Danny Rose is a manager of artists, and although he's not very successful, he nevertheless goes out of his way to help his acts. So when Lou Canova, a singer who has a chance of making a come-back, asks Danny to help him with a problem, Danny helps him. This problem is Lou's mistress Tina. Lou wants Tina to be at his concerts, otherwise he can't perform, but he's married, so Danny has to take her along as if she was his girlfriend. Danny however gets more than he has bargained for when two mobsters come looking for the guy who has hurt their brother by stealing the heart of Tina, the girl he loves. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
When Danny arrives to pick up Tina, he tells her he is double-parked. When she then storms across the street with Danny following her, we see the car, and it is not double-parked; but shortly thereafter, when Danny makes a pay-phone call, the car can be seen double-parked in the background. See more »
Upon my initial viewing of "Broadway Danny Rose" ("BDR," as I will refer to it henceforth) when it opened in theaters back in 1984, I recall being somewhat disappointed at this seemingly frothy, light-weight film. Sometimes it takes additional viewings to truly appreciate the fine line between "light-weight" and "subtle." Coming off of the brilliant, sorely underappreciated "Zelig" -- and my first disappointing Allen film, "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" -- I approached BDR with high-hopes. I left the theater feeling let-down at it's slapstick approach, esp. after Allen's "new" direction towards "serious" cinema. (I'm a devotee of his "Annie Hall"/post-"Annie Hall" films, as opposed to his "earlier, funny films.") How wrong was I in thinking I had seen something frivolous and trivial!
The absolute beauty of BDR not only comes from (once again) Gordon Willis' inspired chiaroscuro use of black & white photography and framing, Allen's hand-picked jazz score, succinct editing and crafty art direction, but mostly from its marvelous cast of actors -- most esp. Mia Farrow's astounding, beautifully wrought and precise performance. Upon subsequent viewings, her character's soul literally exudes through the epidermis! On top of that, the so-called "slapstick," which initially I viewed askance, turned-out to be far subtler than its initial impact. The right-on performances by BDR's numerous sub-characters also proved to be far more meaningful and poignant then initially viewed.
And, that ending.... What an ending! It has got to be one of the most heartbreaking and romantic finale's in screen history! (I say this with no hyperbole.) I have seen BDR more than two-dozen times, and it has never failed to bring me to tears (as did "Annie Hall," "Manhattan" and, his subsequent, "Hannah and Her Sisters"). The start of the scene (with Farrow's character confronting a heartbroken Allen) is pure beauty and poetry. The finale of Allen running after Farrow through the wet and rough-n-tumble streets of New York, and his (inaudible) "forgiveness" in front of the delicatessen, is nothing less than magical!
In sum, sometimes it takes a different "perspective" in looking at a piece of art to realize that there's much more there than meets the eye. Sort of like Diane Keaton's character in "Manhattan," as she pontificated with much zeal over the "textural" qualities of the "steel cube." Only this time, no pontification is needed: "Broadway Danny Rose" is pure, unadulterated romance through and through! This is a "must-see." Enjoy!
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