One of Woody Allen’s richest films, and one that dares to take on the weightiest of moral dilemmas, as Martin Landau’s tortured Manhattan ophthalmologist is confronted with saving himself, his wife, and his lifestyle from the destructive forces of Anjelica Huston’s unstable girlfriend. Crimes and Misdemeanors asks: what can we live with? What price can we, and others, pay for peace and happiness? With Mia Farrow and Alan Alda.
Was New York at its New Yorkest in the 1950s? Woody Allen’s painfully lovely small-time showbiz ballad, Broadway Danny Rose features Allen’s low-rung talent agent, Mia Farrow’s floozy, and Nick Apollo Forte’s comeback-kid lounge singer, all mixing it up in a 1950s-ish world of nightclubs, back offices, liaison flats, and very real spots 275 | us ness r p V like the Carnegie Deli. So flavorsome it makes most of Allen’s other New York movies seem generic
It’s possible that no American movie has been as besotted with the sensual realities of summertime as this overlooked Woody Allen comedy, in which three early-century couples gather together, in a to-die-for Victorian country house, to enjoy a balmy weekend and endure various mate-swapping peccadilloes. Light on its feet, with a charming score by Felix Mendelssohn, and blessed with the effervescence of Mary Steenburgen and Julie Hagerty, Allen’s movie goes for broke in terms of seasonal glamour: sunlit meadows, firefly swarms, moonlit brooks, rendezvous in the night forest, dining al fresco, daydreaming in cotton dresses, suspenders and straw hats—all of it shot with Vermeerian sublimity by Gordon Willis. Well worth repeat viewings; it’s time this honey got a reappraisal.