7.8/10
35,665
114 user 63 critic

Zelig (1983)

"Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Leonard Zelig
... Dr. Eudora Nesbitt Fletcher
Patrick Horgan ... The Narrator (voice)
John Buckwalter ... Dr. Sindell
Marvin Chatinover ... Glandular Diagnosis Doctor
Stanley Swerdlow ... Mexican Food Doctor
Paul Nevens ... Dr. Birsky
Howard Erskine ... Hypodermic Doctor
George Hamlin ... Experimental Drugs Doctor
Ralph Bell ... Other Doctor
Richard Whiting ... Other Doctor
Will Hussung ... Other Doctor (as Will Hussong)
Robert Iglesia ... Man in Barber Chair
Eli Resnick ... Man in Park
Edward McPhillips ... Scotsman
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Storyline

Fictional documentary about the life of human chameleon Leonard Zelig, a man who becomes a celebrity in the 1920s due to his ability to look and act like whoever is around him. Clever editing places Zelig in real newsreel footage of Woodrow Wilson, Babe Ruth, and others. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 August 1983 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Identity Crisis and Its Relationship to Personality Disorder  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,119, 17 July 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,798,616
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2007, Italian psychologists discovered a rare form of brain damage which affects its victims much like Zelig's condition (without, of course, the accompanying physical transformations). Researcher Giovannina Conchiglia and associates have proposed the name "Zelig-like Syndrome" for the disorder, because of the parallels to the film. See more »

Goofs

Stock footage, particularly of crowd scenes, from the mid-to-late 1920s, continues into the 1930s decade. See more »

Quotes

Leonard Zelig: I would like to apologize to everyone. I... I'm awfully sorry for, for marrying all those women. It just, I don't know, it just seemed like the thing to do.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ron Reagan/The Nelsons (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Internationale
(1888) (uncredited)
Music by Pierre Degeyter
Variations in the score when unions are mentioned
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User Reviews

 
You Wanted More When It was all over!
28 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

I have to say that even though Zelig is less than 80 minutes, I was deeply saddened by it being over. I actually wanted more of it. Woody Allen is brilliant as Leonard Zelig, a human chameleon, who can transform to other races, religions, and ethnicities. Anyway, Woody Allen does it subtly and brilliantly without going over the top. Woody Allen is a genius with his neurosis. In this film, it's a love story before doctors getting intimate with patients had become a frowned upon today. Zelig came alive in the 1920s and 1930s. His character always seems to be looking for a place to fit in society. Woody Allen's brilliance is really about examining his life in film especially his relationships. The psychiatrist is played by Mia Farrow who was involved with Woody Allen at the time. The cast is usually New York actors like Deborah Rush. But I enjoyed seeing Susan Sontag in this documentary spoof. Zelig is perhaps one of the best spoof documentaries of all time. When it's over, you just want more.


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