Annie Hall

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 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",[2] 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 Best Actress for Keaton. 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 of Allen's works when not adjusted for inflation.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all-time, it ranks 31st on AFI's List of the greatest films in American cinema, 4th on their list of greatest comedy films and 28th on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies". Film critic Roger Ebert called it "just about everyone's favorite Woody Allen movie".[3] The film's screenplay was also named the funniest ever written by the Writers Guild of America in its list of the "101 Funniest Screenplays".[4] In 1992, the United States' Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in its National Film Registry that includes "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" films.[5]

Annie Hall
Film poster
Directed byWoody Allen
Produced byCharles H. Joffe
Written by
CinematographyGordon Willis
Edited byRalph Rosenblum
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • April 20, 1977
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million
Box office$38.3 million[1]


The comedian Alvy Singer is trying to understand why his relationship with Annie Hall ended a year ago. Growing up in New York, he vexed his mother with impossible questions about the emptiness of existence, but he was precocious about his innocent sexual curiosity.

Annie and Alvy, in a line for The Sorrow and the Pity, overhear another man deriding the work of Federico Fellini and Marshall McLuhan; McLuhan himself steps in at Alvy's invitation to criticize the man's comprehension. That night, Annie shows no interest in sex with Alvy. Instead, they discuss his first wife, whose ardor gave him no pleasure. His second marriage was to a New York writer who didn't like sports and was unable to reach orgasm.

With Annie, it is different. The two of them have fun making a meal of boiled lobster together. He teases her about the unusual men in her past. He met her playing tennis doubles with friends. Following the game, awkward small talk led her to offer him first a ride up town and then a glass of wine on her balcony. There, what seemed a mild exchange of trivial personal data is revealed in "mental subtitles" as an escalating flirtation. Their first date follows Annie's singing audition for a night club ("It Had to be You"). He suggests they kiss first to get it out of the way. After their lovemaking that night, Alvy is "a wreck", while she relaxes with a joint.

Soon Annie admits she loves him, while he buys her books on death and says that his feelings for her are more than just love. When she moves in with him, things become very tense. Eventually, he finds her arm in arm with one of her college professors and the two begin to argue whether this is the "flexibility" they had discussed. They eventually break up, and he searches for the truth of relationships, asking strangers on the street about the nature of love, questioning his formative years, and imagining a cartoon version of himself arguing with a cartoon Annie portrayed as the Evil Queen in Snow White.

Alvy returns to dating, but the effort is marred by neurosis, bad sex, and finally an interruption from Annie, who insists he come over immediately. It turns out she needs him to kill a spider. A reconciliation follows, coupled with a vow to stay together come what may. However, their separate discussions with their therapists make it evident there is an unspoken divide. When Alvy accepts an offer to present an award on television, they fly out to Los Angeles, with Alvy's friend, Rob. However, on the return trip, they agree that their relationship is not working. After losing her to her record producer, Tony Lacey, he unsuccessfully tries rekindling the flame with a marriage proposal. Back in New York, he stages a play of their relationship but changes the ending: now she accepts.

The last meeting for them is a wistful coda on New York's Upper West Side, when they have both moved on to someone new. Alvy's voice returns with a summation: love is essential, especially if it is neurotic. Annie sings "Seems Like Old Times" and the credits roll.


Truman Capote has a cameo as the Winner of the Truman Capote look-alike contest.

Several actors who went on to more fame had small parts in the movie: John Glover as Annie's actor boyfriend, Jerry; Jeff Goldblum as a man who "forgot [his] mantra" at Tony Lacey's Christmas party; and Sigourney Weaver, in her film debut, in the closing sequence as Alvy's date at the movie theater.



The idea for what would become Annie Hall was developed as Allen walked around New York City with co-writer Marshall Brickman. The pair discussed the project on alternative days, sometimes becoming frustrated and rejecting the idea. Allen wrote a first draft of a screenplay within a four-day period, sending it to Brickman to make alterations. According to Brickman, this draft centered on a man in his forties, someone whose life consisted "of several strands. One was a relationship with a young woman, another was a concern with the banality of the life that we all live, and a third an obsession with proving himself and testing himself to find out what kind of character he had.[6] Allen himself turned forty in 1975, and Brickman suggests that "advancing age" and "worries about death" had influenced Allen's philosophical, personal approach to complement his "commercial side".[6] Allen made the conscious decision to "sacrifice some of the laughs for a story about human beings".[7] He recognized that for the first time he had the courage to abandon the safety of complete broad comedy and had the will to produce a film of deeper meaning which would be a nourishing experience for the audience.[2] He was also influenced by Federico Fellini's 1963 comedy-drama , created at a similar personal turning point, and similarly colored by each director's psychoanalysis.[8]

