WOODY WEDNESDAY The 10 best Woody Allen Films

_I like this list a lot since it has both CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS on it.


Woody Allen

The 10 best Woody Allen films

We asked readers to vote for their favourite of the director’s films. Here are the results, with contributors making the case for the Woody Allen film that means the most to them

Guardian readers

Fri 4 Oct 2013 07.42 EDT

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Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Sleeper.
 Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Sleeper. Photograph: BFI

10. Sleeper

“Allen was a compulsive gag writer; in Sleeper he paid homage to Keaton and co with slapstick and visual gags galore. A giant banana skin, a growing cake mix, a steamroller squashing the President’s nose. It’s full of fantastic ideas that have lived long in the memory (orgasmatron, robot servant and dog…) It’s not much of a satire, but there’s laughs a plenty.” Alfie Hisself

9. Midnight in Paris

“A wonderfully imaginative plot, plenty of smart “inside” humor, actors who were successfully pushed far beyond their comfort zones, brilliant cinematography. Hugely entertaining.” Frank AbsherPlay VideoPlayCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%FullscreenMuteFacebookTwitterPinterest

8. Stardust Memories

“This much panned work is a tour de force. Hated by critics at the time of its release, it’s nevertheless Woody Allen at the height of his powers – faux-Euro filmmaking at its best. Stardust Memories, like Celebrity from many years later, presents Woody Allen’s view of the public’s odd adoration of the famous. Oh, and that long shot of Charlotte Rampling near the end…genius.” Tim

7. Love and Death

“One of the ‘early, funny ones’, it features the magnificent Diane Keaton in her greatest comedic performance, and shows how much fun Woody could have with Bergman and Dostoevsky before he began to feed on their sombre bits. Its first five minutes include some of the funniest material he ever wrote – and it’s endlessly quotable.” Wieland Schwanebeck

6. Take the Money and Run

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“I first saw it at Nui Dat (South Vietnam) in 1970. The army projectionist played the reels out of order, but it didn’t seem to matter – there’s nothing like a war to turn the absurd into the everyday. I was an instant fan and bought a bootleg cassette of Allen’s standup while on leave in Vung Tau. I have a DVD I burnt from a VHS I transferred from Betamax recorded off-air in the 80s. I still watch it and and laugh – I quote lines of dialogue as if it were Pete & Dud.” Jim Stewart

5. Broadway Danny Rose

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“A masterpiece – Allen and Mia Farrow never better together. The scene in the restaurant where Woody vacillates between losing his change from a 20 as he has to flee the pursuing mobsters or being caught has stayed in my memory for years.” Raymond Williams

“I love the title character, his limitless belief in his clients, his goodness, his charity… What makes the film for me is the look on Danny’s face when Nick tells him that he has found a new agent: Woody is never the greatest actor in his films, but this, for me, is his best acting moment.” Kevin Finn

4. Hannah and Her Sisters

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“Manhattan aside, it’s Hannah and Her Sisters that most vividly captures a romantic New York to me. It’s a New York that no longer exists, one that still has a bohemian, undeveloped, Top Shop-free SoHo, the musty glory of Pageant Books and Tower Records, and movie theatres where you could actually find a Marx Brothers film. Allen’s trio of complicated sisters are his most vividly and lovingly written female characters: fallible, but not judged harshly for it – the casting was impeccable. And Allen has written, next to Alvy Singer, his best role for himself as well. Everything about this film feels painterly, wistful and wise, splashed in autumnal hues and capturing, in two hours, the last gasp of romantic, contemporary, artistically vibrant New York. It’s also the last film that dodges the bitterness of his later work.” Kara Manning

3. Crimes and Misdemeanours

“Woody jettisons the signature adolescent habits of most of his earlier stuff and gives us an honest indictment of the kind of privilege that commits murder with one hand and receives high honors with the other. A tense and morally sound film with genuine gravitas. Allen’s script could be applied to Kissinger, Nixon, Obama and hundreds of others in power who are shielded by their respectability from facing up to their crimes. A quiet masterpiece. Makes most of his other works seem lightweight by comparison.” Keith Harrison

woody allen annie hall
 Diane Keaton and Woody Allen on the set of the Annie Hall.

