IMDb > Zelig (1983)
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Zelig (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 37% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Woody Allen (written by)
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Release Date:
15 July 1983 (USA) See more »
"Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations See more »
(91 articles)
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Oldest Oscar Winner - and First Consecutive Winner - Dead at 104
 (From Alt Film Guide. 30 December 2014, 2:15 AM, PST)

31 Great '80s Movies on Netflix Streaming
 (From Moviefone. 22 December 2014, 4:00 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Terrific concept, great effects, lackluster final product. See more (100 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Woody Allen ... Leonard Zelig

Mia Farrow ... Dr. Eudora Nesbitt Fletcher
Patrick Horgan ... The Narrator (voice)
John Buckwalter ... Dr. Sindell
Marvin Chatinover ... Glandular Diagnosis Doctor
Stanley Swerdlow ... Mexican Food Doctor
Paul Nevens ... Dr. Birsky
Howard Erskine ... Hypodermic Doctor
George Hamlin ... Experimental Drugs Doctor
Ralph Bell ... Other Doctor
Richard Whiting ... Other Doctor
Will Hussung ... Other Doctor (as Will Hussong)
Robert Iglesia ... Man in Barber Chair
Eli Resnick ... Man in Park
Edward McPhillips ... Scotsman
Gale Hansen ... Freshman #1

Michael Jeter ... Freshman #2 (as Michael Jeeter)

Peter McRobbie ... Workers Rally Speaker
Sol Lomita ... Martin Geist
Mary Louise Wilson ... Sister Ruth

Alice Beardsley ... Telephone Operator
Paula Trueman ... Woman on Telephone
Ed Lane ... Man on Telephone

Marianne Tatum ... Actress Fletcher
Charles Denny ... Actor Doctor (as Charles Denney)
Michael Kell ... Actor Koslow

Garrett M. Brown ... Actor Zelig (as Garrett Brown)
Sharon Ferrol-Young ... Miss Baker (as Sharon Ferrol)
Richard Litt ... Charles Koslow
Dimitri Vassilopoulos ... Martinez

John Rothman ... Paul Deghuee
Stephanie Farrow ... Meryl Fletcher
Francis Beggins ... City Hall Speaker
Jean Trowbridge ... Dr. Fletcher's Mother
Ken Chapin ... On-Camera Interviewer
Gerald Klein ... Hearst Guest
Vincent Jerman-Jerosa ... Hearst Guest (as Vincent Jerosa)

Deborah Rush ... Lita Fox
Stanley Simmonds ... Lita's Lawyer
Robert Berger ... Zelig's Lawyer

Jeanine Jackson ... Helen Gray
Erma Campbell ... Zelig's Wife
Anton Marco ... Wrist Victim
Louise Deitch ... House-Painting Victim
Bernice Dowis ... Vilification Woman
John Doumanian ... Greek Waiter
Willy Holt ... Rally Chancellor
Bernie Herold ... Carter Dean
Susan Sontag ... Susan Sontag - Contemporary Interviews
Irving Howe ... Irving Howe - Contemporary Interviews
Saul Bellow ... Saul Bellow - Contemporary Interviews
Bricktop ... Bricktop - Contemporary Interviews
Bruno Bettelheim ... Bruno Bettelheim - Contemporary Interviews (as Dr. Bruno Bettelheim)
John Morton Blum ... John Morton Blum - Contemporary Interviews (as Professor John Morton Blum)
Marshall Cole Sr. ... Calvin Turner - Contemporary Interviews
Ellen Garrison ... Older Dr. Fletcher - Contemporary Interviews
Jack Cannon ... Mike Geibell - Contemporary Interviews
Theodore R. Smits ... Ted Bierbauer - Contemporary Interviews
Sherman Loud ... Older Paul Deghuee - Contemporary Interviews
Elizabeth Rothschild ... Older Sister Meryl Fletcher - Contemporary Interviews
Kuno Sponholz ... Oswald Pohl - Contemporary Interviews (as Kuno Spunholz)
Ed Herlihy ... Pathe News Announcer (voice)
Dwight Weist ... Hearst Metrotone Announcer (voice)
Gordon Gould ... Radio Announcer (voice)
Wendell Craig ... Universal Newsreel Announcer (voice) (as Windy Craig)
Jurgen Kuehn ... German U.F.A. Newsreel Announcer (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Max Amann ... Himself (with Hitler and Streicher) (archive footage) (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Arthur Anderson ... Other Doctor (uncredited)

Josephine Baker ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Michael Blevins ... Lizard Dancer (uncredited)

Fanny Brice ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Wilhelm Brückner ... Himself - Walking Behind Hitler (archive footage) (uncredited)

Al Capone ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Charles Chaplin ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Calvin Coolidge ... Himself - Pinning Medal (archive footage) (uncredited)

Marion Davies ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dolores del Rio ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sepp Dietrich ... Himself - with Hitler and Streicher (archive footage) (uncredited)

