Manhattan (1979)

Original Title : Manhattan
Director : Woody Allen
Writer : Woody Allen
Marshall Brickman
Genre : Comedy
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Robert Greenhut (I) , Charles H. Joffe , Jack Rollins (II)
Music : George Gershwin
Photography : Gordon Willis
IMDB ID : 0079522
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poster for "Manhattan" by Woody Allen (1979)
Manhattan (1979) - Woody Allen


¬Woody Allen Isaac Davis
¬Diane Keaton Mary Wilkie
¬Michael Murphy I
¬Mariel Hemingway Tracy
¬Meryl Streep Jill
¬Anne Byrne Emily
¬Karen Ludwig Connie
¬Michael O'Donoghue Dennis


Isaac, 42, has divorced Jill. She is now living with another woman, Connie, and is writing a book in which she will reveal some very private points of their relationship. Isaac has a love affair with Tracy, 17, when he meets Mary, the mistress of his best friend Yale. Yale is already married to Emily.


A fresh, funny, askewed(if flawed)valentine to love's aftertastes Say what you want about Woody Allen, he knows how to write dialogue for women particularly well. They are never condescending or man-hating, they are just as flaky and scattered as the men they know, and their feelings are never prettied up nor put down. The female-roles in "Manhattan" for Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Anne Byrne, and Meryl Streep are fabulous, and each actress does career-peak work(Byrne was Dustin Hoffman's wife at the time, and I've never seen her act since, which is a pity). The male characters are mainly just Woody and Michael Murphy(with kudos to Wallace Shawn)and Allen in particular crafts his individual scenes with each woman in a fresh and nuanced way(he's much different on a date with teenaged Hemingway than matching wits all night with neurotic genius Keaton). The film has lovely b&,w photography by Gordon Willis, sumptuous scoring from the Gershwin songbook and some very funny lines. If it fails to shake off it's own mortal coils by the final act, at least it leaves us with a sweet farewell. Allen does a lot of waffling in his character's final assessment, and I'm not really sure where his character would go at the story's close, but that's a dandy bit with Hemingway in the lobby at the finale: the "little girl" is the most mature of them all. ***1/2 from ****
poster for "Manhattan"
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Manhattan (1979) - Woody Allen