Brickman and Allen sent the screenplay back and forth until they were ready to ask United Artists for $4 million.[8] Many elements from the early drafts did not survive. It was originally a drama centered on a murder mystery with a comic and romantic subplot.[9] 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.[10] Although they decided to drop the murder plot, Allen and Brickman made a murder mystery many years later: 1993's Manhattan Murder Mystery, also starring Diane Keaton.[11] The draft that Allen presented to the film's editor, Ralph Rosenblum, concluded with the words, "ending to be shot."[12]

Allen suggested Anhedonia, a term for the inability to experience pleasure, as a working title,[13][14] and Brickman suggested alternatives including It Had to Be Jew, Rollercoaster Named Desire and Me and My Goy.[15] An advertising agency, hired by United Artists, embraced Allen's choice of an obscure word by suggesting the studio take out newspaper advertisements that looked like fake tabloid headlines such as "Anhedonia Strikes Cleveland!".[15] However, Allen experimented with several titles over five test screenings, including Anxiety and Annie and Alvy, before settling on Annie Hall.[15]


Several references in the film to Allen's own life have invited speculation that it is autobiographical. Both Alvy and Allen were comedians. His birthday appears on the blackboard in a school scene;[16] certain features of his childhood are found in Alvy Singer's;[17] Allen went to New York University and so did Alvy. Diane Keaton's real surname is "Hall" and "Annie" was her nickname, and she and Allen were once romantically involved.[18] However, Allen is quick to dispel these suggestions. "The stuff that people insist is autobiographical is almost invariably not," Allen said. "It's so exaggerated that it's virtually meaningless to the people upon whom these little nuances are based. People got it into their heads that Annie Hall was autobiographical, and I couldn't convince them it wasn't".[19] Contrary to various interviewers and commentators, he says, Alvy is not the character that is closest to himself; he identified more with the mother (Eve, played by Geraldine Page) in his next film, Interiors.[20] Despite this, Keaton has stated that the relationship between Alvy and Annie was partly based on her relationship with the director.[21]

The role of Annie Hall was written specifically for Keaton, who had worked with Allen on Play It Again, Sam (1972), Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975).[21] She considered the character an "affable version" of herself—both were "semi-articulate, dreamed of being a singer and suffered from insecurity"—and was surprised to win an Oscar for her performance.[21] The film also marks the second film collaboration between Allen and Tony Roberts, their previous project being Play It Again, Sam.[7]

Federico Fellini was Allen's first choice to appear in the cinema lobby scene because his films were under discussion,[10] but Allen chose cultural academic Marshall McLuhan after both Fellini and Luis Buñuel declined the cameo.[22] Some cast members, biographer John Baxter claims, were aggrieved at Allen's treatment of them. The director "acted coldly" towards McLuhan, who had to return from Canada for reshooting, and Mordecai Lawner, who played Alvy's father, claimed that Allen never spoke to him.[22] However, during the production, Allen began a two-year relationship with Stacey Nelkin, who appears in a single scene.[22]

Filming, editing and music

Allen saw the Coney Island Thunderbolt when scouting locations and wrote it into the script as Alvy's childhood home.[16]

Principal photography began on May 19, 1976 on the South Fork of Long Island with the scene in which Alvy and Annie boil live lobsters; filming continued periodically for the next ten months,[23] and deviated frequently from the screenplay. There was nothing written about Alvy's childhood home lying under a roller coaster, but when Allen was scouting locations in Brooklyn with Willis and art director Mel Bourne, he "saw this roller-coaster, and ... saw the house under it. And I thought, we have to use this."[17] Similarly, there is the incident where Alvy scatters a trove of cocaine with an accidental sneeze: although not in the script, the joke emerged from a rehearsal happenstance and stayed in the movie. In audience testing, this laugh was so sustained that a much longer pause had to be added so that the following dialogue was not lost.[24]

Editor Ralph Rosenblum's first assembly of the film in 1976 left Brickman disappointed. "I felt that the film was running off in nine different directions," Brickman recalled.[25] "It was like a first draft of a novel... from which two or three films could possibly be assembled."[26] Rosenblum characterized the first cut, at two hours and twenty minutes,[27] as "the surrealistic and abstract adventures of a neurotic Jewish comedian who was reliving his highly flawed life and in the process satirizing much of our culture... a visual monologue, a more sophisticated and more philosophical version of Take the Money and Run".[27] Brickman found it "nondramatic and ultimately uninteresting, a kind of cerebral exercise."[28] He suggested a more linear narrative.[29]

The present-tense relationship between Alvy and Annie was not the narrative focus of this first cut, but Allen and Rosenblum recognized it as the dramatic spine, and began reworking the film "in the direction of that relationship."[30] Rosenblum recalled that Allen "had no hesitation about trimming away much of the first twenty minutes in order to establish Keaton more quickly."[28] According to Allen, "I didn't sit down with Marshall Brickman and say, 'We're going to write a picture about a relationship.' I mean the whole concept of the picture changed as we were cutting it."[29]

As the film was budgeted for two weeks of post-production photography,[12] late 1976 saw three separate shoots for the final segment, but only some of this material was used.[31] The narration that ends the film, featuring the joke about 'we all need the eggs', was conceived and recorded only two hours before a test screening.[31]