Joe DiMaggio ... Himself - Playing Baseball (archive footage) (uncredited)

Marie Dressler ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
F. Scott Fitzgerald ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lou Gehrig ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Joseph Goebbels ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Harold 'Red' Grange ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Hermann Göring ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
William Randolph Hearst ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Rudolf Hess ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Elizabeth Kaitan ... German Girl (uncredited)
Robert Ley ... Himself - with Goebbels (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles A. Lindbergh ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Carole Lombard ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Adolphe Menjou ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tom Mix ... Himself - At San Simeon (archive footage) (uncredited)
Franz Pfeffer von Salomon ... Himself with Hitler and Streicher (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mae Questel ... voice of Helen Kane (uncredited)
Billy Rose ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Babe Ruth ... Himself - Swinging Bat (archive footage) (uncredited)
Julius Schaub ... Himself - Walking Behind Hitler (archive footage) (uncredited)
Gregor Strasser ... Himself - with Back to Hitler (archive footage) (uncredited)
Julius Streicher ... Himself - with Hitler and Hess (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kim Johnston Ulrich ... Beauty Contestant (uncredited)
Franz von Epp ... Himself - with Goebbels and Ley (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jimmy Walker ... Himself - Mayor of New York (archive footage) (uncredited)

Claire Windsor ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Woody Allen 
Writing credits
Woody Allen (written by)

Produced by
Robert Greenhut .... producer
Charles H. Joffe .... executive producer
Michael Peyser .... associate producer
Jack Rollins .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dick Hyman (music composed by)
Cinematography by
Gordon Willis 
Film Editing by
Susan E. Morse 
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Mel Bourne 
Art Direction by
Speed Hopkins 
Set Decoration by
Leslie Bloom  (as Les Bloom)
Janet Rosenbloom 
Costume Design by
Santo Loquasto 
Makeup Department
Fern Buchner .... makeup designer
John Caglione Jr. .... special makeup (as John Caglione)
Romaine Greene .... hair designer
Werner Sherer .... hair stylist (as Werner Scherer)
Production Management
Michael Peyser .... production manager
Ezra Swerdlow .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frederic B. Blankfein .... first assistant director
Jim Chory .... additional second assistant director
Jim Chory .... dga trainee
Tony Gittelson .... second assistant director (as Anthony Gittleson)
Thomas A. Reilly .... additional first assistant director (as Thomas Reilly)
Duncan Scott .... additional second assistant director
Art Department
Joseph Badalucco Jr. .... chief set dresser
Joan Lopate .... art department coordinator
James Mazzola .... property master
Michael Molly .... associate art director
Arne Olsen .... construction grip
Cosmo Sorice .... stand-by scenic artist
James Sorice .... master scenic artist
Kenneth Vogt .... property man
Anthony Zappia .... shop craftsman (as Tony Zappia)
Susan Kaufman .... assistant to designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Debra Bard .... assistant sound editor
Randall Coleman .... assistant sound editor
Marjorie Deutsch .... sound editor
Rick Dior .... re-recording mixer: Trans/Audio Inc. (as Richard Dior)
Frank Graziadei .... sound recordist
Harry Peck Bolles .... assistant sound editor (as Harry Boles)
Suzanne Pillsbury .... assistant sound editor
Janet Lund Robbins .... apprentice sound editor (as Janet Lund)
Gina Roose .... assistant sound editor
Fred Rosenberg .... assistant sound editor
James Sabat .... production sound mixer
Louis Sabat .... boom man
Dan Sable .... supervising sound editor
Lynn Sable .... apprentice sound editor
Jeffrey Stern .... assistant sound editor
Roy B. Yokelson .... period sound recreator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
David J. Schweitzer .... special effects consultant (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Bill Hansard .... rear process photography
Joel Hynek .... optical effects: R/Greenberg Associates (as Joel Hyneck)
Steven Plastrik .... stills animation: Computer Opticals, Inc.
Stuart Robertson .... optical effects: R/Greenberg Associates
Karen Siegel Engel .... newsreel artcards: Computer Opticals, Inc.
Stuart Robertson .... visual effects co-supervisor (uncredited)
Pam Barber .... stunt double: Fletcher
Cole Palen .... stunt double: Zelig
Camera and Electrical Department
Ronald Burke .... set grip
Robert Connors .... best boy (as Bob Conners)
Brian Hamill .... unit photographer
Douglas C. Hart .... assistant cameraman
Kerry Hayes .... still photographer
Kerry Hayes .... unit photographer
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
Robert Paone .... second assistant cameraman (as Bob Paone)
Ray Quinlan .... gaffer
Robert Ward .... key grip (as Bob Ward)
Douglas Pellegrino .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Paula Herold .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lyn Carroll .... costume assistant
Bill Christians .... wardrobe supervisor: men
Lancey Saunders Clough .... wardrobe supervisor: women
Richard Hornung .... costume assistant
Jeffrey Kurland .... associate costume designer
Tom McKinley .... costume assistant
Mark Burchard .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Pamela Scott Arnold .... assistant editor: stills and duping coordinator (as Pamela S. Arnold)
John Guidone .... negative cutter: J.G. Films
Eugenia Morrison .... negative cutter: J.G. Films
Richard Nord .... assistant editor: optical and sound coordinator
Christine P. Williams .... assistant editor: stock footage coordinator
Kris Cole .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Dick Hyman .... music adapted by
Roy B. Yokelson .... music recording engineer
Vince Giordano .... musician (uncredited)
Walt Levinsky .... music recording supervisor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
James Fanning .... transportation captain
Patrick Hogan .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Ken Bernstein .... production assistant
Timothy M. Bourne .... location coordinator (as Timothy Marshall Bourne)
Dell Byrne .... stock researcher
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
Danny Daniels .... choreographer
James A. Davis .... production assistant
Karen Dean .... photo researcher
Don Donigi .... film laboratory supervisor: Du Art Film Laboratories Inc.
David Epstein .... assistant location auditor
Jeff Goodman .... stock researcher
James Greenhut .... studio manager
Joseph Hartwick .... location auditor
Cheryl Hill .... location scout
Charles Kaufman .... production assistant
Judith Lamb .... photo researcher
Mary Lance .... stock researcher
Peter Lombardi .... assistant location auditor
Kati Meister .... stock researcher (as Katie Meister)
Philip Moore .... retouching strip printer
Charles Musser .... stock researcher (as Charlie Musser)
Carol Nast .... location scout
Gloria Norris .... assistant: Mr. Allen
Joseph Pierson .... production assistant
Helen Robin .... production coordinator
Susan Rollins .... location scout
Ken Rothstein .... location scout
Gail Sicilia .... creative coordinator
Gail Sicilia .... unit publicist
Todd Thaler .... assistant production coordinator (as Todd Michael Thaler)
Carl Turnquest Jr. .... projectionist (as Carl Turnquest)
Dennis Kear .... stand-in: Woody Allen (uncredited)
John E. Allen .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Harold Axe .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance (as Harold Axe M.D.)
Nancy Casey .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Bernard Chertok .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
William K. Everson .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance (as William Everson)
Ralph Friedman .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Rich Herzog .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Dan Jones .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Paul Killiam .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Laura Kreiss .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Adele Lerner .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Walt Levinsky .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance (as Walter Levinsky)
Joe Mallon .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Bill Murphy .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Ken Murray .... special thanks: "Golden Days of San Simeon" footage now appearing at the Hearst Castle in California
Robert Paquette .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Richard Plagge .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Harold Potter .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
John Rogers .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Andrea Sheen .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Bob Summers .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Ted Troll .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Irwin Young .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The twelfth feature film directed by Woody Allen.See more »
Factual errors: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Lost Embrace (2004)See more »
Anchors AweighSee more »


