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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 times a charm
After my first viewing of Broadway Danny Rose, I was extremely dissapointed. I just didn't "get" it. I did not think it was about anything, and that it contained none of the humor, wit, and philosophical musings about life that Woody had so perfectly achieved before and since (see Annie Hall or Hannah and Her Sisters). I couldn't have been more wrong.
I decided to...
Published on October 22, 2002

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Woodrow Woody
Woody Allen will certainly go down in history as a very good film maker, but this film and several others I can think of place him as one of America's great preservationists. Woody works very hard to recreate lost worlds, here the world of vaudeville, the hustler days of B'Way, lost to real estate development (Rockefeller Center) and skyrocketing real estate prices, among...
Published on July 11, 2009 by David Schweizer


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 times a charm, October 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Broadway Danny Rose (DVD)
After my first viewing of Broadway Danny Rose, I was extremely dissapointed. I just didn't "get" it. I did not think it was about anything, and that it contained none of the humor, wit, and philosophical musings about life that Woody had so perfectly achieved before and since (see Annie Hall or Hannah and Her Sisters). I couldn't have been more wrong.
I decided to watch the film again, to determine exactly what about it that so many people loved so much . I was truly mystified. But during that second viewing, I really began to soak in the message about the lovable "loser" Woody plays, not to mention the fact that I couldn't stop laughing! How could I have missed this stuff before? This is Woody at his most subtle best, in a masterpiece comparable and perhaps even surpassing Manhattan (another one that took me a few times to appreciate).
Bottom line: if you are looking for pure slapstick, watch Bananas or Sleeper. If you are looking for a deep, thought-provoking drama, watch Crimes and Misdeameanors. But if you are looking for a subtle charmer that deals with the little problems of life in an original, compelling way, watch Broadway Danny Rose (and Manhattan).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be Allen's Best Film, June 29, 2002
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This movie is more subtle in it's humor than Woody Allen's earlier work but in my opinion it is one of his funniest and finest films. The Danny Rose character is a lovable mensch who is armed with a collection of family anecdotes and philosophy to suit any occassion. Allen is hysterical in the role of a fast talking yet struggling talent agent representing a variety of acts that are going nowhere. His big chance is an Italian lounge singer who had a hit record in the 50's. The singer is in love with the widow of a mafia 'juiceman" (played to perfection by Mia Farrow). When Danny Rose is sent to pick her up and escort her to a show at the Waldorf chaos ensues.
The story is presented as a reminiscence told by one of a group of older Jewish catskill resort type entertainers who are gathered at the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan trading Danny Rose stories.
One of the obvious strengths of this movie is the authentic NY patois whether Jewish or Italian. The scenes with Mia Farrow and Allen are extremely funny.
The film is in B&W.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small, unpretentious, underrated gem, January 2, 2006
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I-I don't mean to be facetious or didactic, but-- this is one of Woody Allen's truly great films, and a Little Film That Could. Those who dismiss most of Allen's movies because "he plays the same character every time" probably include this among them. Yet a second glance reveals something he hasn't done much before or since: For the first time, his nebbish character, with all the classic Allen neuroses and stammers, doesn't condescend. He doesn't judge. He doesn't lecture. He listens. This is easily one of the most sympathetic characters Allen ever created. In fact, cardboard mafia goons aside, every character in this picture is sympathetic--another unusual feat for Allen. Everyone is doing what they feel is the right thing at the time they are doing it, and the result is sad, pathetic and heartbreaking, and the resolution to it all genuinely sweet. I can't think of another Allen film that signs off on as satisfying a note--certainly not the defeatist Annie Hall or the cloying, contrived Hanna and Her Sisters or the insincere Radio Days or the pointless Celebrity. No, this is about as perfect a Woody film as you'll ever see.

The final scene, where Allen is playing Thanksgiving Day host to a rag-tag bunch of has-been or never-been showbiz acts, has to rank up there as one of the most pathos-laiden moments put on film. We feel for these people, these "freaks" who have no home and no one to love them, because Allen's Danny Rose--a man with very limited means that have just become even more limited through the actions of Mia Farrow's Tina Vitale--genuinely cares for them. The line about frozen turkeys being cheaper than the real thing "and just as good," breaks my heart every time I hear it. Allen does not play up any of this. His very detached--though never cold or distant--visual style is a perfect compliment to the material. This is a great example of emotion without sentimentalization.