The credits call the film "A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production"; the two men were Allen's managers and received this same credit on his films from 1969 to 1993. However, for this film Joffe took producer credit and therefore received the Academy Award for Best Picture. The title sequence features a black background with white text in the Windsor Light Condensed typeface, a design that Allen would use on his subsequent films. Stig Björkman sees some similarity to Ingmar Bergman's simple and consistent title design, although Allen says that his own choice is a cost-saving device.[32]

Very little background music is heard in the film, a departure for Allen influenced by Ingmar Bergman.[32] Diane Keaton performs twice in the jazz club: "It Had to be You" and "Seems Like Old Times" (the latter reprises in voiceover on the closing scene). The other exceptions include a boy's choir "Christmas Medley" played while the characters drive through Los Angeles, the Molto allegro from Mozart's Jupiter Symphony (heard as Annie and Alvy drive through the countryside), Tommy Dorsey's performance of "Sleepy Lagoon",[33] and the anodyne cover of the Savoy Brown song "A Hard Way to Go" playing at a party in the mansion of Paul Simon's character.

Style and technique

Technically, the film marked an advance for the director. He selected Gordon Willis as his cinematographer—for Allen "a very important teacher" and a "technical wizard," saying, "I really count Annie Hall as the first step toward maturity in some way in making films."[34] At the time, it was considered an "odd pairing" by many, Keaton among them. The director was known for his comedies and farces, while Willis was known as "the prince of darkness" for work on dramatic films like The Godfather.[7] Despite this, the two became friends during filming and continued the collaboration on several later films, including Zelig, which earned Willis his first Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.[7]

Willis described the production for the film as "relatively easy."[7] He shot in varying styles; "hot golden light for California, grey overcast for Manhattan and a forties Hollywood glossy for ... dream sequences," most of which were cut.[35] It was his suggestion which led Allen to film the dual therapy scenes in one set divided by a wall instead of the usual split screen method.[7] He tried long takes, with some shots, unabridged, lasting an entire scene, which, for Ebert, add to the dramatic power of the film: "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 brinksmanship." He 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.[3] Peter Cowie suggests that "Allen breaks up his extended shots with more orthodox cutting back and forth in conversation pieces, so that the forward momentum of the film is sustained."[36] Bernd Herzogenrath notes the innovation in the use of the split screen during the dinner scene to powerfully exaggerate the contrast between the Jewish and the gentile family.[37]

Although the film is not essentially experimental, at several points it undermines the narrative reality.[38] James Bernardoni notes Allen's way of opening the film by facing the camera, which immediately intrudes upon audience involvement in the film.[39] In one famous scene, Allen's character, in line to see a movie with Annie, listens to a man behind him deliver misinformed pontifications on the significance of Fellini's and Marshall McLuhan's work. Allen pulls McLuhan himself from just off camera to correct the man's errors personally.[3] Later in the film, when we see Annie and Alvy in their first extended talk, "mental subtitles" convey to the audience the characters' nervous inner doubts.[3] An animated scene—with artwork based on the comic strip Inside Woody Allen—depicts Alvy and Annie in the guise of the Wicked Queen from Snow White.[3] Although Allen uses each of these techniques only once, the "fourth wall" is broken several other times when characters address the camera directly. In one, Alvy stops several passers-by to ask questions about love, and in another he shrugs off writing a happy ending to his relationship with Annie in his autobiographical first play as forgivable "wish-fulfillment." 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."[34]

Critical analysis

Love and sexuality

Woody Allen (2006).jpeg
Woody Allen in New York City in 2006

Sociologists Virginia Rutter and Pepper Schwartz consider Alvy and Annie's relationship to be a stereotype of gender differences in sexuality.[40] The nature of love is a repeating subject for Allen and co-star Tony Roberts described this film as "the story of everybody who falls in love, and then falls out of love and goes on."[7] Alvy searches for love's purpose through his effort to get over his depression about the demise of his relationship with Annie. Sometimes he sifts through his memories of the relationship, at another point he stops people on the sidewalk, with one woman saying that "It's never something you do. That's how people are. Love fades," a suggestion that it was no one's fault, they just grew apart and the end was inevitable. By the end of the film, Alvy accepts this and decides that love is ultimately "irrational and crazy and absurd", but a necessity of life.[41] Christopher Knight believes Alvy's quest upon meeting Annie is carnal, whereas hers is on an emotional note.[42]

Richard Brody of The New Yorker notes the film's "Eurocentric art-house self-awareness" and Alvy Singer's "psychoanalytic obsession in baring his sexual desires and frustrations, romantic disasters, and neurotic inhibitions".[43]

