by Woody Allen. See more »


A presidential pardon would not clear Zelig of the state-level crimes of which he was convicted. See more »


House-Painting Victim: He painted my house a disgusting color. He said he was a painter. I couldn't believe the results. Then he disappeared.
See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Manhattan Vigil (2012) See more »


The Changing Man Concerto
Composed by Dick Hyman
See more »

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User Reviews

Woody Allen Does the Chameleon
25 April 2003 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

"Zelig" is a very clever movie, the kind you just know Woody Allen is capable of. In this "mockumentary," Woody plays Leonard Zelig, an insecure man who goes to the ultimate length to fit in. Mia Farrow offers the love interest as Dr. Eudora Fletcher. In "Zelig," we get to see Woody spliced into old footage, including the Nazi rally. This came before the effect became used more often, in movies like "Forrest Gump." I see this as a transition in Woody's movies. It comes somewhere between his early funnier movies, like "Bananas" and "Take the Money and Run," and his later, more introspective ones, like "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Husbands and Wives." It makes a statement about individuality, and produces laughs in the process.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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