Annie Hall (1977)

PG | 93-94 mins | Romantic comedy | 20 April 1977

Director:

Woody Allen

Producer:

Charles H. Joffe

Cinematographer:

Gordon Willis , A.S.C.

Production Designer:

Mel Bourne

Production Company:

United Artists Corp.
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HISTORY

Annie Hall was ranked 35th on AFI's 2007 100 Years…100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving down from the 31st position it held on AFI's 1997 list.
       Actor Christopher Walken's name is misspelled in end credits as "Christopher Wlaken," as well as actress Laurie Bird's name, which is misspelled as "Lauri Bird."
       In an 8 Oct 1979 New York magazine excerpt from their then-forthcoming book, When the Shooting Stops…The Cutting Begins: A Film Editor’s Story (New York, 1979), Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen quoted Annie Hall co-writer Marshall Brickman as saying that a late 1976/early 1977 version of the script was titled Anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure), and was centered around a forty-year-old stand-up comedian going back through his life as a result of a mid-life crisis. The first cut of the film, which took six weeks to complete, was said to have a running time of two hours and twenty minutes and was described as "the surrealistic and abstract adventures of a neurotic Jewish comedian" with Diane Keaton making only a brief appearance. Rosenblum and Karen went on to describe the film's original continuity, and the process by which it was re-edited to focus on the romance between “Alvy Singer” and “Annie Hall.” A 20 Apr 1977 NYT article also described scenes shot and later cut from the film, and outlined similarities between the real lives of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, noting that Keaton's real name was Diane Hall, that she called her grandmothers "Grammy," and that she used expressions like "La-dee-dah."
       As common for Woody ... More Less

