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Manhattan (1979)

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3:15 | Trailer
The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.

Director:

Woody Allen
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Popularity
3,857 ( 495)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Isaac
Diane Keaton ... Mary
Michael Murphy ... Yale
Mariel Hemingway ... Tracy
Meryl Streep ... Jill
Anne Byrne Hoffman ... Emily (as Anne Byrne)
Karen Ludwig ... Connie
Michael O'Donoghue ... Dennis
Victor Truro Victor Truro ... Party Guest
Tisa Farrow ... Party Guest
Helen Hanft ... Party Guest
Bella Abzug Bella Abzug ... Guest of Honor
Gary Weis Gary Weis ... Television Director
Kenny Vance Kenny Vance ... Television Producer
Charles Levin ... Television Actor #1
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Storyline

Forty-two year old Isaac Davis has a romanticized view of his hometown, New York City, most specifically Manhattan, as channeled through the lead character in the first book he is writing, despite his own Manhattan-based life being more of a tragicomedy. He has just quit his job as a hack writer for a bad television comedy, he, beyond the ten second rush of endorphins during the actual act of quitting, now regretting the decision, especially as he isn't sure he can live off his book writing career. He is paying two alimonies, his second ex-wife, Jill Davis, a lesbian, who is writing her own tell-all book of their acrimonious split. The one somewhat positive aspect of his life is that he is dating a young woman named Tracy, although she is only seventeen and still in high school. Largely because of their differences a big part of which is due to their ages, he does not see a long term future with her. His life has the potential to be even more tragicomical when he meets journalist Mary... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Woody Allen's New Comedy Hit

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Manhattan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$485,734, 29 April 1979

Gross USA:

$39,946,780

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,177,318
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the famous discussion about morality toward the end of the movie, Isaac (Woody Allen) suggests to Yale (Michael Murphy) that cheating and lying eventually leads to the kind of betrayal that caused people to end up "in front of a Senate committee naming names," a clear reference to the communist witch-hunts of the 1950s. In the earlier movie The Front (1976), Woody Allen plays a character who submits scripts for his screenwriter friend (played by Michael Murphy) who has been blacklisted as a suspected communist. See more »

Goofs

It seems inexcusable that both Jill and Jill's editor did not know that, by writing about her and Isaac's marriage in her book, she was setting herself up for a huge libel and defamation lawsuit, since Isaac (Woody Allen) was a private citizen and his privacy rights were grossly violated, even at the time the movie was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[music: the opening of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Voiceover]
Isaac Davis: Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Uh, no, let me start this over.
Isaac Davis: Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

One of the very few Woody Allen films to not have traditional opening credits, save the production company bumper (United Artists), and the film title MANHATTAN is seen as a long vertical flashing bright neon sign, located on the side of a New York City building, and is seen for under seven seconds just before Woody Allen narrates his first line. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nothing in Los Angeles (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Embraceable You
(1928) (uncredited)
Written by George Gershwin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Visual Romanticism and Emotional Cynicism Converge !!!
22 July 2017 | by avik-basu1889See all my reviews

Visually, 'Manhattan' is nothing short of a loving, deeply passionate tribute by Woody Allen to his beloved New York and more specifically Manhattan. Manhattan is made to look absolutely beautiful with the help of Gordon Willis' widescreen photography. Allen uses the Black & White visual texture to romanticise New York and make it look like the New York of the movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. However there lies the deliberate contradiction in the film. Unlike the 'happily ever-after' relationships of Classic Hollywood, in 'Manhattan', in accordance with the running theme in almost every other Woody Allen film, true and long lasting love is almost impossible to find. Similar to his other films, the characters here belong to the intellectual upper/upper-middle class and they are shown to be completely immersed in narcissism. They are lonely, but they choose to hide behind their armour of intellectualism. They want company, but they lose patience and get afflicted with doubt and boredom as soon as the hint of a potentially lasting relationship raises its head. Allen adds to the meta-element in the film by making fun of his own self constantly as the real life Woody Allen too is a part of the intellectual class that he is making fun of in 'Manhattan' and some of the comedic taunts directed at the character of Isaac seem like direct jabs at his own self. The film's ending is pitch perfect as it underlines(without seeming didactic) the need for hopefulness instead of pseudo-intellectual cynicism, a need for a little more faith in romance and a little more faith in humanity, so that the romanticised visuals of New York get to complement instead of contradict the sensibilities of its residents.


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