7.8/10
34,625
112 user 62 critic

Zelig (1983)

"Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people.

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Writer:

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Patrick Horgan ...
The Narrator (voice)
John Buckwalter ...
Dr. Sindell
Marvin Chatinover ...
Glandular Diagnosis Doctor
Stanley Swerdlow ...
Mexican Food Doctor
Paul Nevens ...
Dr. Birsky
Howard Erskine ...
Hypodermic Doctor
George Hamlin ...
Experimental Drugs Doctor
Ralph Bell ...
Other Doctor
Richard Whiting ...
Other Doctor
Will Hussung ...
Other Doctor (as Will Hussong)
Robert Iglesia ...
Man in Barber Chair
Eli Resnick ...
Man in Park
Edward McPhillips ...
Scotsman
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Storyline

Fictional documentary about the life of human chameleon Leonard Zelig, a man who becomes a celebrity in the 1920s due to his ability to look and act like whoever is around him. Clever editing places Zelig in real newsreel footage of Woodrow Wilson, Babe Ruth, and others. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 August 1983 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Identity Crisis and Its Relationship to Personality Disorder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$60,119 (USA) (17 July 1983)

Gross:

$11,798,616 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Famous people seen in the film by way of archive footage include (in alphabetical order) Max Amann, Josephine Baker, Clara Bow, Fanny Brice, Wilhelm Brückner, James Cagney, Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin, Calvin Coolidge, Marion Davies, Sepp Dietrich, Joe DiMaggio, Marie Dressler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lou Gehrig, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Harold 'Red' Grange, William Randolph Hearst, Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler, Bobby Jones, Robert Ley, Charles Lindbergh, Carole Lombard, Adolphe Menjou, Tom Mix, Pope Pius XI, Dolores del Río, Billy Rose, Babe Ruth, Julius Schaub, Gregor Strasser, Julius Streicher, Franz von Epp, Franz Pfeffer von Salomon, Jimmy Walker, and Claire Windsor. See more »

Goofs

A presidential pardon would not clear Zelig of the state-level crimes of which he was convicted. See more »

Quotes

Leonard Zelig: And to the, to the gentleman who's appendix I took out, I...I'm, I don't know what to say, if it's any consolation I... I may still have it somewhere around the house.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bending All the Rules (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

A Sailboat in the Moonlight
(1937)
Written by Carmen Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb (as John Loeb)
Performed by The Guy Lombardo Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

My brief review of the film
26 July 2005 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

A fascinating pseudo-documentary with an intriguing premise, the footage shown looks very authentic, edited well together, with apt sets and costumes. A number of original songs written especially for the film are included, and they sound exactly like the type of tunes expected in a 1930s musical. The non-original music choices also suit the project. Woody Allen superbly acts out the interesting character that he has written for himself: a very different type of insecure, neurotic person to what he usually plays. Even at less than eighty minutes, the material nevertheless wears thin by the end, but some great ideas are developed along the way. It also feels a bit odd to watch, as the film is not really a comedy, nor a drama - not fitting into any genre - then again, in general real life are not meant to be straight comedies or dramas, are they? With the limitations of the style that Allen has chosen for the film taken into account, he does a pretty good job.


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