Annie Hall was ranked 35th on AFI's 2007 100 Years…100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving down from the 31st position it held on AFI's 1997 list.
       Actor Christopher Walken's name is misspelled in end credits as "Christopher Wlaken," as well as actress Laurie Bird's name, which is misspelled as "Lauri Bird."
       In an 8 Oct 1979 New York magazine excerpt from their then-forthcoming book, When the Shooting Stops…The Cutting Begins: A Film Editor’s Story (New York, 1979), Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen quoted Annie Hall co-writer Marshall Brickman as saying that a late 1976/early 1977 version of the script was titled Anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure), and was centered around a forty-year-old stand-up comedian going back through his life as a result of a mid-life crisis. The first cut of the film, which took six weeks to complete, was said to have a running time of two hours and twenty minutes and was described as "the surrealistic and abstract adventures of a neurotic Jewish comedian" with Diane Keaton making only a brief appearance. Rosenblum and Karen went on to describe the film's original continuity, and the process by which it was re-edited to focus on the romance between “Alvy Singer” and “Annie Hall.” A 20 Apr 1977 NYT article also described scenes shot and later cut from the film, and outlined similarities between the real lives of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, noting that Keaton's real name was Diane Hall, that she called her grandmothers "Grammy," and that she used expressions like "La-dee-dah."
       As common for Woody Allen films, the production was somewhat secretive, with the title noted only as The Woody Allen Film during shooting and editing. DV revealed the final title on 8 Feb 1977, and noted that a premiere date was set for 20 Apr 1977. However, the actual world premiere was slated to occur in Los Angeles, CA, at the Plitt Century Plaza Theatres complex on 27 Mar 1977, as the closing entry of that year's Filmex film festival, according to a 24 Feb 1977 DV item. A 16 Apr 1977 LAT brief noted that there would be sneak previews that evening in seven Los Angeles theaters.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, some interior scenes were shot at Pathé Studios located at 160th Street and Park Avenue in New York City, but the bulk of filming took place at locations in and around the city, including: St. Bernard School in Greenwich Village; the Terrace Ballroom of the Statler Hilton Hotel; the Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan; the Grand Finale nightclub on West 70th Street; the Thalia, New Yorker, and Paris movie theaters; Coney Island in Brooklyn; and Amagansett, Long Island. Scenes set in Wisconsin were actually shot in New Jersey. The film shot for ten weeks on the East Coast before moving to Los Angeles for two additional weeks of principal photography.
       A 3 Aug 1977 DV article announced the settlement of a dispute between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and United Artists (UA) over the use of the possessive phrase, "Woody Allen's breakthrough movie," taken from critic Richard Schickel for use in newspaper advertisements. Arbitrator Roger H. Davis allowed UA's use of the quote, but awarded co-screenwriter Marshall Brickman $5,000 because UA failed to submit the ad to the WGA for approval. This was part of WGA's longstanding and ongoing campaign to discourage the use of possessive credits for film directors.
       A 12 May 1983 HR item noted that Brooke Shields and Stacey Nelkin both had roles in Annie Hall that ended up on the cutting room floor before initial release.
       Critical reaction ranged from highly negative ("It is a film so shapeless, sprawling, repetitious, and aimless as to seem to beg for oblivion," wrote John Simon in the 2 May 1977 issue of New York), to ecstatic (“ Annie Hall is by far the most brilliant Woody Allen movie to date," observed Andrew Sarris in the 25 Apr 1977 Village Voice), to tepid ("Allen has simply, and quite successfully, moved from his own peculiar updating of Marx Brothers farce to his own peculiar updating of forties romantic comedy . . ." offered Richard Corliss in the 13 May 1977 issue of New Times ). However the picture went on to become one of Woody Allen's most popular films.
       A late Apr 1977 issue of DV noted that Annie Hall first opened in New York and Los Angeles on 20 Apr 1977, and in Tucson, AZ, two days later. New openings were set for 27 and 29 Apr 1977, with 128 prints scheduled to be in circulation. On 18 May 1977, Var reported that the picture had been in circulation for twenty-six days and was playing in 357 theaters, with a cumulative gross, to date, of $6,421,416. By early Jun 1977, after six weeks of release and with over 400 prints circulating, Annie Hall had grossed $12,056,548.
       The film opened in Paris, France, on 7 Sep 1977. Almost two years later, a 14 Aug 1979 United Artists press release noted that it had completed its hundredth consecutive week in Paris theaters and its ninety-seventh continuous week in London, England.
       A 23 May 1978 United Artists press release announced that Jack Baker 5th Avenue had been licensed to create a line of Annie Hall inspired clothing for women.
       A 24 Nov 1981 Var article announced that United Artists Classics planned to reissue eight Woody Allen-UA films as a "Woody Allen Film Festival" with all new prints. The package was set to play first-run theaters, not revival houses, with "standard 90/10 [percentage] deals with floors and guarantees," requirements for three-week runs, and an option for "a one-week holdover in which [all] the films will be shown at least once." During the initial three-week period, the films would be shown in "different combinations of double features that will change three times a week." The eight films, produced between 1971 and 1980, included Annie Hall, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Interiors, Love and Death, Sleeper, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, and Bananas (see entries), and it was noted that they had previously been withdrawn from distribution in the spring of 1981 due to poor surviving circulating print condition.
       A 17 May 1991 HR brief reported that the house beneath the Thunderbolt roller coaster at Coney Island, which appeared in the film as Alvy Singer's childhood home, was destroyed in a fire caused by faulty wiring.
