Annie Hall: Wikis


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Annie Hall
Directed by Woody Allen
Produced by Charles H. Joffe
Jack Rollins
Written by Woody Allen
Marshall Brickman
Starring Woody Allen
Diane Keaton
Tony Roberts
Carol Kane
Paul Simon
Shelley Duvall
Christopher Walken
Jeff Goldblum
Sigourney Weaver
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Editing by Ralph Rosenblum
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 20 April 1977
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million
Gross revenue $38,251,425

Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen from a script co-written with Marshall Brickman. One of Allen's most popular films, it won numerous awards at the time of its release, including four Academy Awards, and in 2002 Roger Ebert referred to it as "just about everyone's favorite Woody Allen movie".[1]

Allen had previously been known as a maker of zany comedies; the director has described Annie Hall as "a major turning point",[2] as it brought a new level of seriousness to his work.[1]



The film is set in New York City and Los Angeles.

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) is a neurotic comedian, attempting to maintain a relationship with the seemingly ditzy but exuberant Annie (Diane Keaton). The film chronicles their relationship over several years, intercut with various imaginary trips into each other's history (Annie is able to "see" Alvy's family when he was only a child, and likewise Alvy observes Annie's past relationships). In the first flashback showing Alvy as a child, we learn he was raised in Brooklyn; his father's occupation was operating a bumper cars concession and the family home was located below the Thunderbolt roller coaster on Coney Island.

After many arguments and reconciliations, the two realize they are fundamentally different and split up. Annie moves in with Tony Lacey (Paul Simon). Annie likes California, but Alvy hates it. Alvy soon realizes he still loves her and tries to convince her to return with him to New York. He fails and, resignedly, returns home to write a play about their relationship, recycling the conversation they had exchanged in California, but ending with him winning Annie back.

Later, with Annie back in New York, the two are able to meet on good terms as friends, now with different lovers. Alvy ends the film by musing about how love and relationships are something we all require despite their often painful and complex nature.



Allen's working title for the film was Anhedonia (a psychoanalytic term for the inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events), but this was considered unmarketable, as were Brickman's suggested alternatives, It Had to Be Jew, Rollercoaster Named Desire and Me and My Goy.[4] Ultimately Annie Hall was decided on as the release title. Because of biographical similarities between the character Alvy and Woody Allen (including Allen's previous relationship with co-star Diane Keaton, whose real name is Diane Hall, and who portrays the character Annie Hall), Annie Hall has been widely assumed to be semi-autobiographical. Allen has denied this.

The film was originally intended to be a drama centered on a murder mystery with a comic and romantic subplot, and was filmed that way. According to Allen, the murder occurred after a scene that remains in the film, the sequence in which Annie and Alvy miss the Ingmar Bergman film Face to Face.[2] After shooting had completed, the film's editor persuaded Woody Allen to cut the mystery plot and make the film a romantic comedy. (Allen would make a murder mystery film many years later, with 1993's Manhattan Murder Mystery, also starring Diane Keaton.)

Similarly, the production of the film was semi-improvisational. For example, in the original script, Alvy didn't grow up under a roller coaster, but while Allen was driving around Brooklyn with his crew, looking for locations, "I saw this roller-coaster, and I saw the house under it. And I thought, we have to use this."[2] The 'house' in question is in fact the Kensington Hotel, which really was located underneath the Thunderbolt roller coaster.[5] Another example is the scene in which Alvy sneezes into cocaine, which was purely accidental, but Allen decided to keep it in the movie; when they tested it with audiences they laughed so much that Allen had to add more footage after the scene so they wouldn't laugh through important conversations afterwards.[6]

Style and technique

A scene from Annie Hall

Allen has said that Annie Hall was "a major turning point" both thematically and technically. "I had the courage to abandon... just clowning around and the safety of complete broad comedy. I said to myself, 'I think I will try and make some deeper film and not be as funny in the same way. And maybe there will be other values that will emerge, that will be interesting or nourishing for the audience.' And it worked out very very well."[2]

