6.8/10
13,674
76 user 39 critic

Shadows and Fog (1991)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 20 March 1992 (USA)
With a serial strangler on the loose, a bookkeeper wanders around town searching for the vigilante group intent on catching the killer.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Kirby ...
Killer
...
...
...
Vigilante
...
Vigilante
...
Vigilante (as Daniel Von Bargen)
Camille Saviola ...
Landlady
Tim Loomis ...
Dwarf
Katy Dierlam ...
Fat Lady
...
...
Clown
...
Marie
Dennis Vestunis ...
Strongman
...
Doctor
...
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Storyline

A small and insignificant bookkeeper, Kleinman, is awoken one night by his neighbors who wants his help to track down a strangler who has been killing people all over town. The citizens form vigilance committees, but when Kleinman has dressed, his neighbors have disappeared. Meanwhile a circus has come to town. Irmy and Paul are two of the artists. After a fight, Irmy leaves the circus in the middle of the night. Eventually she meets Kleinman, scared and alone. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sombras y niebla  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,735,731 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Love and Death (1975), Woody Allen would again utilize the three word title with an "and" middle word on several more occasions. These would be for Husbands and Wives (1992), Shadows and Fog (1991), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Melinda and Melinda (2004) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). Love and Death (1975) was Allen's first film in which he used this type of three word title. Similar also was Allen's title for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hacker: Kleinman, Kleinman, open up! Kleinman! We know you're in there!
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Criminally Insane (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Alabama Song
(1930)
By Kurt Weill (1927) & Bertolt Brecht
Performed by Marek Weber and His Orchestra
Courtesy of Delta Music, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Highly underrated and highly entertaining.
17 September 2003 | by (Somewhere) – See all my reviews

I can't help but wonder what everyone finds so confusing about this film. It doesn't take a tremendous amount of knowledge to enjoy this well crafted ode to (and let's face it: spoof of) German Expressionism: a little Nosferatu here, a dash of Caligari there, a couple of slightly less obvious flourishes (the "Sniffer" with a divine gift, the Circus, the mobs and the general atmosphere) and you've got all you need. Of course, this is the most basic level in the film (I won't dig into Philosophy and message in a commentary but by all means it's there and worth musing over) but it's already enough to justify seeing it.

The idea of the confusing "shadows and fog" of Expressionist cinema filtered through Allen's off-kilter character world view is exactly what makes the film so hysterical. The entire film is done in a beautiful black and white recalling the source material and the city's mob are all played perfectly deadpan... except for Allen who manages to bumble his way through obstacle after obstacle trying to at least get a grip on the situation. If this pile of nerves moving through a dark sordid city doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what to say.

The film DOES falter in some aspects however. Mia Farrow is passable as the necessary sympathetic female lead, but in the end her presence doesn't fit in with the rest of the film's ambiance and one would have rather seen more of femme Fatale Lily Tomlin. Likewise, John Malchovich's Clown (while obviously referential) sticks out like a sore thumb. It's a shame that Allen had to add these elements which end up detracting from the overall film, but one couldn't hold the film alone and Farrow manages to at least be a proper target to bounce lines.

In the end, a very strong film and one that entertains properly, but obviously not one made for the uninitiated. However, for those who're on the inside of the "plan" (and furthermore, on the inside of the philosophies) it's a tremendous bit of fun.

Recommended.


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