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Directed by Woody Allen
Produced by Charles H. Joffe
Written by Woody Allen
Starring Kristin Griffith
Mary Beth Hurt
Richard Jordan
Diane Keaton
E.G. Marshall
Geraldine Page
Maureen Stapleton
Sam Waterston
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Editing by Ralph Rosenblum
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) August 2, 1978[1]
Running time 99 min.[2][3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million[1]
Gross revenue $10.43 million[1]

Interiors is a 1978 drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. Featured performers are Kristin Griffith, Mary Beth Hurt, Richard Jordan, Diane Keaton, E.G. Marshall, Geraldine Page, Maureen Stapleton and Sam Waterston.

Page received a BAFTA Film Award for "Best Supporting Actress" and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. The film received four other Oscar nominations, two for Allen's screenplay and direction, one for Stapleton as "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" and another for Mel Bourne and Daniel Robert for their art direction and set decoration. [4] It is Allen's first film in the drama genre.



Three sisters live through the painful separation of their parents. Their father parts from their controlling and mentally unstable but artistically inclined mother who ends up committing suicide, going on to marry a more "normal" but plainer woman.


Allen's own fears about the film's reception are recounted in a biography of Allen by Eric Lax (2nd edition: ISBN 0-306-80985-0), where he quotes Ralph Rosenblum, the film's editor:[5]

He [Allen] managed to rescue Interiors, much to his credit. He was against the wall. I think he was afraid. He was testy, he was slightly short-tempered. He was fearful. He thought he had a real bomb. But he managed to pull it out with his own work. The day the reviews came out, he said to me, 'Well, we pulled this one out by the short hairs, didn't we?'

Later, while watching the film with an acquaintance, Allen reportedly said "It's always been my fear. I think I'm writing Long Day's Journey Into Night and it turns into Edge of Night."[5]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times called the film "beautiful" and complimented Gordon Willis on his "use of cool colors that suggest civilization's precarious control of natural forces", but noted:[2]

My problem with Interiors is that although I admire the performances and isolated moments, as well as the techniques and the sheer, headlong courage of this great, comic, film-making philosopher, I haven't any real idea what the film is up to. It's almost as if Mr. Allen had set out to make someone else's movie, say a film in the manner of Mr. Bergman, without having any grasp of the material, or first-hand, gut feelings about the characters. They seem like other people's characters, known only through other people's art.

Richard Schickel of Time wrote that the film's "desperate sobriety ... robs it of energy and passion"; Allen's "style is Bergmanesque, but his material is Mankiewiczian, and the discontinuity is fatal. Doubtless this was a necessary movie for Allen, but it is both unnecessary and a minor embarrassment for his well-wishers."[6]

On the other hand, Roger Ebert gave the film four stars and praised it highly, saying, "Here we have a Woody Allen film, and we're talking about O'Neill and Bergman and traditions and influences? Yes, and correctly. Allen, whose comedies have been among the cheerful tonics of recent years, is astonishingly assured in his first drama." [7]

Nearly 30 years after the film was released, essayist David Rakoff commented on the film in an article for Nextbook's online magazine of Jewish culture. He called it pretentious, with a "narcotized affect ... as chilly as an Alex Katz painting, with a similar goyische naches[8] anti-Semitic-by-omission Easthampton Waspiness obtaining to it all."[9]

Interiors grossed $10.43 million in the United States[1].


The song "Death of an Interior Decorator" by Death Cab For Cutie is based on the plot of Interiors.

The movie is at least partly the inspiration for the song "Alice & Interiors" by the band Manchester Orchestra from their album I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child.


  1. ^ a b c d Interiors from Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ a b August 1978 Review of Interiors by Vincent Canby for The New York Times
  3. ^ Box Office Mojo and Internet Movie Database list the length as 93 minutes, while the cover for the 2000 MGM Home Entertainment DVD release reports a running time of 92 minutes
  4. ^ "NY Times: Interiors". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  5. ^ a b Interiors from the Turner Classic Movies website
  6. ^ Darkest Woody, an August 1978 review by Richard Schickel for Time magazine
  7. ^ [1] Interiors, a review of August 2, 1978 by Roger Ebert
  8. ^ According to a glossary of Portnoy's Yiddish from an Occidental College website for a course entitled "Jewishness, Genders and Sexualities", "goyische naches" means a "non-Jewish source of pride and pleasure, especially military service and sports",
  9. ^ Interiors and Stardust Memories by David Rakoff from Nextbook

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