Shadows and Fog (1992)

PG-13 | 85 mins | Comedy, Mystery | 20 March 1992

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen

Producer:

Robert Greenhut

Cinematographer:

Carlo Di Palma

Editor:

Susan E. Morse

Production Designer:

Santo Loquasto
Full page view
HISTORY

The 20 Mar 1992 NYT review noted Woody Allen’s screenplay was an extension of his stage play, Death, included in the anthology Without Feathers, published by Random House in 1975.
       The working title for Shadows and Fog was Woody Allen ’91, according to a 29 Sep 1990 Screen International brief, which stated filming would begin Nov 1990. Woody Allen, Madonna, and John Malkovich were set to star. Due to conflicting production dates, Malkovich had to drop out of Billy Bathgate (1991, see entry), and was replaced in that film by Steven Hill.
       The 26 Feb 1992 HR cited a production budget of $19 million. According to the 22 Apr 1991 HR, the set built at Kaufman-Astoria studios was the biggest film set ever built in the New York area, taking up 26,000 square feet of soundstage space.
       1920s accessories were sourced from antique stores in London, England, Los Angeles, CA, and the East Coast, according to a 3 Apr 1992 LAT “Screen Style” column. Robert Marc Opticians in Manhattan aided costume designer Jeffrey Kurland in finding three matching pairs of 1910 silver wire-rimmed glasses for Woody Allen, while many of the hats and headpieces came from the Repeat Performance vintage store in Los Angeles. Circus costumes were Kurland’s original designs.
       According to an 8 Mar 1992 LAT brief, despite rumors that Allen was dissatisfied with Madonna’s performance and her role had been drastically cut, the filmmaker claimed “not a frame of her” had been excised from the film, and described her performance as “first-rate.”
       ... More Less