       The 22 Dec 1977 issue of HR reported that Annie Hall was named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics’ Circle. Woody Allen received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor, and the film won Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Diane Keaton); Best Director; Best Picture; and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Diane Keaton won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical or Comedy; and Golden Globe nominations went to Allen for Best Director and Best Motion Picture Actor – Musical or Comedy; to Allen and Brickman for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture; and to Charles H. Joffe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The film was named Best Foreign Film of 1978 by the German league of art-film exhibitors (Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheather), and also received British Academy of Film and Television Arts and Sciences (BAFTA) Awards in the categories Best Picture; Best Actress (Diane Keaton); Best Director; Best Screenplay; and Best Film Editing. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Apr 1977.
---
Cosmopolitan
Jul 1977.
---
Daily Variety
8 Feb 1977.
---
Daily Variety
24 Feb 1977.
---
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1977
p. 1, 6.
Daily Variety
24 Nov 1981.
---
Filmfacts
1977
pp. 73-77.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 1977
p. 3, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 1991.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
30 Mar 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Apr 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Apr 1977
Section IV, p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 May 1977
pp. 93-94.
New Times
13 May 1977.
---
New York
2 May 1977
p. 74.
New York
8 Oct 1979.
---
New York Times
20 Apr 1977
Section C, p. 1, 26.
New York Times
21 Apr 1977
Section III, p. 22.
New Yorker
25 Apr 1977
p. 136.
Time
25 Apr 1977
p. 70.
Time
26 Sep 1977
pp. 69-71.
Variety
30 Mar 1977
p. 18.
Variety
18 May 1977.
---
Variety
24 Nov 1981.
---
Village Voice
25 Apr 1977
p. 45.
Vogue
Jun 1977
p. 22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Featured cast:
Lacey party guests:
Street strangers:
Alvy's classmates:
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jack Rollins-Charles H. Joffe Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
D.G.A. trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
Gaffer
Key grip
Still photog
Cam op, Los Angeles unit
Gaffer, Los Angeles unit
Key grip, Los Angeles unit
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Carpenter
Scenic artist
Const grip
Set dec, Los Angeles unit
Propmaster, Los Angeles unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
Clothing designs by
Ward supv, Los Angeles unit
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
/Magnofex
Sd mixer, Los Angeles unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Makeup, Los Angeles unit
Hairstylist, Los Angeles unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Prod office coord
Asst to Mr. Allen
Loc auditor
Transportation capt
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Unit pub
Video services
Casting
/MDA
Extra casting
Miss Keaton's accompanist
Loc mgr, Los Angeles unit
Transportation capt, Los Angeles unit
Cameras and lenses by
Prints by
The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperati
The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperati
The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperati
The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperati
The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperati
ANIMATION
Anim seq
SOURCES
SONGS
"Seems Like Old Times," music by Carmen Lombardo, lyrics by John Jacob Loeb
"It Had To Be You," music by Isham Jones, lyrics by Gus Kahn. Recorded Music: "A Hard Way To Go," by Christopher Thomas Youlden, performed by Tim Weisberg on A&M Records
Christmas medley performed by the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus on Vocalion Records
+
SONGS
"Seems Like Old Times," music by Carmen Lombardo, lyrics by John Jacob Loeb
"It Had To Be You," music by Isham Jones, lyrics by Gus Kahn. Recorded Music: "A Hard Way To Go," by Christopher Thomas Youlden, performed by Tim Weisberg on A&M Records
Christmas medley performed by the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus on Vocalion Records
"Sleepy Lagoon," by Eric Coates and Lawrence Jack, performed by Tommy Dorsey on RCA Records.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Anhedonia
The Woody Allen Film
Release Date:
20 April 1977
Premiere Information:
World premiere at Filmex: 27 March 1977
Los Angeles opening: 20 April 1977 at Regent and Vogue Theaters
New York opening: 20 April 1977
Production Date:
late spring/early summer 1976
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
4 April 1977
Copyright Number:
LP47932
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Deluxe
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Lenses/Prints
Camera and lenses by Panavision®; prints by Deluxe
Duration(in mins):
93-94
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24806
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Alvy Singer grows up to become a well-known comedian. As an adult, he encounters relationship problems with his girl friend, Annie Hall, when she starts to withdraw her affection. Annie claims she is only going through a phase and reminds him of how he used to be “hot” for Allison, but then his ardor cooled off. Alvy recalls meeting Allison, an ex-girl friend, at a 1956 benefit performance for Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaign. By 1964, Alvy has lost interest in the relationship. While making love to Allison, he obsesses over conflicting evidence related to the John F. Kennedy assassination, and Allison accuses him of using his fixation to avoid intimacy with her. Alvy reflects that there is some truth in what Allison says—that, like the old Groucho Marx joke, he really does not want to be in any club that would have him as a member. In a happier moment in their relationship, Alvy and Annie Hall vacation at the seashore, and delight in each other’s company as they attempt to cook live lobsters for dinner. Alvy asks Annie if he is her first love. She says no, and reminisces about old boyfriends. When Alvy suggests that Annie is lucky he came along, she responds, “Well, la-dee-dah." Alvy is unimpressed with her choice of words, and Annie suggests that he prefers intellectual women because he married two of them. However, Alvy’s memories of his earlier marriages are not particularly happy. He recalls meeting Annie in 1975, on a tennis date with his friend, Rob, and Rob’s girl friend, Janet. Annie, a sometime actress ... +


Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Alvy Singer grows up to become a well-known comedian. As an adult, he encounters relationship problems with his girl friend, Annie Hall, when she starts to withdraw her affection. Annie claims she is only going through a phase and reminds him of how he used to be “hot” for Allison, but then his ardor cooled off. Alvy recalls meeting Allison, an ex-girl friend, at a 1956 benefit performance for Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaign. By 1964, Alvy has lost interest in the relationship. While making love to Allison, he obsesses over conflicting evidence related to the John F. Kennedy assassination, and Allison accuses him of using his fixation to avoid intimacy with her. Alvy reflects that there is some truth in what Allison says—that, like the old Groucho Marx joke, he really does not want to be in any club that would have him as a member. In a happier moment in their relationship, Alvy and Annie Hall vacation at the seashore, and delight in each other’s company as they attempt to cook live lobsters for dinner. Alvy asks Annie if he is her first love. She says no, and reminisces about old boyfriends. When Alvy suggests that Annie is lucky he came along, she responds, “Well, la-dee-dah." Alvy is unimpressed with her choice of words, and Annie suggests that he prefers intellectual women because he married two of them. However, Alvy’s memories of his earlier marriages are not particularly happy. He recalls meeting Annie in 1975, on a tennis date with his friend, Rob, and Rob’s girl friend, Janet. Annie, a sometime actress from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, offers Alvy a ride home and invites him up to her apartment for a drink. She makes him uncomfortable when she observes that he is what her “Grammy” Hall would call a “real Jew,” and goes on to explain that her grandmother hates Jews. As they engage in a pretentious conversation about Annie’s photography, they are both distracted by their own insecure inner monologues. Annie reveals that she is auditioning to sing at a local nightclub on Saturday night. Alvy tells Annie he would love to hear her sing and she overcomes her shyness by allowing him to attend. At the nightclub, the audience is restless. Afterward, Annie is embarrassed, believing that the crowd hated her. Alvy assures her that she has a good voice and the audience loved her. He proposes that they kiss before dinner, to get over the awkwardness of a first kiss. The cultural divide between them is revealed at a delicatessen when he orders corned beef on rye, and she orders pastrami on white bread. They make love that night, and afterward Annie smokes marijuana. Soon she moves in with Alvy, although he believes she should maintain a separate apartment. Later, at the beach house, Annie wants to smoke a joint before making love, and suggests that Alvy might not need a psychiatrist if he resorted to marijuana. Upset that Annie needs to get high in order to make love, he takes the joint away. As he starts to kiss her, Annie’s bored spirit separates from her body and searches for her sketchpad so she can draw while her dispirited body has sex with Alvy. When she argues that she needs marijuana to feel comfortable, he again tells her that it upsets him. As a comedian, he is not interested in getting laughs from people who are high, because they are always laughing anyway. Early in his own career, Alvy was reluctant to perform and wrote material for other comics, but now he has overcome his fears and is successful. One night, he performs at the University of Wisconsin and Annie is impressed with his reception by the students. She tells him she is beginning to understand some of the cultural references in his act. Alvy and Annie go to Chippewa Falls to spend Easter with her family. The anti-Semitic Grammy Hall cannot help but see Alvy as an orthodox Hasidic Jew—with spring curls, a beard, and a black suit and hat. Alvy makes a mental comparison between the Hall family’s dinner table etiquette and that of his own raucous New York Jewish family. Later, Annie’s brother, Duane Hall, invites Alvy into his room and confesses that when he is driving at night he sometimes has the urge to drive head-on into oncoming cars. Later, Duane drives Alvy and Annie to the airport, and Alvy is petrified with anxiety. Back in New York, Annie accuses Alvy of following her. He denies the charge and says that he was spying on her and saw her kissing David, her Russian literature professor. Later, Annie enters