Jewish identity

Singer is identified with the stereotypical neurotic Jewish male, and the differences between Alvy and Annie are often related to the perceptions and realities of Jewish identity. Vincent Brook notes that "Alvy dines with the WASP-y Hall family and imagines that they must see him as a Hasidic Jew, complete with payess (ear locks) and a large black hat."[44] Robert M. Seltzer and Norman J. Cohen highlight the scene in which Annie remarks that Annie's grandmother "hates Jews. She thinks they just make money, but she's the one. Is she ever, I'm telling you.", revealing the hypocrisy in her grandmother's stereotypical American view of Jews by arguing that "no stigma attaches to the love of money in America".[45] Bernd Herzogenrath also considers Allen's joke, "I would like to but we need the eggs", to the doctor at the end when he suggests putting him in a mental institution, to be a paradox of not only the persona of the urban neurotic Jew but also of the film itself.[37]

Woody Allen persona

Christopher Knight points out that Annie Hall is framed through Alvy's experiences. "Generally, what we know about Annie and about the relationship comes filtered through Alvy, an intrusive narrator capable of halting the narrative and stepping out from it in order to entreat the audience's interpretative favor."[46] He suggests that because Allen's films blur the protagonist with "past and future protagonists as well as with the director himself", it "makes a difference as to whether we are most responsive to the director's or the character's framing of events".[47] Despite the narrative's framing, "the joke is on Alvy."[48] Emanuel Levy believes that Alvy Singer became synonymous with the public perception of Woody Allen in the United States.[49] Annie Hall is viewed as the definitive Woody Allen film in displaying neurotic humor.[50]


Upper East Side NYC
Upper East Side of New York City

Annie Hall "is as much a love song to New York City as it is to the character,"[51] reflecting Allen's adoration of the island of Manhattan. It was a relationship he explored repeatedly, particularly in films like Manhattan (1979) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).[7] Annie Hall's apartment, which still exists on East 70th Street between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue is by Allen's own confession his favorite block in the city.[52] Peter Cowie argues that the film shows "a romanticized view" of the borough, with the camera "linger[ing] on the Upper East Side [... and where] the fear of crime does not trouble its characters."[53] By contrast, California is presented less positively, and David Halle notes the obvious "invidious intellectual comparison" between New York City and Los Angeles.[54] While Manhattan's movie theaters show classic and foreign films, Los Angeles theaters run less-prestigious fare such as The House of Exorcism and Messiah of Evil.[53] Rob's demonstration of adding canned laughter to television demonstrates the "cynical artifice of the medium".[53] New York serves as a symbol of Alvy's personality ("gloomy, claustrophobic, and socially cold, but also an intellectual haven full of nervous energy") while Los Angeles is a symbol of freedom for Annie.[51]

Psychoanalysis and modernism

Annie Hall has been cited as a film which uses both therapy and analysis for comic effect.[55] Sam B. Girgus considers Annie Hall to be a story about memory and retrospection, which "dramatizes a return via narrative desire to the repressed and the unconscious in a manner similar to psychoanalysis".[56] He argues that the film constitutes a self-conscious assertion of how narrative desire and humor interact in the film to reform ideas and perceptions and that Allen's deployment of Freudian concepts and humor forms a "pattern of skepticism toward surface meaning that compels further interpretation". Girgus believes that proof of the pervasiveness of Sigmund Freud in the film is demonstrated at the beginning through a reference to a joke in Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, and makes another joke about a psychiatrist and patient, which Girgus argues is also symbolic of the dynamic between humor and the unconscious in the film.[56] Further Freudian concepts are later addressed in the film with Annie's recall of a dream to her psychoanalyst in which Frank Sinatra is smothering her with a pillow, which alludes to Freud's belief in dreams as "visual representations of words or ideas".[56]

Peter Bailey in his book The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen, argues that Alvy displays a "genial denigration of art" which contains a "significant equivocation", in that in his self-deprecation he invites the audience to believe that he is leveling with them.[57] Bailey argues that Allen's devices in the film, including the subtitles which reveal Annie's and Alvy's thoughts "extend and reinforce Annie Hall 's winsome ethos of plain-dealing and ingenuousness".[57] He muses that the film is full of antimimetic emblems such as McLuhan's magical appearance which provide quirky humor, and that the "disparity between mental projections of reality and actuality" drives the film. His view is that self-reflective cinematic devices intelligently dramatize the difference between surface and substance, with visual emblems "incessantly distilling the distinction between the world mentally constructed and reality".[57]

In his discussion of the film's relation to modernism, Thomas Schatz finds the film an unresolved "examination of the process of human interaction and interpersonal communication"[58] and "immediately establishes [a] self-referential stance" that invites the spectator "to read the narrative as something other than a sequential development toward some transcendent truth".[59] For him, Alvy "is the victim of a tendency toward overdetermination of meaning – or in modernist terms 'the tyranny of the signified' – and his involvement with Annie can be viewed as an attempt to establish a spontaneous, intellectually unencumbered relationship, an attempt which is doomed to failure."[58] Marcus Geduld cites the flashback to Alvy as a child (in a therapist's office with his mother) as an example of basic problems (poverty, discordant parents) being masked by a supposed existential crisis.[60]