Allen has also stated that working with cinematographer Gordon Willis for the first time on Annie Hall helped improve his technical skills, calling Willis "a very important teacher" and a "technical wizard."[2] Annie Hall was the first of Allen's films to utilize long takes, where sometimes one shot will continue, unabridged, for an entire scene. Allen has commented, "It just seems more fun and quicker and less boring for me to do long scenes."[2] Film critic Roger Ebert cites a study that calculated the average shot length of Annie Hall to be 14.5 seconds, while other films made in 1977 had an average shot length of 4–7 seconds.[1] Ebert adds that the long takes add to the dramatic power of the film, saying, "Few viewers probably notice how much of Annie Hall consists of people talking, simply talking. They walk and talk, sit and talk, go to shrinks, go to lunch, make love and talk, talk to the camera, or launch into inspired monologues like Annie's free-association as she describes her family to Alvy. This speech by Diane Keaton is as close to perfect as such a speech can likely be... all done in one take of brilliant brinkmanship." As detailed in the book When the Shooting Stops... The Cutting Begins, written by the film's editor, Ralph Rosenblum, with Robert Karen, the trick to editing Annie Hall was paring the film down to its essential. The first rough cut was two hours and twenty minutes long; various subplots, background scenes and flashbacks-within-flashbacks were deleted to focus on the love story.

In one scene, Allen's character, standing in a cinema queue with Annie and listening to someone behind him expound on Marshall McLuhan's work, leaves the line to speak to the camera directly. The man then speaks to the camera in his defense, and Allen resolves the dispute by pulling McLuhan himself from behind a free-standing movie posterboard to tell the man that his interpretation is wrong. Another scene is animated, featuring a cartoon Allen and the Wicked Queen from Snow White. In another scene Allen's character again addresses the audience, and then stops several passers-by to ask questions about love. Woody Allen chose to have Alvy break the fourth wall, he explained, "because I felt many of the people in the audience had the same feelings and the same problems. I wanted to talk to them directly and confront them."[2]

Another notable scene is a visit by the main characters to Alvy’s childhood, a narrative technique that Ingmar Bergman uses in Wild Strawberries, one of Bergman’s most acclaimed films, and a technique Allen would use again in Crimes and Misdemeanors, where the main character, Judah (Martin Landau) would visit his childhood and ask his father, a rabbi, ethical questions about a crime he’d just committed. Similarly the school scenes in the beginning of the film were influenced by another idol of Allen’s, Federico Fellini, to whose Amarcord Annie Hall owes a great debt.

The film has no soundtrack and very little background music is heard—an homage to Allen’s idol, Ingmar Bergman. The few instances of music in the film include a boy's choir Christmas melody played while the characters drive through Los Angeles, the Molto allegro from the Jupiter Symphony by Mozart heard as Annie and Alvy drive through the countryside, Annie's two performances at the jazz club; Annie's song is also reprised in the film's final scene; and there is a muzak version of the Savoy Brown song "A Hard Way to Go" playing in the Paul Simon character's mansion during a party.

Awards and honors

Academy Awards record
1. Best Actress, Diane Keaton
2. Best Director, Woody Allen
3. Best Picture, Charles H. Joffe
4. Best Original Screenplay, Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Golden Globe Awards record
1. Best Actress - Musical/Comedy, Diane Keaton
BAFTA Awards record
1. Best Actress, Diane Keaton
2. Best Direction, Woody Allen
3. Best Editing, Ralph Rosenblum, Wendy Greene Bricmont
4. Best Film
5. Best Screenplay, Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

1977 Academy Awards (Oscars)

1978 Golden Globes

  • Annie Hall won one Golden Globe Award, for Best Actress in Musical or Comedy (Diane Keaton). It was nominated for three more: Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Director (Woody Allen), and Best Actor in Musical or Comedy (Woody Allen).

1978 BAFTA Awards

American Film Institute recognition


Other awards

  • In 1992, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
  • Zagat Survey Movie Guide (2002) ranks Annie Hall one of the top ten comedies of all time, one of the top ten movies of the 1970s and as Allen's best film as a director.
  • In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the forty-second greatest comedy film of all time.
  • The film is number 28 on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies.

Considered sequel

Allen says he gets approached "all the time" about making a sequel to Annie Hall,[7] but has repeatedly declined. He admitted in a 1995 interview that for a time he considered it, saying,

I did think once - I'm not going to do it - but I did think once that it would be interesting to see Annie Hall and the guy I played years later. Diane Keaton and I could meet now that we're about twenty years older, and it could be interesting, because we parted, to meet one day and see what our lives have become. But it smacks to me of exploitation....Sequelism has become an annoying thing. I don't think Francis Coppola should have done Godfather III because Godfather II was quite great. When they make a sequel, it's just a thirst for more money, so I don't like that idea so much.[8]

Influence on fashion

The film also had an influence on the fashion world during the late-70s, with countless women adopting Keaton's distinctive look in the film, layering oversized, mannish blazers over vests, billowy trousers or long skirts, and boots. Keaton's wardrobe also included a tie by Ralph Lauren. The look was often referred to as the "Annie Hall look".