into psychoanalysis, and notes that Alvy’s last name is “Singer” and that she wants to be a singer. She accuses Alvy of not wanting to be in a committed relationship because he does not think she is smart enough. He counters that encouraging her to take adult education courses is a way to broaden her horizons. He then contradicts himself by saying that such classes are empty and shallow. After Alvy and Annie have broken up, he muses that he has always been attracted to the wrong kind of women. His friend, Rob, introduces him to Pam, a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. Although they have little in common, they end up having sex and Pam describes the experience as Kafkaesque. During their post-coital conversation, Annie calls Alvy for help, and he rushes over to her apartment. Arring there at 3:00 a.m., he discovers the crisis is merely that there are two spiders in her bathroom. After Alvy kills the spiders, Annie tells him she misses him and asks him to stay. She inquires if someone was in his room when she called, but he denies it. Later, in bed, Annie suggests that she and Alvy never break up again, and they are reunited. After singing again at the nightclub, Annie is approached by record producer Tony Lacey, who invites her and Alvy to his room at the Hotel Pierre. At Alvy’s insistence, Annie turns down the invitation. Instead, he takes her to watch the somber documentary The Sorrow and the Pity, about French anti-Semitism during World War II. With their respective analysts, Annie and Alvy come to similar but different conclusions. She views a day they spent in Brooklyn as the last time they had fun together. He feels that they never have any laughs anymore. Asked how often they have sex, Alvy says, “Hardly ever—three times a week,” while Annie responds, “Constantly! Three times a week.” At a get-together with friends, Annie and Alvy are offered cocaine. Annie urges Alvy to try it, and mentions that they will soon be going to California. Alvy dips the tip of his finger in the white powder, puts it to his nose, then sneezes into the container, sending the drug up in a puff around the room. In California to present an award, Alvy becomes offended when Rob instructs an editor to add fake laughs to the latest episode of his hit comedy series. Alvy is suddenly taken ill and is unable to appear on the awards show. Rob takes him and Annie to Tony Lacey’s Christmas party, and Tony suggests to Annie that they record an album in about six weeks. Flying back to New York, Annie realizes that she liked California, and Alvy that he enjoyed flirting with other women. Each fears breaking up for fear of hurting the other, but ultimately they decide to separate. Later, leaving a movie theater alone, Alvy mentions to himself that he misses Annie, and a passing couple stops to tell him that she is living in California with Tony Lacey. Another stranger asks why he doesn’t go out with other women. Attempting to prepare lobsters at the beach house with another woman, things are not the same as with Annie, and the magic is gone. Alvy calls Annie on the phone, saying that he wants her to come back. In desperation, he travels to Los Angeles and calls her from the airport. They agree to meet at a Sunset Strip health food café, where Alvy asks Annie to marry him and she refuses. Being a New Yorker, Alvy is unused to driving. Leaving the restaurant in his rented car, he smashes into several other cars and ends up in jail. Back in New York, Alvy watches a rehearsal of his new play. Two actors recite dialogue from his last meeting with Annie, but art does not imitate life: the girl in the play agrees to return to New York with the protagonist. In the rehearsal hall, Alvy turns to the audience and says he wanted to have his first play turn out perfectly, the way life seldom does. He mentions running into Annie again, after she returned to New York and moved in with another man. He saw her coming out of a screening of The Sorrow and the Pity and considered it a personal triumph. Sometime later, they had lunch and talked about old times and then parted. He is reminded of an old joke about a guy who goes to a psychiatrist complaining that his brother thinks he is a chicken. The doctor asks, “Why don’t you turn him in?” and the man replies, “Because we need the eggs.” Alvy recognizes that relationships are difficult, but we keep putting ourselves into them “because we need the eggs.” +

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

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