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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Terrific concept, great effects, lackluster final product., 4 June 2004
Author: Movie-Man-Bob from Los Angeles, CA

This movie looks and feels just like a real documentary. Real 1920's newsreel footage (into which Woody Allen has been seamlessly inserted) is impossible to tell from the faux-footage Mr. Allen filmed himself. Scenes from the fake 1935 movie telling the Leonard Zelig story, which are shown periodically throughout the film, not only look like a film of that era, but are written and acted as such as well. And interviews with real experts, on the fictional character of Zelig, complete the effect quite nicely. There can be no doubt that this movie looks terrific. But the problem lies in the content.

Leonard Zelig, the human chameleon, is a fascinating character. But someone besides Woody Allen should have played him. Mr. Allen is (or can be) a brilliant writer/director, but his range as an actor is limited. And so, though we see plenty of brilliantly done, authentic-looking footage, photos, etc. of Leonard Zelig blending in with his surroundings, we hardly ever see him interact in those surroundings. The pictures and clips of Woody Allen as a rabbi, a fat person, a Nazi, etc. are amusing, but they are not substantial. We are told that he is able, not only to look like those around him, but to converse like them to. But the only time we see him do this is when he's playing a psychiatrist: no stretch for Mr. Allen, who discusses psychoanalysis in many of his films (though usually from the recipient's point-of-view). And so the only time we actually hear from Zelig is when Dr. Eudora Fletcher puts him into a trance, at which time he has no personality of his own. It's a shame; he's such a fascinating character, but the only way we really know he's a fascinating character is because we are told so by others. In lieu of scenes that help us get to know the characters personally, we are given narration and talking heads. This is not the way to make any film, not even a documentary.

When it comes to Woody Allen mockumentaries, I much prefer Take the Money and Run. It's not as researched and authentic-looking as Zelig, but it's far funnier, and far more engaging.

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