Box office

Annie Hall was shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival in March 1977,[13] before its official release on April 20, 1977.[1] The film ultimately earned $38,251,425 ($143,228,400 in 2013 dollars) in the United States against a $4-million budget, making it the 11th highest-grossing picture of 1977.[1] On raw figures, it currently ranks as Allen's fourth-highest-grossing film, after Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters and Midnight in Paris; when adjusted for inflation, the gross figure makes it Allen's biggest box office hit.[61] It was first released on Blu-ray on January 24, 2012 alongside Allen's 1979 film Manhattan.[62] Both releases include the films' original theatrical trailers.[62]

Critical response

Annie Hall was met with widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Tim Radford of The Guardian called the film "Allen's most closely focused and daring film to date".[63] The New York Times' Vincent Canby preferred Annie Hall to Allen's second directorial effort, Take the Money and Run, since the former is more "humane" while the latter is more a "cartoon".[64] Several critics have compared the film favorably to Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage (1973),[64][65][66] including Joseph McBride in Variety, who found it Allen's "most three-dimensional film to date" with an ambition equal to Bergman's best even as the co-stars become the "contemporary equivalent of ... Tracy-Hepburn."[65]

More critically, Peter Cowie commented that the film "suffers from its profusion of cultural references and asides".[67] Writing for New York Magazine, the hard-to-please critic John Simon called the film "unfunny comedy, poor moviemaking, and embarrassing self-revelation," and wrote that Keaton's performance was "in bad taste to watch and indecency to display," saying the part should have been played by Robin Mary Paris, the actress who appears briefly in the scene where Alvy Singer has written a two-character play nakedly based on himself and Annie Hall. Simon's review of Annie Hall made a general assessment that didn't pan out: "It is a film so shapeless, sprawling, repetitious, and aimless as to seem to beg for oblivion. At this, it is successful."[68]

After more than a quarter century, the film has continued to receive positive reviews. In his 2002 lookback, Roger Ebert noted with surprise that the film had "an instant familiarity" despite its age,[3] and Slant writer Jaime N. Christley found the one-liners "still gut-busting after 35 years".[66] A later Guardian critic, Peter Bradshaw, named it the best comedy film of all time, commenting that "this wonderfully funny, unbearably sad film is a miracle of comic writing and inspired film-making".[69] John Marriott of the Radio Times believed that Annie Hall was the film where Allen "found his own singular voice, a voice that echoes across events with a mixture of exuberance and introspection", referring to the "comic delight" derived from the "spirited playing of Diane Keaton as the kooky innocent from the Midwest, and Woody himself as the fumbling New York neurotic".[70] Empire magazine rated the movie five out of five stars, calling it a "classic".[71] In 2017, Claire Dederer wrote, "Annie Hall is the greatest comic film of the twentieth century [...] because it acknowledges the irrepressible nihilism that lurks at the center of all comedy."[72]

The film has an approval rating of 97% based on 71 reviews, with an average rating of 9/10, on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The site's critical consensus reads, "Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic."[73] Metacritic gave the film a score of 92 out of 100 based on 20 critical reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[74]

Awards and accolades

Academy Awards
1. Best Picture, Charles H. Joffe
2. Best Director, Woody Allen
3. Best Actress in a Leading Role, Diane Keaton
4. Best Original Screenplay, Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
Golden Globe Awards
1. Best Actress– Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, – Diane Keaton
BAFTA Awards
1. Best Film
2. Best Direction, Woody Allen
3. Best Actress, Diane Keaton
4. Best Editing, Ralph Rosenblum, Wendy Greene Bricmont
5. Best Screenplay, Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

Annie Hall won four Oscars at the 50th Academy Awards on April 3, 1978, and was nominated for five in total. Producer Charles H. Joffe received the statue for Best Picture, Allen for Best Director and, with Brickman, for Best Original Screenplay, and Keaton for Best Actress. Allen was also nominated for Best Actor.[75] Many had expected Star Wars to win the major awards, including Brickman and Executive Producer Robert Greenhut.[7]

The film was also honored four times at the BAFTA awards. Along with the top award for Best Film, Keaton won for Best Actress, Allen won for Best Direction and Best Original Screenplay alongside Brickman.[76] The film received only one Golden Globe Award, for Best Film Actress in a Musical or Comedy (Diane Keaton), despite nominations for three other awards: Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Director, and Best Film Actor in a Musical or Comedy (Woody Allen).

