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Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) Poster

Trivia

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The role of Professor Louis Levy, the subject of director Cliff Stern (Woody Allen)'s documentary in this film, is played by a non-actor and a therapist friend of Woody Allen, the world-renowned Martin Bergmann, Clinical Professor of Psychology in the New York University's post-doctoral program.
Woody Allen felt that he had been too "nice" to the characters in the end of Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), so he wrote this film as a response to those feelings.
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 isn't" 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, whilst Alda said in the Los Angeles Times obituary, "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".
One-third of the film had Woody Allen's character shooting a documentary on old vaudevillians, with Mia Farrow as the head of the institute to which they belonged. Allen didn't like the scenes in the final cut. During postproduction he cut an entire third of the film, then rewrote and re-shot that section from scratch. As a result, Sean Young's scenes were cut out, and Daryl Hannah's role was reduced to a brief cameo.
During an argument with Cliff, Lester says he has a closet full of Emmys. In real life, Alan Alda had won four Emmys prior to appearing in the film and got another one after the movie.
Woody Allen has said of this film: "Crimes And Misdemeanors is about people who don't see. They don't see themselves as others see them. They don't see the right and wrong situations. And that was a strong metaphor in the movie".
The adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, Dylan O'Sullivan Farrow, appears as an extra at the end, as a guest at Rabbi Ben's daughter's wedding.
Originally, Alan Alda was only supposed to appear in the opening party scene with Daryl Hannah. Woody Allen expanded Alda's part after he asked Alda to improvise and Allen liked the improvisation. Allen wrote Alda's part as they went along.
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".
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Star Martin Landau, who played Judah Rosenthal, was originally cast as the brother of the character he played, Jack Rosenthal, who was cast in the end with Jerry Orbach.
Clifford's sarcastic remark to Halley Reed that he loves Lester like a brother; David Greenglass refers to the fact David Greenglass was the brother of executed atomic spy Ethel Rosenberg and that his testimony at their trial help convict her and her husband Julius.
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Woody Allen commented on a private screening of the film to a group of Hollywood celebrities who praised the picture: "I know I must be doing something wrong if my film is being viewed in some Hollywood character's screening room and a group of people there are saying, 'It's his best film,' when many of the things I attack are what they stand for".
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According to Brian Cady at the TCMDb website, "leaving one screenplay barely begun, Woody [Allen] left for a tour of Europe in the summer of 1988. It wasn't long before another script idea popped into his head. Rather than abandon the earlier idea, Woody decided to combine the two scripts into one and began scribbling a new screenplay on the stationery of the various hotels at which he stayed. The collection of drafts imprinted with the logos of Stockholm's Grand Hotel, the Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the Gritti Palace in Venice and Claridge's in London became the basis for one of Woody's most popular and critically acclaimed movies".
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This is the first of four films in which Woody Allen has utilized themes and story elements from the 1866 novel "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The other three are Match Point (2005), Cassandra's Dream (2007), and Irrational Man (2015).
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Selected as one of the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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This was the first of three Woody Allen films in which Alan Alda starred. The other two are Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) and Everyone Says I Love You (1996).
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The film was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1990, for Best Supporting Actor for Martin Landau, and Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Woody Allen, but the picture failed to take home an Oscar in any category.
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One of three movies that Anjelica Huston and Woody Allen have both worked on. The others are Casino Royale (1967) and Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993).
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This is the first of four collaborations of director Woody Allen and cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who had been a regular director of photography for Ingmar Bergman, one of Allen's idols. The pair's three other collaborations were Another Woman (1988), the New York Stories (1989) segment "Oedipus Wrecks" and Celebrity (1998).
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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Ten minutes and ten seconds into the film, the lady that says, "Hello Lester...Thank you so much for inviting me...its a beautiful party", is Wanda Toscanini-Horowitz.
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This was the second of two films directed by Woody Allen released in 1989. The first was the "Oedipus Wrecks" segment of New York Stories (1989).
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Ranked at the No. #267 spot in an Empire Magazine poll of "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time".
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The film's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" title was based on the name of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment".
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The movie was voted by the UK's 'The Guardian' newspaper readership as the third best Woody Allen film in October 2013.
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This was the first of two films in which Caroline Aaron played Woody Allen's sister. The second was Deconstructing Harry (1997).
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The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Anjelica Huston and Mercedes Ruehl; and three Oscar nominees: Alan Alda, Nora Ephron and Sam Waterston.
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One of a handful Woody Allen directed films which feature a murder. The movies include: Match Point (2005), Cassandra's Dream (2007), Irrational Man (2015), Shadows and Fog (1991), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). Moreover, death is a theme in both Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Love and Death (1975), both which feature the character of the Grim Reaper, as per the inspiration of Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" [The Seventh Seal (1957)].
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This cinema movie featured at least three significant film directors in acting roles, with one of them actually portraying a film director. They were Alan Alda, Nora Ephron, and Woody Allen, the latter of whom portrayed director Cliff Stern.
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Lester (Alan Alda)'s credo was: "If it bends, it's funny. If it breaks, it isn't".
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Final Woody Allen whole feature film cinema movie (not including shorts) of the 1980s decade.
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Woody Allen's most successful picture at the box-office since Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).
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Actor Alan Alda and actress Anjelica Huston both starred in the later Woody Allen film Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) around four years later.
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According to the Wikipedia website, "the character of both Judah and his gangster brother [Jack] were said to be influenced by a Jewish medical student who attended NYU [New York University] with one of Marshall Brickman's relatives".
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When Judah (Martin Landau) tells Ben (Sam Waterston) about his problem, he takes a pause and says "another woman." Another Woman (1988) was the title of one of Woody Allen's earlier films.
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Cameo 

Daryl Hannah: Uncredited, as Lisa Crosley.
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Nora Ephron: As a Wedding Guest. Ephron would later also cameo in a second Woody Allen film as a dinner party guest in Husbands and Wives (1992).
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Mercedes Ruehl: Uncredited, as a Party Guest.
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Dylan O'Sullivan Farrow: Uncredited, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, as a Girl at the Wedding Reception.
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