WOODY WEDNESDAY Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 13

WOODY WEDNESDAY Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 13

The Best & The Rest: Every Woody Allen Film Ranked

This week, Woody Allen‘s 2016 title (for as we all know, there’s one each year), “Cafe Society,” starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Corey Stoll, Blake Lively and Anna Camp, opens after a warm reception as the opening film at the most recent Cannes Film Festival. You can read our take from Cannes here, or hang on to scroll through and see where it lands on the list below, but we thought this would be a good time to gussy up our previous sprawling two-part Allen retrospective, and because we’ve been a little harmonious around here of late and miss the sounds of sobbing and breaking crockery, to rank it.

READ MORE: The Best And The Rest: Every Stanley Kubrick Ranked

Weathering personal scandal and coming in and out of fashion like flares, Allen’s been at constant work as a director for five decades now, and “Cafe Society” marks his 47th theatrically-released feature. Which means we have a lot to get through, so let’s get straight to it, shall we? Here, ranked worst to best, are all of Woody Allen’s theatrical features —with any list this long, there’s bound to be massive disagreement, so remember, the comments section awaits your ire. Or your congratulations, on the slim chance you agree with all of it.



zelig-woody-allen16. “Zelig” (1983)
A curio in a filmography that is distinguished by repeating themes, “Zelig” dresses Allen’s typical gripes and philosophizing up in a pioneering mockumentary package. Presented as a black-and-white documentary on Leonard Zelig (Allen), the “human chameleon”, the film is a portrait of a misfit accepted by society when he discovers the power to literally metamorphose into the people around him. With the use of then still-innovative blue screen tech, Allen hobnobs with Calvin Coolidge and comes within shooting distance of Adolf Hitler. The efforts to make the film look like an authentically aged piece of history are impressive even if they’ve been supplanted by the likes of “Forrest Gump” since, while a romance between Zelig and Dr. Fletcher (Mia Farrow) is sweet if thinly plotted. It’s more likely you’ll enjoy the film for the historical cameos, for the cleverness of the juggling between fact and fiction and for modern-day legends, like Saul Bellow and Susan Sontag who despite not being renowned as laugh-riots, manage to keep admirably straight faces while commenting on the phenomenon as if it really happened.

Take the Money and Run Woody Allen



15. “Take The Money And Run” (1969)
Somewhat obscured by Allen’s more polished films to come, this solo directorial debut could, pound for pound, be the funniest film he’s ever made, because all he wants to do here is make you laugh. Told in the format of a fake documentary, a creative decision well before its time, “Take The Money And Run” follows the story of Virgil Starkwell, a criminal who robs banks in lieu of a successful professional life in the, ahem, legal sector. As Virgil stacks up ignominies, we see the first stirrings of Allen’s romantic side, with a genuine relationship that develops amongst the madcap slapstick with Janet Margolin’s Louise. ‘Money’ manages to have this human center but still emphasizes the gags at the heart of the picture, in some ways establishing a template for heartfelt spoof that would later be credited erroneously to “Airplane!” Allen would go on to make pictures with more weighty ideas and concepts, but bits like the botched stickup attempt, the rainy prison escape with a gun made of soap and the utter slapstick genius of Virgil playing the cello in a marching band are some of the funniest moments ever committed to celluloid.

Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) – Official Trailer


manhattan-murder-mystery-woody-allen-1214.“Manhattan Murder Mystery” (1993)
It’s a strange world: in the throes of devastating personal scandal, Allen turned in his funniest, most optimistic and delightful film in years. In fact, two of the changes made as a result of outside pressures probably improved the film immeasurably: casting a spiky Anjelica Huston instead of a much younger actress to give Allen a slightly more age-appropriate flirtation, and more importantly, replacing Mia Farrow with a beguiling Diane Keaton — against whom a mock-irate Allen subsequently railed for getting more laughs than he does, despite the fact he’d written the material to make him look like the funny one. Actually, they’re both on top form, and the portrait of a long-term marriage that finds much-needed spice when a neighbor dies (finally turning to the murder sub-plot famously excised from “Annie Hall”), is one of the most endearing depictions of an adult relationship that Allen has ever managed. It’s peppered with allusions to classic films, fun until the end when it unashamedly rips one off, but that’s just nitpicking, especially in a movie that sends you giggling into the credits on a final gag worthy of Billy Wilder and I.A.L Diamond.

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]


______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]


______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]


__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: