With a serial strangler on the loose, a bookkeeper wanders around town searching for the vigilante group intent on catching the killer.


Woody Allen


Woody Allen
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Kirby ... Killer
Woody Allen ... Kleinman
David Ogden Stiers ... Hacker
James Rebhorn ... Vigilante
Victor Argo ... Vigilante
Daniel von Bargen ... Vigilante (as Daniel Von Bargen)
Camille Saviola ... Landlady
Tim Loomis Tim Loomis ... Dwarf
Katy Dierlam Katy Dierlam ... Fat Lady
Mia Farrow ... Irmy
John Malkovich ... Clown
Madonna ... Marie
Dennis Vestunis Dennis Vestunis ... Strongman
Donald Pleasence ... Doctor
Lily Tomlin ... Prostitute


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




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


One of two 1991 films starring Woody Allen. The other film was Scenes from a Mall (1991). See more »


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


Featured in American Masters: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011) See more »


Moritat from the Three Penny Opera
By Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht
Performed by Berlin Staatsoper
Conducted by Otto Klemperer
Courtesy of Delta Music, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Shadows and Fog
21 July 2017 | by oOoBarracudaSee all my reviews

After completing Shadows and Fog, I found myself once again dismayed by the common claim that Woody Allen makes the same type of film over and over again. In reality, Woody has always been open to trying new and untested things both with his narrative structure and his filmmaking style. Shadows and Fog is another perfect example of Woody's penchant for diverse filmmaking. The 1991 film was Woody Allen's gentle homage to German Expressionism. Shadows and Fog pairs Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in a shadowy town that hides from a strangler that is on the loose. As is the usual Woody Allen film, Shadows and Fog is as wonderfully comedic as it is a thoughtful exercise in grappling with life's deepest questions.

Kleinman (Woody Allen) is a nebbish, nervous bookkeeper who has been pulled into a plot by a group of vigilantes to hunt for a strangler that has been terrorizing their area. A perpetually nervous individual, Kleinman wants nothing to do with a group of lawless men seeking out a murderer. Kleinman would rather stay locked in his apartment safely away from the murderer roaming the streets. To make matters worse, despite the fact that Kleinman has been roped into a group of vigilantes, information about his role in the group is being withheld from him. Sheepishly attempting to find his role within the vigilante group, all the while desperately trying to avoid putting himself in real danger, Kleinman encounters a woman in a traveling circus, Irmy (Mia Farrow) who is also attempting to find her way through life in a much more metaphorical sense. Kindred spirits, Kleinman and Irmy attempt to find a purpose for their lives, all the while trying to save them.

Shadows and Fog works perfectly as a nod to German Expressionism, with gorgeous imagery reminiscent of the greats of the genre such as Robert Wiene and Fritz Lang. Woody Allen's frequent use of black and white photography well into the 90's is a fearless maneuver that deserves uproarious applause. Woody is a filmmaker that uses a variety of film technique achieving artistic significance yet is hardly acknowledged for that. Certain aspects Woody is commonly acknowledged for are present in Shadows and Fog, for instance, it is exquisitely written and has a brilliant sound design. Shadows and Fog is another worthy mention in my crusade to prove that Woody Allen is not a filmmaker that has a clear section of "lower-tier" work, as he is often accused.

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Release Date:

20 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadows and Fog See more »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,111,314, 22 March 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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