The performances are terrific. As stated, though Allen is riffing on his old persona, he's not "superior" or abrasive here. Nick Apollo Forte, as washed-up lounge act Lou Canova, is perfect as a washed-up lounge act, even though he had never acted before. Various comedians (Milton Berle, Sandy Baron, and even Allen's own long-time producer Jack Rollins) play themselves with a simple naturalness--and I think "simple naturalness" is the key here, for much of the film's strength is that it feels almost improvised and never self-consciouly tries to be "great." And of course, as with many Woody pictures, New York itself is one of the stars, though we are shown some of its seedier side here. But when the day is done, it's Mia Farrow, as the brassy Italian girlfriend ("A cheap blonde?!? Can you imagine Lou with a cheap bl--err, um...") who steals the show. Acting with her hips and her gum-smacking as much as her face (we only get a clear shot of her eyes in one scene where she peers into a bathroom mirror in a sort of self-confessional state), she deserved an Oscar nom, but didn't get one. She could go from serious depth in her character to slapstick in a blink--the shootout in the warehouse with the helium is still one of my all-time favorite Allen bits. And at the end, when she returns and quotes one of his bits of wisdom back to him, her character suddenly takes on a new dimension because we realize the "cheap blonde" really had been listening and absorbing his life's lessons all along.

Unfortunately, a great movie is given rather shabby DVD treatment. This seems to be par for the course with Woody films--I find it hard to believe he approves of this, but at the same time would think a man as powerful as Allen could demand better. What you get here is the film (in a decent though not spectacular transfer; it's a little soft and faded) and the trailer. Th-th-that's all folks. Oh well, if that's the only way to get it, that's the only way to get it. Broadway Danny Rose will survive long after Interiors, Stardust Memories, Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Celebrity, Shadows and Fog, and many others, are forgotten for the pretentions many of them are. --And-and, I mean that with all due respect.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rediscover Broadway Danny Rose, July 11, 2005
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I originally saw Broadway Danny Rose 20 years ago at a college movie night as a second run release just as it was about to fade into obscurity. I had fond (but dim) memories of this release and have tried to rent it over the years to no avail. I do not know whether it was just bad luck or whether this movie is truly obscure but I have never been able to find it for rent in the video stores.

I finally broke down and purchased the DVD and it was well worth it. Like Zelig, this early 80's flick is high-caliber Woody Allen in a modest package and seems to have gotten lost in the wake of the late 80's Woody Allen resurgence / renaissance of Hannah and Her Sisters, Radio Days, etc.

Broadway Danny Rose is refreshing in that although Mr. Allen portrays a stock "Nebbish" character, he plays off an atypical leading lady in Mia Farrow's Brassy-Blonde Tina Vitale. Also very welcome is the supporting role of the has-been Italian lounge singer Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte). Mr. Forte is the too good to be true real deal and one of the most original characters of any of Mr. Allen's films.

This entertaining film at once stands out in the Woody Allen cannon and sits comfortably in it. If you only saw this in the theater like me, do not let another 20 years go by.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allen Stretches the Envelope. One of his most poignant., June 1, 2005
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This review is from: Broadway Danny Rose (DVD)
`Broadway Danny Rose', written and directed by Woody Allen, is, like `Zelig', one of his more unusual films, if by usual one means movies chocked full of familiar faces, familiar music, and familiar New York City scenes. Oops, the New York scenes are here, but none of the usual Hudson River shorelines, Central Park cityscapes, or famous skylines. In fact, aside from the Carnegie Deli and a very brief glimpse of the park just down the avenue, the most recognizable scene is the New Jersey meadowlands.

Aside from Allen, the only easily recognizable name on the marquee is Mia Farrow. And, if you didn't see her name, there is a good chance you would miss her on the screen, behind tinted, oversized glasses and a great, cheap blond wig. There are at least two very brief famous name cameo appearances from Milton Berle and Howard Cosell, but they are so short and done at such a distance you could be forgiven for thinking it was not really them.

This is so unlike a Woody Allen film that until I watched it again on the DVD and saw the writing and directing credits and the long list of Allen regulars on the crew, I thought this was like Allen's appearance in `The Front', where he simply appears as one of the lead actors, co-starring with Zero Mostel, and not as the writer / director.