2. Annie Hall

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“Annie Hall hits a perfect balance between the anarchic early films and the more introspective works of the eighties, with serious themes but also loads of humour. Christopher Walken’s ‘driving visions’, the ‘what he’s/she’s really thinking’ subtitles, Allen asking passers-by about their sex lives. The chemistry between the two leads has never been bettered and neither has Allen’s performance as a lead actor, except perhaps in Manhattan. But Annie Hall trumps Manhattan because Diane Keaton – the best female Allen interpreter in her greatest role – is equal to Allen in terms of screen time and dialogue. She’s the most completely realised of his female characters, from her ties-and-checks wardrobes to her off-beat remarks. In the rom-com genre, neither the character nor the film has ever been bettered.” Neil Cockburn

1. Manhattan

“Of his many, many films, Manhattan stands out as a work that manages to be both a love letter to one of the great cities and a strikingly personal self-portrait. It’s possible to be viewed as both a lightly humorous tragedy and a darkly tragic farce and comes the closest, out of all of Allen’s films, to capturing the outspoken artist’s true opinion of himself.” Christopher Shepler

“Funny, smart and romantic, Manhattan has got pretty much everything I look for in a Woody Allen film, or any other kind of film for that matter. The black and white cinematography is heart-swellingly beautiful throughout, while Rhapsody In Blue and fireworks combine to create one of the great, iconic openings in movie history. Naturally, Allen viewed the film as a failure, making it feel all the more perfect.” Mahinder Kingra

“The final scene. Two characters contemplate the end of their relationship against the musical backdrop of a solo violin. The orchestra swells and overwhelms the violin as we simultaneously see the city effortlessly absorb the characters and their relationship. Love in the metropolis has never been so beautifully expressed.” Nigel Challenge

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador DaliErnest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

During the last 30 days here are the posts that have got the most hits on my blog on this subject of the “Meaning of Life”:

Francis Bacon: Humanist artist who believed life “is meaningless” (Part 1)

The movie “Les Miserables” and Francis Schaeffer
Danny Woodhead has found satisfaction in his Christian faith, Brady still looking for satisfaction despite 3 Super Bowl rings (Part 2)
2008 article on Woody Allen on the meaning of lifeNihilism can be seen in Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris”

Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of Kansas: Their story of deliverance from drugs jh16c

According to Woody Allen Life is meaningless (Woody Wednesday)

“Is God Enough?” Fellowship Bible sermon outline by Mark Henry July 8, 2012Here are some posts on the movie “Midnight in Paris”:

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 15, Luis Bunuel)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 9, Georges Braque)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 11, Rodin)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 14, Henri Matisse)Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel)Related posts:I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:All my posts on Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 40)July 19, 2011 – 8:51 am“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent yearsJuly 18, 2011 – 6:00 amWoody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” explores “golden age fallacy” (Part 39) July 17, 2011 – 5:59 am(Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists) July 16, 2011 – 5:47 amWoody Allen’s search for God in the movie “Midnight in Paris”(Part 37) July 15, 2011 – 5:44 am(Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life) July 14, 2011 – 5:16 am  (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)July 13, 2011 – 5:42 am(Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir) July 12, 2011 – 6:03 am(Part 33,Cezanne) July 11, 2011 – 6:15 am(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am(Part 31, Jean Cocteau) July 9, 2011 – 6:15 am(Part 30, Albert Camus) July 8, 2011 – 5:48 am (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am(Part 20, King Louis XVI of France) June 28, 2011 – 5:44 am(Part 19,Marie Antoinette) June 27, 2011 – 12:16 am(Part 18, Claude Monet) June 26, 2011 – 5:41 am(Part 17, J. M. W. Turner) June 25, 2011 – 5:44 am(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am(Part 14, Henri Matisse) June 22, 2011 – 5:54 am(Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani) June 21, 2011 – 5:29 am(Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel) June 20, 2011 – 5:58 am(Part 11, Rodin)  June 19, 2011 – 9:50 am(Part 10 Salvador Dali) June 18, 2011 – 2:57 pm(Part 9, Georges Braque) June 18, 2011 – 2:55 pm(Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec) June 18, 2011 – 2:45 pm(Part 7 Paul Gauguin) June 18, 2011 – 11:20 am(Part 6 Gertrude Stein) June 16, 2011 – 11:01 am(Part 5 Juan Belmonte) June 16, 2011 – 10:59 am(Part 4 Ernest Heminingway) June 16, 2011 – 9:08 am(Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald) June 16, 2011 – 3:46 am(Part 2 Cole Porter) June 15, 2011 – 7:40 am(Part 1 William Faulkner) June 13, 2011 – 3:19 pm

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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 is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

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January 30, 2013 – 7:35 am

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January 23, 2013 – 12:36 am

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January 16, 2013 – 12:35 am

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In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

January 14, 2013 – 6:52 am

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 is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

January 13, 2013 – 4:55 am

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Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

January 10, 2013 – 2:48 pm

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January 9, 2013 – 12:32 am

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January 2, 2013 – 12:30 am

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December 26, 2012 – 12:27 am

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December 19, 2012 – 7:05 am

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