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Zelig (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Woody Allen (written by)
View company contact information for Zelig on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 August 1983 (Argentina) 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 »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Delightful Story In An Engaging Format See more (108 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)

James Cagney ... Himself (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)

Jon Hayden ... Reporter (uncredited)
William Randolph Hearst ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Rudolf Hess ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bobby Jones ... 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)

Bubba Dean Rambo ... Charleston Dancer (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)
Location Management
Timothy M. Bourne .... location coordinator (as Timothy Marshall Bourne)
Cheryl Hill .... location scout
Carol Nast .... location scout
Susan Rollins .... location scout
Ken Rothstein .... location scout
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
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
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)
Gloria Norris .... assistant: Mr. Allen
Joseph Pierson .... production assistant
Helen Robin .... production coordinator
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 Edward Allen .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank for their assistance (as John E. Allen)
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?

Star Billing: Woody Allen was top first billed whilst Mia Farrow received second billing. This is the only ever Allen - Farrow film where the pair have sole name-above-the-title shared billing in the vein of the earlier famous Allen - Keaton star-teamings. All the other Allen - Farrow films had at least three names or ensemble billing, or Allen did not appear being a writer-director only having no actor-star billing.See more »
Revealing mistakes: At one point, the narrator mentions that there is a photo of Leonard Zelig as Pagliacci. "Pagliacci" is the Italian plural for "clowns". The correct way to say it would be " a photo of Leonard Zelig as Pagliaccio", or "a photo of Leonard Zelig as Canio (the leading male character, who plays Pagliaccio in a play-within-the-play in the opera "Pagliacci".).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 »
Movie Connections:
Reptile EyesSee more »


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50 out of 58 people found the following review useful.
A Delightful Story In An Engaging Format, 27 March 2005
Author: Salon_Kitty from State College, PA

Was this the first "mockumentary"? I checked out IMDb and it predates Guest, Reiner and co.'s This Is Spinal Tap by a year. Not only was it a fake documentary, it sustained the format throughout, never once breaking into an enacted scene. Allen told his story, set in his favorite time period, The Roaring 20's, using special lenses to create the old style newsreels. Using photo stills, mixing real footage with his, and providing exposition via modern-day "historians" and aged characters, he gave this innovative film such an authenticity that if one didn't know any better, you would swear there had been an actual Leonard Zelig.

Allen plays Leonard, a man so devoid of identity, so eager to assimilate, that he literally takes on the appearance or, at least, the attributes of anyone he comes in contact with. Mia Farrow plays his psychiatrist, Dr. Eudora Fletcher, and taken in smaller doses, she actually is perfect in this role. There are a few moments when you get to see an extended dialogue between the two, most notably when her brother is filming "The White Room" sessions at her country estate. This is the only time that Allen's shtick gets to flex, as he cracks jokes about teaching a Masturbation class. Advanced. I also loved Zelig groaning about Eudora's terrible cooking under hypnosis. Eventually, Dr. Fletcher is able to cure him, and with his newfound personality, he and Eudora fall in love.

Allen also introduces the idea of Zelig's story being filmed as a movie, so he inter cuts some of the news sources with scenes from the film (very funny). The one thing that really stood out for me, though, was this revelation towards the end of the film. Woody as Leonard Zelig was smiling. A lot. It was kind of weird to see, but his happiness actually imbued the film with positive emotion and charmed the pants off me (not literally, of course) to such a degree that I will undoubtedly be repeating my viewing pleasure many more times.

I'll be honest. There were moments early on that I perhaps wondered if he was going to be able to sustain my interest. I thought he might be playing this conceit a little too long. What had, in the first 20 minutes, been enchanting and amusing seemed to dwindle in the middle of the film. Would he really succeed at telling an engaging story in this method? Well, I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. He layers so many meanings into his character's transformations, and all of his historians offer different interpretations. The importance of being yourself. How Zelig's journey was America's journey during the tumultuous and wild 20's. He also has a great running gag about Moby Dick that lampoons the Great American Novel.

Will Allen ever be this innovative and original again? Well, it appears he's making an attempt with his newest film, Melinda and Melinda, in which he tells the same story twice, with one tone being humorous, while the other is tragic. If nothing else, he at least continues to strive for an authentic voice in this littered landscape of movie franchises and ridiculously insulting comedies. Go Woody.

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