I saw Manhattan yesterday for the first time

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TheoGB, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    And I was really impressed, though I do confess to being a fan of Woody Allen anyhow. [​IMG]
    The only thing that seemed to jarr with me was the ending section.
    He suddenly decides that he is in love with Tracy (I think it was - I'm forgetting things more often these days [​IMG]). The thing is I agreed with all Isaac's earlier points about why the relationship between them had no future so it seemed weird to me that he'd go back to her. Moreover, it would seem more that he went back because he wanted anybody, not really her...
    I'd be interested to know what others think of the film? Was that supposed to be a happy ending or just an ending, one with the sense of "Oh dear *sigh*" that it left me?
    Cheers.
    P.S. I also wondered about something else. I was told there was a Woody Allen film in B&W but with one scene (an 'advert' ?) with half the screen in colour - I thought this was that film, but unless I blinked and missed it, apparently not!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    It's always been my favourite Allen film. It's easily his best looking movie and has a fantastic soundtrack. The opening sequence is is the most beautiful footage of New York I've ever seen, and it captures a mood that he hasn't achieved since IMO. My other favourite is Manhattan Murder Mystery, which is far-less meaningful.
    For me, it's the best version of his 'neurotic writer' character. Endlessly funny. Plenty of cynical observations. First class Woody. The film has always given me an intense feeling of melancholy. The ending especially so. All of Allen's characters lack good-decision making skills, and his realisation that he's in love with Tracy, when its too late is a fitting symbol for his entire life. He's doing really well for himself, but he can't help but let his neuroses and self-doubt ruin it.
    FYI, a little piece of trivia, Manhattan was the very first film presented on home video in its (widescreen :p)) OAR. Allen insisted to preserve his great compositions. If I'm not mistaken it's also the only film Allen's shot in scope.
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    It's not only my favorite Allen film, but my favorite film, period.
    The issue you refer to:
    it's not really a happy ending, but a bittersweet one. As Woody/Isaac is dictating all the things that make life worth living, he suddenly realizes just how much he really did love Tracy. Haven't you ever had a relationship that you ended and sometime later go,'what the hell was I thinking'? And even though he comes for her, to the ever more frenetic strains of Strike Up the Band, she is already committed to leave. She clearly still loves him, though, so she may be back. Or she may not. It's a deliciously ambiguous conclusion that propels it into the ranks of the great films for me.

    It's just gorgeous, with a Gershwin score that is utterly fabulous. Even in mono it sounds great. The scene where Keaton and Allen are talking in silhouette against the bridge is shot so beautifully that thinking about it makes me weepy. And I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that "homunculus" line too. [​IMG]
     
  4. Scott D S

    Scott D S Supporting Actor

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    The second Woody Allen film I have ever seen and, so far, my favorite along with Annie Hall. The strange thing is, I have no idea why this one is my favorite. Diane Keaton's character kinda reminds me of a couple girls I know. I've been thinking about this particular film more and more lately, but that's probably because I frequently listen to my Gershwin CDs on the way to and from school. [​IMG]
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Not only was it the first OAR wide screen film on video, it also played on TV that way. Many people complained to their local television stations about the missing image on the top and bottom. That was the day "Joe and Jane Sixpack" were born!
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  7. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    My take on the ending:
     
  8. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Cheers Michael. :b
    I've only seen a few of his films and thought them all superlative: Take the Money and Run, Sleeper, Hannah & Her Sisters (actually it's been over 10 years and I don't really remember it), Purple Rose of Cairo and Manhattan Murder Mystery.
    I'm glad to find I got the 'right' reaction from the ending of the movie. Mark, yeah I've sort of had that kind of relationship. I guess I'm not one to think about going back as particularly good thing. I'm more interested in the way it takes that concept which Hollywood does so well, yet Allen twists it to give us, as you say, a bitter feeling to the end too.
    When Harry Met Sally (another fave) does very similar things. It's odd that I've never heard of the two compared before...Maybe I'm just blind/deaf!! Probably! [​IMG]
    EDIT: Ah Rain, that's sort of what I expected people to say. I am general against largish age differences in relationships personally, so I think it colours the movie for me.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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  10. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    One little thing I love about the ending is when Hemmingway's strand of hair falls over her face, and Allen puts it back behind her ear.

    ~R
     
  11. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    It was also the only film that Allen begged the distributors not to release. Allen was very unhappy with the finished film but was unable to convince UA not to release it.
    I've always found this fascinating as I consider it his best film, yet something about it made him strongly dislike it. I just can't figure out what that would be.
    Here is the
    original interview
    where I read this.
    Here's the exact quote:
    Cinema.com: There's a famous story that you didn't want Manhattan, one of your biggest hits, even released. Is that true?
    Woody Allen: Absolutely. After I'd looked at it I begged them not to release it. I even offered to do a free film for them, if they'd not release it. They said I was crazy, not so much because they liked the film but because they'd taken a bank loan of millions to do it and they weren't just going to shelve it because I had the whim that I didn't like it. But to me, even films of mine that have been as big hits as Manhattan look lifeless.
    Jeff
     
  12. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Wow, Jeff, I never heard that story before. I'm as perplexed as you as I agree that it's his best film. [​IMG]
     
  13. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Allen isn't satisfied with a lot of his movies because the end result isn't what he envisioned. I think Husbands and Wives and Hollywood Ending were the ones he was most satisfied with. Another New York director, Martin Scorsese, doesn't think much of his movies either.

    ~T
     
  14. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Zelig had no color sequences. Broadway Danny Rose was also in B&W. I think you may be thinking of "The Purple Rose Of Cairo" which had the principals stepping out of a B&W movie into the real world (or Woody's approximation of it) which was in color.
     
  15. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  16. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Oops, you're right, the intervews were in color (colour).
     
  17. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I'm actually looking foward to this film. Why is it that people say that this film was Woody Allen's "love letter" to New York?
     
  18. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

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    What a coincident that I'd just rented this film on DVD and will be watching it for the first time also.
     
  19. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  20. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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