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Zelig (1983)

 -  Comedy  -  15 July 1983 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 26,879 users  
Reviews: 100 user | 54 critic

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

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Title: Zelig (1983)

Zelig (1983) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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 ...
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 July 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Identity Crisis and Its Relationship to Personality Disorder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$11,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Around the time the movie was made and released, lead actors Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were in a personal relationship, which had started around 1980. See more »

Goofs

The speaking person in his 60s in one of the modern interviews in the film is subtitled as "Former SS-Obergruppenführer Oswald Pohl". If the interviews were conducted in the early 1980s, the person is evidently too young; the real Pohl was born in June 1892, so he would have been in his late 80s/early 90s at the time - of course if he had not been hanged for war crimes in 1951. See more »

Quotes

Bruno Bettelheim: The question of whether Zelig was a psychotic or merely neurotic was a question that was endlessly discussed among his doctors. Now I myself felt his feelings were really not all that different from the normal, what one would call the well-adjusted, normal person, only carried to an extreme degree, to an extreme extent. I myself felt that one could really think of him as the ultimate conformist.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bending All the Rules (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Get By
(1928)
Music by Fred E. Ahlert
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Performed by The Ben Bernie Orchestra
Courtesy of MCA Records
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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