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Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 14 March 1986 (USA)
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Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
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4,891 ( 1,006)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Hershey ... Lee
Carrie Fisher ... April
Michael Caine ... Elliot
Mia Farrow ... Hannah
Dianne Wiest ... Holly
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Norma
Lloyd Nolan ... Evan
Max von Sydow ... Frederick (as Max Von Sydow)
Woody Allen ... Mickey
Lewis Black ... Paul
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Mary
Christian Clemenson ... Larry
Julie Kavner ... Gail
J.T. Walsh ... Ed Smythe
John Turturro ... Writer
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Storyline

Hannah, Holly and Lee are adult sisters from a show business family, their boozy actress mother who still believes she's an ingénue that can attract any man she wants, despite still being married to the girls' father, Evan. Hannah, on her second marriage to a man named Elliot, a financial advisor, is the success of the family, taking a break from her acting career to raise her children. Everyone turns to her for advice, while she never talks to others about what she needs or feels. Her first husband, Mickey, is a comedy show writer and hypochondriac, who is going through a crisis as he mistakenly believes he will die soon without a clear belief, as a non-practicing Jew, of what will happen to him in the afterlife. Single Holly is the insecure flaky sister, a struggling and thus continually unemployed actress, who has just started a catering business with her actress friend April, in order to do something constructive with her life. In her own security, Hannah even set up Holly and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 March 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hannah y sus hermanas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,265,826, 9 February 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$40,084,041
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Annie Potts screen-tested for the role of Hannah. See more »

Goofs

Dolly tracks are visible when the camera pulls back in the living room. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elliot: God, she's beautiful. She's got the prettiest eyes. She looks so sexy in that sweater. I just want to be alone with her and hold her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and take care of her. Stop it you idiot, she's your wife's sister. But I can't help it. I'm consumed by her. It's been months now. I dream about her, I - I - I think about her at the office. Oh Lee, what am I gonna do? I hear myself moaning over you and it's disgusting. Before, when she squeezed past me at...
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Hannah Does Her Sisters (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are Too Beautiful
by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers
Performed by Derek Smith (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Allen's best films and definitely his best performance...
14 May 2004 | by NoArrowSee all my reviews

"Hannah and Her Sisters" is a comedy/drama (though mostly drama) about a dozen characters and their stories, all connecting back to three sisters: Hannah (Mia Farrow), Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest). Hannah is the favorite, talented and kind, Lee is almost equally favored, but Holly is the outcast, with a past of drugs and always asking for money. Other characters include Hannah's hypochondriac ex-husband Mickey (Woody Allen), her current husband Elliot (Michael Caine), Lee's boyfriend Frederic (Max von Sydow) and Holly's friend April (Carrie Fisher).

Like I said before, this is not so much a comedy as it is a drama. The comedy that's in it fits, and is good, but the drama is better. Elliot's secret love for Lee is handled in a romantic way, but their infidelity is still seen as wrong, and you feel their guilt and inner turmoil. Mickey thinks he has a brain tumor, he finds out he doesn't and then he feels worse, and starts desperately searching for a purpose to live. All the other stories are equally dramatic, with comedy fittingly sprinkled in places too.

The acting is quite good, everyone playing their part perfectly, whether it's big or small. The film's best performances come from Allen (in what's no doubt his best performance) and Dianne Wiest as the extremely under-confident youngest sister. Allen and Wiest don't necessarily carry the film, as there's no need to, but their segments were certainly the best, for me at least. The rest of the cast put forward too, especially Max von Sydow and Michael Caine in his first (and so far his only deserving) Oscar win.

Woody Allen's direction is at the top of its form here too, much like "Annie Hall" and his other greats. The camera work and use of voice overs are excellent. For instance, there is an intensely dramatic scene where the three sisters have lunch together and for the entire scene the camera rotates around the table, the speaker not always in the frame. His script is great too, it knows when to be dramatic and when to be funny and when to be both.

One of Allen's very best, 8/10.


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