As a youngster I had a friend who was a teenage Woody Allen fan. He got me into the Woodman as a youth. Mostly, I’ve pretty much grown out of my love of Woody’s films. Sadly, the bad publicity that surrounds his personal life leaves a bit of a sour taste, as do his recent films made in Europe.
I have very fond memories of seeing Hannah and Her Sisters in the cinema as a young man, I loved the film but I haven’t seen it in many years despite owning a copy on DVD. Annie Hall was great, but again I don’t watch it anymore. Manhattan is uncomfortable and the early funny ones are best watched as children.
There is one film by Woody which I do watch at least once a year and it seems to me that I’ll probably carry on doing so for the rest of my life, the film is – Broadway Danny Rose.
The film is a showbiz story, a love story and a love letter to New York. Allen gives one of his best non-performances and Mia Farrow gives her best Allen period performance in this funny and romantic film.
The black and white photography is to die for, and as usual Allen gathers a great gaggle of supporting players whose faces (especially in the smaller parts) are used greedily by the cinematographer.
Music is always interesting in Allen’s films and this film features some great old songs that fit in perfectly with the story itself.
In short, whatever you think of Woody (and he does divide opinion) Broadway Danny Rose is a little treat of film. See it, more than once.
So, 61 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.