Alvy Singer, a forty year old twice divorced, neurotic, intellectual Jewish New York stand-up comic, reflects on the demise of his latest relationship, to Annie Hall, an insecure, flighty, Midwestern WASP aspiring nightclub singer.
Unlike his previous relationships, Alvy believed he may have worked out all the issues in his life through fifteen years of therapy to make this relationship with Annie last, among those issues being not wanting to date any woman that would want to date him, and thus subconsciously pushing those women away. Alvy not only reviews the many ups and many downs of their relationship, but also reviews the many facets of his makeup that led to him starting to date Annie. Those facets include growing up next to Coney Island in Brooklyn, being attracted to the opposite sex for as long as he can remember, and enduring years of Jewish guilt with his constantly arguing parents.
Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Marshall Brickman. Produced by Allen’s manager, Charles H. Joffe, the film stars the director as Alvy “Max” Singer, who tries to figure out the reasons for the failure of his relationship with the film’s eponymous female lead, played by Diane Keaton in a role written specifically for her.
Principal photography for the film began on May 19, 1976 on the South Fork of Long Island, and filming continued periodically for the next ten months. Allen has described the result, which marked his first collaboration with cinematographer Gordon Willis, as “a major turning point”, in that unlike the farces and comedies that were his work to that point, it introduced a new level of seriousness. Academics have noted the contrast in the settings of New York City and Los Angeles, the stereotype of gender differences in sexuality, the presentation of Jewish identity, and the elements of psychoanalysis and modernism.
Annie Hall was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival in March 1977, before its official release on April 20, 1977. The film received widespread critical acclaim, and along with winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, it received Oscars in three other categories: two for Allen (Best Director and, with Brickman, Best Original Screenplay), and Keaton for Best Actress. The film additionally won four BAFTA awards and a Golden Globe, the latter being awarded to Keaton.
Its North American box office receipts of $38,251,425 are fourth-best in the director’s oeuvre when not adjusted for inflation. Often listed among the greatest film comedies, it ranks 31st on AFI’s list of the top feature films in American cinema, fourth on their list of top comedy films and number 28 on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies.” Film critic Roger Ebert called it “just about everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie”. The film has been named the funniest screenplay by the Writers Guild of America in its list of the “101 Funniest Screenplays.”
Annie Hall (1977)
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Paul Simon, Carol Kane, Shelley Duvall, Janet Margolin, Colleen Dewhurst, Christopher Walken
Screenplay by: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Cinematography by: Gordon Willis
Film Editing by: Wendy Greene Bricmont
Costume Design by: Ruth Morley
Set Decoration by: Robert Drumheller, Justin Scoppa Jr.
Art Direction by: Mel Bourne
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: April 20, 1977