In 1992, the United States' Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in its National Film Registry that includes "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" films.[5] The film is often mentioned among the greatest comedies of all time. The American Film Institute lists it 31st in American cinema history.[77] In 2000, they named it second greatest romantic comedy in American cinema.[77] Keaton's performance of "Seems Like Old Times" was ranked 90th on their list of greatest songs included in a film, and her line "La-dee-da, la-dee-da." was named the 55th greatest movie quote.[77] The screenplay was named the sixth greatest screenplay by the Writers Guild of America, West[78] while IGN named it the seventh greatest comedy film of all time.[79] In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the forty-second greatest comedy film of all time, and the seventh greatest romantic comedy film of all time.[80] Several lists ranking Allen's best films have put Annie Hall among his greatest work.[81][82][83]

In June 2008, AFI revealed its 10 Top 10—the best ten films in ten classic American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community and Annie Hall was placed second in the romantic comedy genre.[84] AFI also ranked Annie Hall on multiple other lists. In November 2008, Annie Hall was voted in at No. 68 on Empire magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[85] It is also ranked #2 on Rotten Tomatoes' 25 Best Romantic Comedies, second only to The Philadelphia Story.[86] In 2012, the film was listed as the 127th best film of all time by the Sight & Sound critics' poll.[87] The film was also named the 132nd best film by the Sight & Sound directors' poll.[87] In October 2013, the film was voted by the Guardian readers as the second best film directed by Woody Allen.[88] In November 2015, the film was named the funniest screenplay by the Writers Guild of America in its list of 101 Funniest Screenplays.[89]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Legacy and influence

Keaton in Annie Hall
Keaton's dress style as Annie Hall; an influence on the fashion world during the late 1970s

Although the film received critical acclaim and several awards, Allen himself was disappointed with it, and said in an interview, "When Annie Hall started out, that film was not supposed to be what I wound up with. The film was supposed to be what happens in a guy's mind ... Nobody understood anything that went on. The relationship between myself and Diane Keaton was all anyone cared about. That was not what I cared about ... In the end, I had to reduce the film to just me and Diane Keaton, and that relationship, so I was quite disappointed in that movie".[97] Allen has repeatedly declined to make a sequel,[98] and in a 1992 interview stated that "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".[99]

Diane Keaton has stated that Annie Hall was her favorite role and that the film meant everything to her.[100] When asked if being most associated with the role concerned her as an actress, she replied, "I'm not haunted by Annie Hall. I'm happy to be Annie Hall. If somebody wants to see me that way, it's fine by me". Costume designer Ruth Morley, working with Keaton, created a look which had an influence on the fashion world during the late-70s, with women adopting the style: layering oversized, mannish blazers over vests, billowy trousers or long skirts, a man's tie, and boots.[101] The look was often referred to as the "Annie Hall look".[102] Some sources suggest that Keaton herself was mainly responsible for the look, and Ralph Lauren has often claimed credit, but only one jacket and one tie were purchased from Ralph Lauren for use in the film.[103] Allen recalled that Lauren and Keaton's dress style almost did not end up in the film. "She came in," he recalled in 1992, "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.'"[104]

James Bernardoni states that the film is "one of the very few romantic comedy-dramas of the New Hollywood era and one that has rightly taken its place among the classics of that reverted genre", likening the seriocomic meditation on the couple relationship to George Cukor's Adam's Rib (1949), starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.[39] Since its release, other romantic comedies have inspired comparison. When Harry Met Sally... (1989), Chasing Amy (1997), Burning Annie (2007), 500 Days of Summer (2009) and Allen's 2003 film, Anything Else, are among them,[87][105][106][107][108] while film director Rian Johnson said in an interview for the book, The Film That Changed My Life, that Annie Hall inspired him to become a film director.[109] Karen Gillan stated that she watched Annie Hall as part of her research for her lead role in Not Another Happy Ending.[110]


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External links

1977 National Society of Film Critics Awards

The 12th National Society of Film Critics Awards, given on 19 December 1977, honored the best filmmaking of 1977.

1977 New York Film Critics Circle Awards

The 43rd New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 29 January 1978, honored the best filmmaking of 1977.

1977 in film

The year 1977 in film involved some significant events, the biggest and most important of which was the release of Star Wars.

31st British Academy Film Awards

The 31st British Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1978, honoured the best films of 1977.

35th Golden Globe Awards

The 35th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 1977, were held on January 28, 1978.

50th Academy Awards

The 50th Academy Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California on April 3, 1978. The ceremonies were presided over by Bob Hope, who hosted the awards for the nineteenth and last time.

Two of the year's biggest winners were Star Wars, which swept the technical categories by winning 6 out of its 10 nominations and a Special Achievement for Sound Effects Editing, and Annie Hall, winning 4 out of 5 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director. The awards show was also notable for a very politically charged acceptance speech by Vanessa Redgrave.

The Turning Point set the record for the most nominations without a win (11), previously held by Peyton Place and The Little Foxes, which each had 9 nominations with no wins. This record, later tied by The Color Purple, still stands as of 2018.

Annie Hall was the last Best Picture winner to be nominated for just five awards until The Departed 29 years later in 2006.

Jason Robards became the fourth actor to win back-to-back Oscars, following Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.

For the only time to date, both Best Actor and Best Actress winners won for roles in two different romantic comedies.

The animated opening sequence, as well as promos for the Awards show, were designed by British graphic designer Harry Marks, who outsourced the animated sequences to Robert Abel and Associates. Marks also designed animated sequences for the top nominated categories, which weren't used for the final telecast.