The 20 Mar 1992 NYT review noted Woody Allen’s screenplay was an extension of his stage play, Death, included in the anthology Without Feathers, published by Random House in 1975.
       The working title for Shadows and Fog was Woody Allen ’91, according to a 29 Sep 1990 Screen International brief, which stated filming would begin Nov 1990. Woody Allen, Madonna, and John Malkovich were set to star. Due to conflicting production dates, Malkovich had to drop out of Billy Bathgate (1991, see entry), and was replaced in that film by Steven Hill.
       The 26 Feb 1992 HR cited a production budget of $19 million. According to the 22 Apr 1991 HR, the set built at Kaufman-Astoria studios was the biggest film set ever built in the New York area, taking up 26,000 square feet of soundstage space.
       1920s accessories were sourced from antique stores in London, England, Los Angeles, CA, and the East Coast, according to a 3 Apr 1992 LAT “Screen Style” column. Robert Marc Opticians in Manhattan aided costume designer Jeffrey Kurland in finding three matching pairs of 1910 silver wire-rimmed glasses for Woody Allen, while many of the hats and headpieces came from the Repeat Performance vintage store in Los Angeles. Circus costumes were Kurland’s original designs.
       According to an 8 Mar 1992 LAT brief, despite rumors that Allen was dissatisfied with Madonna’s performance and her role had been drastically cut, the filmmaker claimed “not a frame of her” had been excised from the film, and described her performance as “first-rate.”
       Shadows and Fog was Woody Allen’s eleventh feature film to be financed and distributed by Orion Pictures. After production was completed, as stated in the 18 Nov 1991 Var, Orion encountered financial troubles that prompted a moratorium on new productions. Furthermore, theatrical releases of twelve completed pictures, including Shadows and Fog, were delayed. Allen was released from an exclusive three-picture deal with Orion to make his next film, Husbands and Wives (1992, see entry) with Tri-Star Pictures, as reported in a 4 Sep 1991 DV article. Although Orion hoped to resume its working relationship with Allen after recapitalizing and restructuring, Shadows and Fog marked their final collaboration.
       The film was screened on 5 Dec 1991 as part of opening celebrations for the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City, as noted in the 18 Nov 1991 Var. While theatrical release was initially scheduled for 1991, it was delayed to Feb 1992, and further delayed to Mar 1992, when a federal bankruptcy court granted Orion permission to release Article 99 (see entry) on 13 Mar 1992, and Shadows and Fog on 20 Mar 1992, as stated in a 1 Feb 1992 LAT news item. At that time, Orion was said to be in the process of “reorganizing its finances under Chapter 11 proceedings.”
       According to a 5 Apr 1992 NYT item, with a 12 Feb 1992 theatrical release in Paris, France, Shadows and Fog became the first Woody Allen picture to open overseas before domestic release. Producer Robert Greenhut was criticized in a 19 Mar 1992 San Francisco Chronicle brief, for giving the following statement: “We decided to go ahead with a premiere in France where Woody has always had a very loyal following and where there is a seemingly more intelligent movie audience than we have back home.”
       On 15 Feb 1992, the film screened out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival. It was subsequently scheduled for a 27 Feb 1992 opening in Germany, with releases the following day in Austria and Switzerland. A 4 Mar 1992 opening in Belgium, 6 Mar 1992 openings in Norway and Sweden, and a 13 Mar 1992 opening in Spain also preceded the American release.
       Critical reception was tepid. Several reviewers noted the obvious influence of German Expressionist filmmakers Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, and G. W. Pabst, as well as European auteur filmmakers Federico Fellini, and Ingmar Bergman. A negative review in the 19 Mar 1992 HR described the film’s style as “cinematic casserole: Fellini-Bergman-Murnau-Kafka, all lumped together.”
       A 27 Aug 1992 DV item noted that Orion Home Video would release the home video version on 21 Oct 1992, hoping to capitalize on recent controversy surrounding Woody Allen’s personal life and the release of Husbands and Wives. Orion offered a promotion in which any retailer that bought two copies of Shadows and Fog would receive a copy of Crimes and Misdemeanors, Another Woman, and September (1989, 1988, and 1987, see entries) for one dollar. A 2 Dec 1992 LAT item announced Blockbuster video stores would not carry Shadows and Fog, but planned to stock Husbands and Wives when it became available.
       End credits include the statements: “Filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York”; and, “The Producers wish to thank the following for their assistance: The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting; Albert G. Ruben Insurance Co., Inc.; General Camera Corp.; 20th Century Draperies Inc.; Jack Piccuro.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Sep 1991
p. 1, 22.
Daily Variety
12 Feb 1992
p. 2, 18.
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 1992
p. 3, 53.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 1992
p. 8, 22.
Los Angeles Times
8 Mar 1991
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
1 Feb 1992
Section D, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
20 Mar 1992
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
3 Apr 1992