The thing which gives it all away of course is Allen's classic nebbish character (which actually does not appear in that many movies, as Allen typically plays a very accomplished character in most films) and the great poignancy and pathos of the story. This was the great change to Allen's writing which came with `Annie Hall' and which is almost as big a part of all subsequent movies as the music, the New York settings, the ensemble cast, the one liners, the visual humor, and the great crew. There are a few other Allen fingerprints, such as the reuse of certain motifs. The repeating Thanksgiving dinner scene that also appears to major effect in `Hannah and Her Sisters' is here. The Italian mobster stock characters later seen in `Bullets over Broadway' are also here.

The third actor on the marquee, Nick Apollo Forte, is not only not well known, he appears, to my knowledge in no other Woody Allen films. I can only guess that Allen simply could not find a genuine over the hill lounge singer type among his stock characters, so he went out and hired a genuine over the hill lounge singer to play the role.

The story is all about Allen's character, a former Borsht belt standup comedian who takes up the job of talent representation with a stable of novelty performers such as a team of balloon animal twisters, a blind Xylophone player, a water glass player (shades of Miss Congeniality), a dressed up parrot wrangler, and a ventriloquist. His star act is the lounge singer who is married but is also in a very bumpy relation with a dipsy blond (Farrow) to whom he sends a single white rose each day. Throughout the course of the movie, agent Danny Rose (Allen) is hard at work trying to book Lou Canova (Forte) into a breakthrough gig, which he finally lands in a deal with Milton Berle (sealed on a streetcorner, probably along Broadway) for Canova to appear on a Berle special of nostalgia acts and to open for him in Las Vegas.

The real problem arises when Canova can't bear to perform at this very important gig unless blond girlfriend Tina Vitale is in the audience. Meanwhile, Vitale has lost patience with Canova's not leaving his wife, consults with a fortuneteller, and runs off to be with her Italian family of goodfellas in Jersey. Desperate to keep Canova up for his appearance, Allen runs after Vitale, is confused with Canova (based on the roses and his name) by Vitale's gumbah cousins, who set out to settle the imaginary score with Danny Rose.

The pathos develops out of Rose's turning the mistaken relation into a real one, when he stops pursuing Vitale for Canova, and seeks her out for himself.

The major conceit used in the movie is that the story is actually being told by a standup comic at a table of other comics, seated in the Carnegie Deli. Like so many of Allen's other movies, the conceit and the story come together at the end when Rose catches up to Vitale in front of the Carnegie Deli, just as the comedian's voice-over says that Rose finally attains celebrity by the Deli's naming a sandwich after him.

Contrary to the notes on the back of the DVD case, this movie has a lot less of Allen's philosophical topics than other works. It's strong point is rooted in the very bittersweet story which may have made the movie as difficult to watch as `Purple Rose of Cairo' if it were not for the fact that the Allen character gets the girl in the end.

This movie has lots of humor, but few of the strong one liners which appear in most Allen movies, even very serious ones such as `Crimes and Misdemeanors'. Most of the humor is situational, to coin a phrase. So, rather than providing a comedy relief, it simply maintains a light feeling, preventing the tone of the movie from getting too heavy.

I would say this is as good or better than at least half of Allen's movies, except that I have a hard time putting any of his works, other than `Love and Death', `Shadows and Fog', and `A Midsummer's Night Sex Comedy' in the lower half of the list.

If you like Allen's movies, this is a `must see' to get the full picture of his range.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My sentimental favorite, November 16, 2004
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This review is from: Broadway Danny Rose (DVD)
I don't know about other Allen fans, but it's hard for me to pick just one favorite. I have a critical favorite which is Crimes and Misdemeanors but I really have a soft spot for my sentimental favorite Broadway Danny Rose. You can't help but love and really pull for Danny, he gives everything he's got for his acts. Mia Farrow just chews up the scenery as Tina. Wonderful characters, a brilliant script, and just a great heart warming story. At our house Danny is one of our Thanksgiving day traditions. It wouldn't be the same without Danny and Tina. A lot easier to digest than football.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Danny Rose Special", March 29, 2009
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When Waterbury, Connecticut's own Nick Apollo cut an album in the late 1970's at Doc Cavalier's Trod Nossel Studio, he had no idea that 100 miles away Woody Allen would eventually chance upon this private label LP. Perhaps it was the b&w cover photo of the middle-aged lounge singer with mike, or maybe Nick's recordings of his compositions "My Bambina" (a ballad) and "Agita" (a novelty) that inspired Allen. Whatever the cause, the end result is one of Woody's greatest movies, BROADWAY DANNY ROSE.