Annie Hall Cudlip

Annie Hall Cudlip (née Thomas; born 25 October 1838 – 24 November 1918), writing as Mrs. Pender Cudlip) was an English novelist and writer. She edited Ours: A Holiday Quarterly and contributed regularly to All the Year Round, Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, and other magazines in Britain and the United States between 1876 and 1884. Married to a theologian, Rev. Pender Hodge Cudlip, she was among the most prolific Victorian writers of romantic fiction: well over 100 novels and short stories between 1862 and the early 20th century. The best known include Theo Leigh (1865), A Passion in Tatters (1872), He Cometh Not, She Said (1873) and Allerton Towers (1882).

Carol Kane

Carolyn Laurie Kane (born June 18, 1952) is an American actress and comedian. She became known in the 1970s in films such as Hester Street (for which she received an Oscar nomination) and Annie Hall. She appeared on the television series Taxi in the early 1980s, as Simka Gravas, the wife of Latka, the character played by Andy Kaufman, winning two Emmy Awards for her work. She has played the character of Madame Morrible in the musical Wicked, both in regional productions and on Broadway from 2005 to 2014. From 2015 to 2019, she was a main cast member on the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, in which she plays Lillian Kaushtupper.

Charles H. Joffe

Charles H. Joffe (July 16, 1929 – July 9, 2008) was an American film producer and comedy talent manager. He is most well known as being, in partnership with Jack Rollins, the producer or executive producer of the majority of the films directed by Woody Allen. Joffe won the 1977 Academy Award for Best Picture as producer of Allen's Annie Hall.

Annie Hall was listed as "A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production", though only Joffe took producer credit and received the Academy Award for Best Picture. Both were Allen's long standing managers and had that credit on all his films from 1969 to 1993. Joffe focused more on Allen, with Rollins focusing on others. Their management clients also included Robert Klein and David Letterman.

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton (née Hall; born January 5, 1946) is an American film actress, director, and producer.

She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.

Keaton began her career on stage and made her screen debut in 1970. Her first major film role was as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather (1972), but the films that shaped her early career were those with director and co-star Woody Allen, beginning with Play It Again, Sam in 1972. Her next two films with Allen, Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975), established her as a comic actor. Her fourth, Annie Hall (1977), won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Keaton subsequently expanded her range, to avoid becoming typecast as her Annie Hall persona. She became an accomplished dramatic performer, starring in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and received Academy Award nominations for Reds (1981), Marvin's Room (1996) and Something's Gotta Give (2003).

Some of her popular later films include Baby Boom (1987), Father of the Bride (1991), Father of the Bride Part II (1995), The First Wives Club (1996), The Other Sister (2001), and The Family Stone (2005). In addition to acting, she is also a photographer, real estate developer, author, and singer.

Gordon Willis

Gordon Hugh Willis, Jr., ASC (May 28, 1931 – May 18, 2014) was an American cinematographer and film director. He is best known for his work on Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather series as well as Woody Allen's Annie Hall and Manhattan. Fellow cinematographer William A. Fraker called Willis's work a "milestone in visual storytelling", while one critic suggested that Willis "defined the cinematic look of the 1970s: sophisticated compositions in which bolts of light and black put the decade's moral ambiguities into stark relief".When the International Cinematographers Guild conducted a survey in 2003, they placed Willis among the ten most influential cinematographers in history.

Inside Woody Allen

Inside Woody Allen was an American gag-a-day celebrity comics comic strip about the comedian and filmmaker Woody Allen. Drawn by Stuart Hample, the strip ran from 1976 to 1984.

List of awards and nominations received by Woody Allen

Throughout his career, American filmmaker, writer, and actor Woody Allen has received a considerable number of awards and distinctions in film festivals and yearly national film awards ceremonies, saluting his work as a director, screenwriter, and actor. Among his many competitive awards, he has won four Academy Awards, ten BAFTA awards, and two Golden Globe Awards.

Allen has won three Oscars for Best Original Screenplay for Annie Hall (1977), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Midnight in Paris (2011), and one for Best Director for Annie Hall. He has been nominated 24 times: 16 as a screenwriter, seven as a director, and once as an actor. Allen has more screenwriting Academy Award nominations than any other writer; all in the Best Original Screenplay category. He also holds the record as the oldest winner (at age 76) of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Midnight in Paris, 2011). As a writer, Allen won the 1978 O. Henry Award for his short story The Kugelmass Episode, published in The New Yorker on May 2, 1977.

