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Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  13 October 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 40,037 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 161 user | 78 critic | 10 from

An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife, while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated by another woman.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Bernstein ...
Testimonial Speaker
Miriam Rosenthal
Sharon Rosenthal (as Stephanie Roth)
George J. Manos ...
Photographer (as George Manos)
Jenny Nichols ...
Wendy Stern
Zina Jasper ...
Dolores Sutton ...
Judah's Secretary
Joel Fogel ...
T.V. Producer (as Joel S. Fogel)


Judah Rosenthal is an ophthalmologist and a pillar of the community who has a big problem: his mistress Dolores Paley has told him that he is to leave his wife and marry her - as he had promised to do - or she will tell everyone of their affair. When he intercepts a letter Dolores has written to his wife Miriam, he is frantic. He confesses all to his shady brother Jack who assures him that he has friends who can take care of her. Meanwhile, filmmaker Cliff Stern is having his own problems. He's been working on a documentary film for some time but has yet to complete it. He and his wife Wendy have long ago stopped loving one another and are clearly on their way to divorce. He falls in love with Halley Reed who works with a producer, Lester. Cliff soon finds himself making a documentary about Lester and hates every minute of it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A film about humanity.


Comedy | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crímenes y pecados  »

Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


$18,254,702 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lester is based on Larry Gelbart, whom both Woody Allen and Alan Alda worked with and reportedly disliked because of his despotic ways. Lester's various comments such as "Comedy is tragedy plus time" and "If it bends, it's funny; if it breaks, it's not funny" were actual Gelbart quotes. In spite of this reputed dislike for Gelbart, Allen called him "the best comedy writer that I ever knew and one of the best guys" in a statement shortly following Gelbart's death, and Alda said, "Larry's genius for writing changed my life because I got to speak his lines -- lines that were so good they'll be with us for a long, long time; but his other genius -- his immense talent for being good company -- is a light that's gone out and we're all sitting here in the dark." (from the Los Angeles Times obituary) See more »


(at around 1h 30 mins) While they are celebrating at the wedding party the theme "Crazy Rhythm" is been played by the jazz orchestra, a muted trumpet can be heard but the trumpet player isn't using one. See more »


[first lines]
Testimonial Speaker: We're all very proud of Judah Rosenthal's philanthropic efforts. His endless hours of fund raising for the hospital, the new medical center, and now, the ophthalmology wing, which until this year had just been a dream. But it's due to Rosenthal our friend that we most appreciate. The husband, the father, the golf companion. Naturally if you have a medical problem you can call Judah...
Miriam Rosenthal: You're blushing darling.
Testimonial Speaker: or night, weekends or holidays. But you can also call Judah to ...
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User Reviews

Allen's best
7 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a profound film, a true classic and great even among Woody Allen's great films! Thought-provoking and involving, I've found since seeing it that the film and its statements about good versus evil, denial, guilt, narcissism, have never really left me. A film with many layers, one that demands a re-visiting from time to time.

22 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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