Allen recalled that Keaton's natural fashion sense almost did not end up in the film. "She came in," he recalled in 1995, "and the costume lady on Annie Hall said, 'Tell her not to wear that. She can't wear that. It's so crazy.' And I said, 'Leave her. She's a genius. Let's just leave her alone, let her wear what she wants.'[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Great Movies: Annie Hall". by Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times.. 2002-05-12. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Stig Bjorkman (ed.) Woody Allen on Woody Allen, . London: Faber and Faber, 1995, Revised Edition 2004, p. 75-93.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen. When the Shooting Stops... The Cutting Begins. p. 289. 
  5. ^ "The House Under the Roller Coaster". by Steve Zeitlin, New York Folk Lore Society.. Spring-Summer 2001. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  6. ^ When the Shooting Stops... The Cutting Begins, by Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen, p. 284-285.
  7. ^ Biskind, Peter (2005-12). "Reconstructing Woody". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  8. ^ Bjorkman, Stig, ed. Woody Allen on Woody Allen: Revised Edition. London: Faber and Faber, 1995, 2004. p. 51.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Academy Award for Best Picture
Succeeded by
The Deer Hunter
Preceded by
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
BAFTA Award for Best Film
Succeeded by


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Annie Hall is a 1977 film about neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer who falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.

Written and directed by Woody Allen.
A nervous romance.


Alvy Singer

  • There's an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.
  • I hope to become the balding virile type, you know, as opposed to, say, the distinguished gray, unless I'm neither of those two. Unless I'm one of those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag screaming about socialism.
  • I was thrown out of N.Y.U. my freshman year for cheating on my metaphysics final, you know. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me. When I was thrown out, my mother, who was an emotionally high-strung woman, locked herself in the bathroom and took an overdose of Mah-Jongg tiles. I was depressed at that time. I was in analysis. I was suicidal as a matter of fact and would have killed myself; but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian, and if you kill yourself, they make you pay for the sessions you miss.
  • You know, even as a kid, I always went for the wrong women. I think that's my problem. When my mother took me to see Snow White, everyone fell in love with Snow White. I immediately fell for the Wicked Queen.
  • A relationship I think, is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.


Man in Theatre Line: It just so happens I teach a class at Columbia called "TV, Media and Culture." So I think my insights into Mr. McLuhan, well, have a great deal of validity!
Alvy Singer: Oh, do ya? Well, that's funny, because I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here, so, so, yeah, just let me... [pulls McLuhan out from behind a nearby poster]... Come over here for a second... tell him!
Marshall McLuhan: I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work!...How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing!
Alvy Singer: Boy, if life were only like this!

Alvy: I'm so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for Dysentery.
Robin: Commentary.
Alvy: Oh, really? I heard that Commentary and Dissent had merged and formed Dysentery.

Alvy: It's all mental masturbation.
Annie: Oh, well, now we're finally getting to a subject you know something about.
Alvy: Hey, don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love.


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Annie Hall
Directed by Woody Allen
Produced by Charles H. Joffe
Jack Rollins
Written by Woody Allen
Marshall Brickman
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Editing by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Ralph Rosenblum
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) April 20, 1977
Running time 93
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million
IMDb profile

Annie Hall is a 1977 movie from United Artists. Woody Allen was the director, and one of the cast members.

At first it was called Anhedonia, then "It Had To Be Jew", but these titles would not sell the movie.

Annie Hall has been considered a biography of Allen's real life, but the actor has denied this claim.



The movie takes place in New York City and Los Angeles, California.

It tells the story of Alvy Singer, a comedian from Brooklyn who loves death. He has an affair with the title character (played by Diane Keaton), who loves life.

Alvy says his Brooklyn house was below a roller coaster on Coney Island. His father was the owner of a place that had bumper cars.


Annie Hall is noted for its use of special elements such as double exposure (two pictures in one) and magic themes in a real setting.

There is an animated scene with a cartoon version of Allen, and the Witch from Disney's Snow White.

Awards and success

Academy Awards

The movie won four Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director (Allen)
  • Best Actress (Keaton)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Allen and Marshall Brickman)

Allen was nominated for Best Actor.


It has been called one of the best comedy movies of all time. It has appeared on IMDb's Top 250 List, and was number thirty on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies list.


Many of today's romantic comedy movies have been influenced by Annie Hall. The tie that was worn by Keaton's character was popular at the time of the movie's release.

Christopher Walken, who would later become more famous, had his first major role as the title character's brother.

Other websites

Preceded by
Academy Award for Best Picture
Succeeded by
The Deer Hunter


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