Despite friendly recognition from the Academy, Allen has consistently refused to attend the ceremony or acknowledge his Oscar wins. His publicly given reason is his standing engagement to play clarinet in a Monday night ensemble. Back in 1974, Woody was quoted by ABC News as saying, "The whole concept of awards is silly. I cannot abide by the judgment of other people, because if you accept it when they say you deserve an award, then you have to accept it when they say you don't". He broke this pattern once. At the Academy Awards ceremony in 2002, Allen made an unannounced appearance, pleading for producers to continue filming their movies in New York City after the September 11 attacks, where he stated, "I didn't have to present anything. I didn't have to accept anything. I just had to talk about New York City." He was given a standing ovation before introducing a montage of movie clips featuring New York.His work has been widely celebrated in Europe. Allen twice won the César Award for Best Foreign Film, the first in 1980, for Manhattan and the second in 1986, for The Purple Rose of Cairo. Seven other of his movies were nominated for the prize: Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Alice, Husbands and Wives, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Everyone Says I Love You, and Match Point. In 2002, Allen won the Prince of Asturias Award. Subsequently, the city of Oviedo, Spain, erected a life-size statue of Allen. In a 2005 UK poll The Comedian's Comedian, Allen was voted the third greatest comedy act ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. In June 2007, Allen received a PhD Honoris Causa from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain.

His honorary awards include a Career Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1995, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America in 1996, the BAFTA Fellowship in 1997, the Honorary Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival in 2002, and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2014.

Manhattan (film)

Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen and produced by Charles H. Joffe. The screenplay was written by Allen and Marshall Brickman. Allen co-stars as a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer who dates a 17-year-old girl (Mariel Hemingway) but falls in love with his best friend's (Michael Murphy) mistress (Diane Keaton). Meryl Streep and Anne Byrne also star.

Manhattan was filmed in black-and-white and 2.35:1 widescreen. The film features music composed by George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue, which inspired the idea behind the film. Allen described the film as a combination of his previous two films, Annie Hall and Interiors.The film was met with widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Hemingway and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Allen and Brickman. Its North American box-office receipts of $39.9 million made it Allen's second biggest box-office hit (after adjusting for inflation). Often considered one of Allen's best films, it ranks 46th on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list and number 63 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies". In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Marshall Brickman

Marshall Brickman (born August 25, 1939) is an American screenwriter and director, best known for his collaborations with Woody Allen. He is the co-recipient of the 1977 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Annie Hall. He is also known for playing the banjo with Eric Weissberg in the 1960s, and for a series of comical parodies published in The New Yorker.

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Film

The National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Picture is an annual award given by National Society of Film Critics to honor the best film of the year.

In the past 40 years, the Society only agreed with the Academy Award for Best Picture seven times: Annie Hall (1977), Unforgiven (1992), Schindler's List (1993), Million Dollar Baby (2004), The Hurt Locker (2009), Spotlight (2015), and Moonlight (2016). Five others have received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film: Z, Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), La nuit américaine (Day for Night), Préparez vos mouchoirs (Get Out Your Handkerchiefs), and Amour.

Shelley Duvall

Shelley Alexis Duvall (born July 7, 1949) is an American former actress, producer, writer and singer. Over the duration of her career, Duvall garnered critical acclaim for her portrayals of various eccentric characters.Duvall began her career appearing in various Robert Altman films in the 1970s, including Brewster McCloud (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Thieves Like Us (1974), Nashville (1975), and 3 Women (1977), which won her the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress.

She had a supporting role in Annie Hall (1977) before starring in lead roles in Popeye (1980) and The Shining (1980). Later, Duvall appeared in Time Bandits (1981), Frankenweenie (1984), Roxanne (1987), and The Portrait of a Lady (1996). She is also an Emmy-nominated producer responsible for Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, which she also narrated and starred in, and other child-friendly anthology series. Duvall's most recent performance was in Manna from Heaven (2002).

Tony Roberts (actor)

David Anthony "Tony" Roberts (born October 22, 1939) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in several Woody Allen movies, most notably Annie Hall, usually cast as Allen's best friend.

Woody Allen

Heywood "Woody" Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg; December 1, 1935) is an American director, writer, actor, and comedian whose career spans more than six decades. He began his career as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes and scripts for television and publishing several books of short humor pieces. In the early 1960s, Allen began performing as a stand-up comedian, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes. As a comedian, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he maintains is quite different from his real-life personality. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen fourth on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, while a UK survey ranked Allen as the third-greatest comedian.By the mid-1960s, Allen was writing and directing films, first specializing in slapstick comedies before moving into dramatic material influenced by European art cinema during the 1970s, and alternating between comedies and dramas to the present. He is often identified as part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmakers of the mid-1960s to late 1970s. Allen often stars in his films, typically in the persona he developed as a standup. Some of the best-known of his over 50 films are Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). In 2007 he said Stardust Memories (1980), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and Match Point (2005) were his best films. Critic Roger Ebert described Allen as "a treasure of the cinema".Allen has received many accolades and honors throughout his career. He has won four Academy Awards: three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director. He also garnered nine British Academy Film Awards. His screenplay for Annie Hall was named the funniest screenplay by the Writers Guild of America in its list of the "101 Funniest Screenplays". In 2011, PBS televised the film biography Woody Allen: A Documentary on the American Masters TV series.

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