p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
2 Dec 1992
Calendar, p. 2.
New York Times
20 Mar 1992
p. 6.
New York Times
5 Apr 1992
Section A, p. 26.
Newsweek
23 Mar 1992.
---
San Francisco Chronicle
19 Mar 1992.
---
Screen International
29 Sep 1990.
---
Variety
18 Nov 1991.
---
Variety
18 Nov 1991
p. 3, 8.
Variety
13 Jan 1992.
---
Variety
17 Feb 1992
pp. 66-67.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Orion Pictures Release
A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam asst trainee
Still photog
Louma crane op
Key grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Assoc art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
DGA trainee
Negative matching
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Prop master
Const coord
Standby carpenter
Chief const grip
Master scenic artist
Standby scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost asst
Men's ward supv
Women's ward supv
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer, Sound One Corp.
Re-rec mixer
Dubbing rec
Dubbing rec
Supv sd ed
Sd des consultant, Hastings Sound Editorial
Sd des consultant
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opt eff & titles
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod coord
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Asst to Mr. Allen
Projectionist
Loc mgr
Loc scout
Asst prod coord
Asst prod auditor
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Casting assoc
Addl casting
Addl casting
Studio mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Cannon Song From Little Threepenny Music," by Kurt Weill, performed by Canadian Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Raffi Armenian, courtesy of CBS Records - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
"The Cannon Song From Little Threepenny Music," by Kurt Weill, performed by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by David Atherton, courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc.
"When Day Is Done," by Robert Katscher & B. G. DeSylva, performed by The Jack Hylton Orchestra, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
+
SONGS
"The Cannon Song From Little Threepenny Music," by Kurt Weill, performed by Canadian Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Raffi Armenian, courtesy of CBS Records - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
"The Cannon Song From Little Threepenny Music," by Kurt Weill, performed by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by David Atherton, courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc.
"When Day Is Done," by Robert Katscher & B. G. DeSylva, performed by The Jack Hylton Orchestra, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
"Ja, Ja Die Frau'n Sind Meine Schwache Seite," by K. Schwebach & A. Egen, performed by The Jack Hylton Orchestra, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
"Prologue From The Seven Deadly Sins," music by Kurt Weill, text by Bertolt Brecht, orchestra conducted by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, courtesy of Sony Classical, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Alabama Song," by Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht, performed by Marek Weber and His Orchestra, courtesy of Delta Music, Inc.
"Moritat From The Three Penny Opera," by Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht, performed by Berlin Staatsoper, conducted by Otto Klemperer, courtesy of Delta Music, Inc.
"When The White Lilacs Bloom Again," by Franz Doelle & Fritz Rotter, performed by The Jack Hylton Orchestra, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Woody Allen '91
Release Date:
20 March 1992
Premiere Information:
Paris opening: 12 February 1992
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 March 1992
Production Date:
began November 1990
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Prints
DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31344
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sometime in the past, Max Kleinman awakens to the sound of knocking. A group of vigilantes insists that he join them in a manhunt for a maniacal killer who is strangling people in the streets. Kleinman does not want to go out. He tells his landlady he is hoping to get a promotion at work and cannot afford a sleepless night. The landlady accuses him of kowtowing to his boss, Mr. Paulsen, and suggests that if Kleinman married her, he would not have to worry about money. Kleinman reminds her that he intends to marry his fiancée, Eve. On his way out, the landlady gives him a packet of pepper to use in self-defense. Kleinman goes to meet the vigilantes outside, but they have disappeared. Unsure what he is supposed to do, he talks to himself as he skulks around the dark, foggy streets. Meanwhile, Irmy, a sword swallower in a traveling circus, confronts her boyfriend, a clown named Paul, about wanting to settle down and have children. Paul claims he needs more time alone, and that family is “death to an artist.” He wanders outside and flirts with Marie, a high-wire performer. Marie lures him to her wagon, where her husband, the strongman, has passed out. As she kisses Paul, Irmy barges in and breaks up with him. Elsewhere, Kleinman visits a doctor performing autopsies on several murder victims, who hopes to discover the nature of evil by studying human insides. He wonders aloud why some sane people are driven to be homicidal, while others sublimate bad impulses into creative endeavors. Kleinman asks for a drink, and suggests that perhaps there is something intangible about evil, but the ... +


