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All (Well Most Of) Woody Allen’s Movies Reviewed And Graded

I finished Woody Allen’s autobiography, “Apropos Nothing” the other day, and as a long term fan of the director and a complete disbeliever of the child molestation charges, I never saw any reason to cancel him. I’ll get around to the review of the bio at some point, and I will say I believe he was a skirt chaser who dated teen girls when he was in his forties, and I will tackle my opinion when I write it up.

In the interim, and like Woody apropos nothing at all, here is a one sentence reviews of all the movies he directed. I’ve seen most and those I haven’t I’ve written missed

What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966) – in which Woody dubbed a comedy story on a Japanese thriller – C+

Take the Money and Run (1969) – a tightly written, very funny comedy about a bad thief – A

Bananas (1971) – the most unpolitical and amusing film you will ever see about a South American revolution and pro sports – B+

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972) – It doesn’t all work but that segment where Gene Wilder falls in love with a faithless sheep sure does – B+

Sleeper (1973) – America in the future with Diane Keaton channeling Marlon Brando – A

Love and Death (1975) – what if a Brooklyn boy was born in Russia during the Napoleonic wars? – A

Annie Hall (1977) – A memory movie to a lost love – A+

Interiors (1978) – A serious bummer Ingmar Bergman wannabe – B

Manhattan (1979) – Mariel Hemingway as his muse – A

Stardust Memories (1980) – very misunderstood story of the travails of being rich, famous, popular – A-

A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982) – A softer Bergman take, starring, gulp, Mia Farrow (from here To “Manhattan Murder Mysteries” Mia is all over them)  – A-

Zelig (1983) – an every man chameleon shows up everywhere – A-

Broadway Danny Rose (1984) – A Runyon tall tale – A-

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) – in which an abused wife hides in movie houses till one of the characters on the screen notices her – A-

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) – It could be seen as the final of a triumvirate, Annie Hall, Manhattan and this… Barbara Hershey has never looked more beautiful – A

Radio Days (1987) – a memory movie to New York City in the 1940s – A

September (1987) – Allen does Chekhov on a bad bummer – C+

Another Woman (1988) – great to see Gena Rowland in this dramatic story of mid life crises – B-

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) – Martin Landau with a late peak in an atheistic vision of life without moral retribution (“of it bends it’s comedy…”) – A

New York Stories (segment: Oedipus Wrecks) (1989) – Very funny, the best of the three segments, as his super-Jewish Mother appears in the sky…

Alice (1990) – a strange fantasy about marital infidelity and pursuing what you want most – B

Shadows and Fog (1991) -somewhat awful German expressionism but, hey, is that Madonna? – C-

Husbands and Wives (1992) – hand held cameras as a marriage disintegrates and a relationship goes nuclear off screen – B+

Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) – exactly what it says, the thin man with Diane Keaton back – B+

Bullets over Broadway (1994) – John Cusack kills as a playwright in too deep, I liked the Broadway musical version less – B

Mighty Aphrodite (1995) – Mira Sorvino saved from Harvey Weinstein with a Greek chorus to taste – B+

Everyone Says I Love You (1996) – Actors who can’t sing sing, a good idea… or is it really a good idea,  as John Oliver would ask – B-

Deconstructing Harry (1997) – a director with writer’s block – B

Celebrity (1998) – Really, congrats to Kenneth Branagh on the best Woody Allen impression ever – B+

Sweet and Lowdown (1999) –  Sean Penn shines as a jazz musician – B

Small Time Crooks (2000) – Quite amusing with the excellent Tracey Ullman and all her comedic gifts – B

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) – Woody takes on 40s film noir Private Detective movies with mixed result but still some chuckles – B-

Hollywood Ending (2002) – here’s a rarity, a boring movie  about a famous director suffering from hysterical blindness, worth seeing for Tea Leoni’s star turn – C

Anything Else (2003) – A soft update of Annie Hall with Jason American Pie Briggs in the Allen role – B-

Melinda and Melinda (2004) Comedy vs tragedy, starring Will Ferrell, with the same set up told twice, once as each! – C+

Match Point (2005) – Allen goes to London for this great thriller and a coupla sets of tennis- A

Scoop (2006) – a disappointment though Scarlett as a psychic detective is very good – C

Cassandra’s Dream (2007) – a serious thriller with two brothers at war – C

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) – Woody goes to Spain, Scarlett tongue kisses Penelope Cruz… what’s not to like? – A-

Whatever Works (2009)- Larry David as a germaphobe Woody stand in (the cleaning his hands all the time ain’t that funny anymore) and Evan Rachel Wood looking great – B

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) – how metaphysics can save your life – B

Midnight in Paris (2011) – magical story in a glorious Paris that time travels between present day and the 1920s – A

To Rome with Love (2012) -missed

Blue Jasmine (2013) – Cate Blanchett was good in a sidelong rethinking of “Streetcar,” Sally Hawkins was great – B

Magic in the Moonlight (2014) – the former magician has been known to use magic, here he based an entire story around it. Yet again, another woman never looked better than with Woody filming her, this time Emma Stone – B-

Irrational Man (2015) – missed

Café Society (2016) – Jesse Eisenberg made a great Woody Allen stand in (they share natural nervousness), as the nephew of a movie studio mogul – B-

Wonder Wheel (2017) – missed

A Rainy Day in New York (2019) – this is the one Amazon dumped

Rifkin’s Festival (2020) – not to be released in the states

1 Comment

  1. Jack Phillips on April 26, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I think Deconstructing Harry is an A+ as perhaps the funniest and most brilliant film he’s ever made. I’d encourage you to take another look.

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