Danny Rose is a manager of artists, and although he's not very successful, he nevertheless goes out of his way to help his acts. So when Lou Canova, a singer who has a chance of making a come-back, asks Danny to help him with a problem, Danny helps him. This problem is Lou's mistress Tina. Lou wants Tina to be at his concerts, otherwise he can't perform, but he's married, so Danny has to take her along as if she was his girlfriend. Danny however gets more than he has bargained for when two mobsters come looking for the guy who has hurt their brother by stealing the heart of Tina, the girl he loves.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
This is a chamber piece, shot during Allen's black and white period. The first time I saw it, in a cinema, I found it disappointing, somehow uncinematic. I saw it a second time, on television and it seemed much more comfortable in that medium.The third time I saw it, some twelve years later, it seemed like a little gem.
A squeaky voiced Mia Farrow disguised in a curly blonde wig and dark glasses foreshadows Mira Sorvino's performance in Mighty Aphrodite. The rest of the cast are unknown, some of the actors being real-life Jewish comedians and speciality acts. It is interesting to reflect on the interchangeability of Jewish and Italian behaviour in the film, the exaggerated emotions and the theatrical gestures. This is something that is apparent in other films such as Dirty Dancing or Moonstruck, which would have worked equally well as Jewish films or Italian films.
Allen gives one of his best performances as the hapless Danny, promoting a portfolio of one-legged tap-dancers, one-armed jugglers, balloon folders, parrot acts and glass harmonica players. He achieves a pathos which is lacking in his more autobiographical roles. The reconciliation scene at the end is reminiscent of Chaplin in City Lights.
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