Sometime in the past, Max Kleinman awakens to the sound of knocking. A group of vigilantes insists that he join them in a manhunt for a maniacal killer who is strangling people in the streets. Kleinman does not want to go out. He tells his landlady he is hoping to get a promotion at work and cannot afford a sleepless night. The landlady accuses him of kowtowing to his boss, Mr. Paulsen, and suggests that if Kleinman married her, he would not have to worry about money. Kleinman reminds her that he intends to marry his fiancée, Eve. On his way out, the landlady gives him a packet of pepper to use in self-defense. Kleinman goes to meet the vigilantes outside, but they have disappeared. Unsure what he is supposed to do, he talks to himself as he skulks around the dark, foggy streets. Meanwhile, Irmy, a sword swallower in a traveling circus, confronts her boyfriend, a clown named Paul, about wanting to settle down and have children. Paul claims he needs more time alone, and that family is “death to an artist.” He wanders outside and flirts with Marie, a high-wire performer. Marie lures him to her wagon, where her husband, the strongman, has passed out. As she kisses Paul, Irmy barges in and breaks up with him. Elsewhere, Kleinman visits a doctor performing autopsies on several murder victims, who hopes to discover the nature of evil by studying human insides. He wonders aloud why some sane people are driven to be homicidal, while others sublimate bad impulses into creative endeavors. Kleinman asks for a drink, and suggests that perhaps there is something intangible about evil, but the doctor scoffs at the idea of spirituality. Kleinman is repulsed by the sight of a dissected corpse, and leaves. Still unsure what the vigilantes expect of him, he returns to the streets, where one of the vigilantes grabs him from behind and startles him. They discover another murder victim on the ground. Meanwhile, carrying a suitcase filled with her belongings, Irmy wanders into town. She encounters a prostitute, who warns her the streets are unsafe and offers her shelter in a brothel. There, Irmy bonds with several prostitutes, who share their differing views on love and sex. Irmy cannot imagine pretending to feel passion in exchange for money. However, when a group of wealthy students arrives, a young man named Jack declares Irmy the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and offers her the astronomical fee of $700 for sex. Irmy agrees, and actually enjoys her encounter. Meanwhile, the killer attacks the doctor, who claims to feel no fear, but attempts to flee. The killer follows the doctor into the streets and strangles him. Kleinman witnesses the Mintzes, a family of “social undesirables,” being arrested on suspicion of murder, and tells an onlooker that the Mintzes are lovely people. He goes to the police station to speak on their behalf. A policeman arrives with news that the doctor was killed. They believe the killer was in his office, and present the glass from which Kleinman drank as evidence. Kleinman watches nervously as a police officer dusts the glass for fingerprints. Irmy is brought to the police station for prostituting herself without a license, and fined $50. Kleinman witnesses as she repeatedly denies being a prostitute. He takes advantage of the commotion to steal the glass with his fingerprints. Outside, he runs into Irmy, who tells him she is a sword swallower with the circus. Kleinman reveals he is an amateur magician, and offers to take her to his fiancée Eve’s apartment, where she can sleep on the couch. Another vigilante appears and accuses Kleinman of socializing during the manhunt. Kleinman admits he does not know what he is supposed to do. The man suggests he walk down a nearby street where the killer might be lurking. Irmy offers to accompany the frightened Kleinman, who cowers behind her. In a dark corner, Irmy spots a peeping Tom and shrieks, believing he might be the killer. Kleinman attacks the man but is horrified to discover it is his boss, Mr. Paulsen. Although he apologizes profusely, addressing Paulsen as “your majesty,” Paulsen accuses Kleinman of being a simpleton and a detriment to the manhunt. Paul the clown goes in search of Irmy. He stops in a bar and meets Jack, the student who paid her for sex. Jack claims he made love to a woman who was “sheer perfection” and inadvertently reveals the woman to be Irmy when he identifies her as a sword swallower. Paul becomes irate when Jack conjectures that Irmy’s lover is some “poor clown” who never pleased her in bed. Elsewhere, Irmy asks Kleinman to donate her remaining $650 to a church. However, after he drops off the money, they encounter a starving mother and her baby, and Irmy asks him to retrieve half the money. Kleinman takes back $300 and notices the clergyman and a policeman adding his name to a list. Soon after, Kleinman and Irmy arrive outside his fiancée Eve’s apartment. Eve is angry at being woken up and refuses to allow Irmy to spend the night. Kleinman complains to Irmy that Eve is a “cold fish.” They stop walking and admire the stars just visible through the fog. Irmy explains that, although the light is just reaching them, many of the stars no longer exist. Kleinman is unsettled by things that are not as they appear. A mob arrives with a clairvoyant named Spiro, who believes he can find the killer. Spiro demands to smell Kleinman, and as he takes a whiff, announces that something is hidden in Kleinman’s jacket. Someone removes the glass Kleinman stole and identifies it as a missing piece of evidence. Kleinman tosses the pepper from his landlady into the crowd and flees. He takes refuge at the home of Alma, to whom he was once engaged, but she yells at him for leaving her at the altar and sleeping with her sister, and forces him out. Paul finds Irmy and threatens to kill her for betraying him, but also begs her to come home. They stumble upon the dead body of the starving mother Irmy gave $300, and discover her abandoned baby nearby. To Paul’s dismay, Irmy vows to keep the baby, and retrieves her $300. Still running from the angry mob, Kleinman takes cover in the brothel. A prostitute lures him into a bedroom, but he is unable to achieve an erection. Police arrive and he flees again. On the streets, he encounters Simon Carr, a co-worker who just received the promotion Kleinman was hoping for. Carr laughingly recounts how Paulsen described Kleinman as “cringing, slimy vermin.” Kleinman goes to the circus in search of Irmy. Meanwhile, Paul has become smitten with the baby and tells Irmy they should have a child of their own to keep the baby company. Irmy goes outside to fetch milk. Just as the killer stalks her, Kleinman arrives and warns her to run inside. Kleinman leads the killer into the circus tent, where he encounters Armstead, the magician, who uses magic tricks to confine the killer to a chair. However, when the vigilantes arrive, the killer has disappeared. Irmy thanks Kleinman for saving her life. She tells him the circus is due to leave tomorrow, and bids him goodbye. Hearing that Kleinman is newly unemployed, Armstead offers him a job as his assistant. Kleinman initially declines, but changes his mind, realizing there is no better way to spend his life than helping Armstead with his wonderful illusions. Armstead agrees, declaring that people need illusions like they need air. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.