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
Woody Allen has said of the public reaction to this picture: "When I put out a film that enjoys any acceptance that isn't the most mild or grudging, I immediately become suspicious of it. A certain amount of positive response makes me feel comfortable and proud. Then beyond that, I start to feel convinced that a work of any real finesse and subtlety and depth couldn't be as popular as it is". See more »
When Judah decides to have Delores killed, he only dials seven digits on the phone calling his brother, Jack. Judah lives in Connecticut and Jack lives in New York, so he would have to dial at least 10 digits to call him. 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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One of Woody Allen's most ambitious films, also one of his classics
Woody Allen is not everybody's cup of tea, with me while his body of work is not always consistent(but that is true with a lot of directors) much of it is wittily written and insightful as seen with his masterpiece Annie Hall. Crimes and Misdemeanours has everything that is so good about the best of his work. With the subject matter and how the comedy and seriousness is blended Crimes and Misdemeanours is one of Allen's most ambitious, and along with the likes of Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Husbands and Wives and Manhattan it's one of his best too. The look of the film is elegant and hauntingly dark, while the score is jazzy and seductive. The story has some key themes(good and evil and life and death as examples) that are very clearly addressed and dealt with with adroitness and truth. The concept is not an innovative one as such but it's challenging and hugely compelling. And the writing is to thank for that, the humour is wonderfully ironic and very characteristic of the distinctive wise-cracking Allen style, there are references and observations that are sharp and insightful(always one of Allen's strong points as a writer) and they is blended well with a serious tone that is dark and appropriately troubling, the shifts between comedy and drama didn't jar to me. The acting is very good, often outstanding. Woody Allen acts as well as directs and writes and there are no obvious problems with his performance(or his directing), not a likable character by all means but that was the intent. Anjelica Huston doesn't disappoint, nor does Jerry Orbach before his Law and Order days, Sam Waterson and Claire Bloom. Mia Farrow is affecting as well. But the acting honours go to Alan Alda and especially Martin Landau, Alda plays an absolute weasel to perfection while Landau gives a performance that has not only only been matched by his Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood but also one of the greatest performances of any Woody Allen film. All in all, a Woody Allen classic, an example of ambitious done brilliantly. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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