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
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 »
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...
You're blushing darling.
...day or night, weekends or holidays. But you can also call Judah to ...
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"Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation... If you want a happy ending, you should go see a Hollywood movie."
"Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989)- is Woody Allen's masterpiece and my favorite film. It is urban and sophisticated, subtle and cruel. It is darker than dark and self-ironic. It is profound and touchingly poignant. It is deadly serious and in the same time it is incredibly funny. Its humor is razor sharp and sparkling and the best and funniest Woody's one-liners and comic performances belong here. As always in his best films, Allen had created a clever and elegant film out of his own weaknesses and insecurities and it shines. How much was Allen able to meditate on life, death, God, religion, morality, crimes and the responsibility, love and lust, happiness and the price one pays for it, and among those eternal subjects - how much fun it is to skip work or school and to sneak to the movies.
It is universal. It has the references to many Artists and cultures - Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and Bergman among the others but it is so undeniably and uniquely Allen. It could not have been made by any other director.
It is the movie Allen will be remembered for.
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