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Manhattan

 

Year: 1979 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Manhattan
Review: Turner classic movies logo

WIN A DIGITAL SET-TOP TV BOX AND WOODY ALLEN DVDs

TCM and Warwick Student Cinema are running a competition to win a fantastic Digital set-top box starter kit courtesy of Top-Up TV and a selection of classic Woody Allen DVDs. To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, come to the FREE screening of Woody Allen’s seminal film, Manhattan on Saturday 1st October September at 7.30pm in L3 on the Science Concourse.

The film involves two couples. One consists of Issac (Woody Allen) and Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), a boyfriend-and-girlfriend couple. Tracy insists she loves Issac, but Issac is too concerned with their difference in age to commit (he is 42; she is 17). He urges Tracy not to get hung up on him and insists that she should be going out with kids her own age. Issac is also twice-divorced, and his second wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), who left him for another woman, is now writing a book about some very private points of their relationship.

The other couple is Yale (Michael Murphy) and Emily (Anne Byrne), a married couple. They seem reasonably happy, until we find out that Yale has been having an affair with Mary (Diane Keaton). Issac is best friends with Yale, and insists that he get out of this extramarital relationship, he cannot understand why he is cheating on Emily with this woman.

That is until a few days later when Issac is attending a party and Mary just happens to be there. They begin to cordially chat, almost like the day they met never happened and they were meeting for the first time all over again. Issacs dislike for her has disappeared and after the party they talk and walk around until dawn, at which point the most famous shot in the film occurs where Issac and Mary are sitting on a bench by the river, while Issac describes how much he loves Manhattan.

This scene inspires a brief fling between Issac and Mary. During the course of the fling, Yale tells Mary that they should stop seeing each other. Mary is upset at this. At the same time, Issac tells Tracy that they should stop seeing each other. Tracy is very upset with Issac. All this romantic mayhem leads up to the end of the film when each character finally realizes who they really want.

This is one of the best-looking films ever made. Filmed in black and white, its visuals of the city are simply breathtaking. This was Woody's first comedy after making the landmark "Annie Hall" in 1977, he creates an entirely different kind of romantic comedy. The jokes and the romance are perfect, this really is Woody at his best.

Michelle Foy

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Screenings of this film:

2005/2006 Autumn Term (35mm)