This picture, despite cartoonish elements is a poignant commentary on love, loyalty and family. We come to learn that theatrical agent Rose is motivated by far more than money. Danny is almost fanatically devoted to the stable of unbookable acts he embraces. This man will never get rich representing such "talent" as a one-legged tap dancer, a rollerskating penguin disguised as a rabbi, balloon folders or a blind xylophonist, but these eccentrics aren't simply clients-- they are Danny's FAMILY.

This point is wonderfully illustrated in the movie's penultimate scene.

Thanksgivng at Danny Rose's rent-controlled apartment includes frozen turkey dinners. His "family" couldn't care less however, for they're all together, happy and celebrating the day. When Tina Vitale (who a year earlier did our hero a terrible wrong), unexpectedly knocks on the door, the Legend of Danny Rose is born.

In what is perhaps the single sweetest moment in a Woody Allen film, Danny coldly rejects Tina's humble apology and she leaves, hurt. Danny hesitates for a moment, then that enormous heart melts and he chases after Tina. He catches up to her in front of the Carnegie Delicatessen, which is exactly where some years later the "greatest Danny Rose story" is being told by Sandy Baron to a tableful of stand-up cronies.

This clever bit of circularity is the cherry on top of a wonderful picture. If you saw "Broadway Danny Rose" years ago, do experience it again, and if you've yet to meet this strange little man, there's a rare treat in store for you. Highest recommendation!

"Broadway Danny Rose" is available on DVD.

Related item--
In Woody's Depression-era film THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1984), a young woman who spends hours at the movies is able to interact with the characters on the screen! (VHS) (DVD)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(7.3) Broadway Danny Rose (1980) - Woody Allen/Mia Farrow/Nick Apollo Forte/Sandy Baron/Corbett Monica/Jackie Gayle/Morty Gunty/Will Jordan/Milton Berle/Jack Rollins/Joe Franklin/Michael Badalucco/Howard Cosell (uncredited: Danny Aiello)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You Can't Ride Two Horses With One Behind", July 28, 2006
By 
Marley (Long Island, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broadway Danny Rose (DVD)
I love the opening sequence of this movie, you know the scene of the big party somewhere in New Jersey with the cast of future Soprano rejects. Danny Rose pulls up in his vintage Plymouth Volare, looking like he fits right in. Yea Right! He fits in like I fit in with the Bolshi Ballet. OK, so the second half dosn't quite hold up in the laughs department with the beginning. But overall you've gotta love it. Danny desperately trying to propell his cheap lounge act Lou Canova/Nick Appollo Forte into the big time. All the while Danny plays the beard to Lou's mistress, Tina, played to perfection by Mia Farrow. As Danny tries to smooth things over between Lou and Tina, the boys from Jersey want to sit Danny down and fit him for cement shoes. They think Danny has cursed Tina, with the "malaoccio", the evil eye. For this, their vendetta knows no bounds!

Now here's where it gets real with me. About two years after the movie came out. My wife and I decide to spend a romantic weekend in the Poconos...Where do we end up? Of course, Mt. Airey Lodge. And who do you suppose is the big act in the lounge. NO....You can't be serious....Come on.....I don't believe it. Yep...Nick Appollo Forte. Let me tell you. Nick didn't need any direction for his part in Broadway Danny Rose. He is exactly the same character you see up on the screen. And when I told him how much I enjoyed his performance, he introduced me to his wife as one of his biggest fans. It was priceless.

So wheather you're munching on a pastrami on rye at the Carnagie Deli or you're catching Nick's act in the lounge at Mt. Airey Lodge, it dosn't get any more real than Broadway Danny Rose. "Allow me to interject a few words here about my Aunt Sadie...Not a very good looking woman...She looked like something you'd find in the reptile house at the zoo. She'd say, You can't ride two horses with one behind".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will love this schnook, January 3, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (shavertown, pa United States) - See all my reviews
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I agree with all the other reviewers that this is one of Woody's best laughers. There is nothing deep about this movie, but the characters and lines are something I have peppered my woeful life with since viewing this movie in 1984. Basically, Danny Rose gets into all this trouble and to quote him," I haven't done anything." This is true. The phrase that I live by is that "no good deed goes unpunished." All Danny is trying to do is hit a little success with Lou Canova, his washed-up singer. He promotes Lou at the expense of his other "acts" including PeeWee (the son he never had} and the lady that plays the glasses. Danny dispenses sanguine advice especially to his balloon folders as he advises them to "start with the giraffe and then build to the elephant." He makes the acquaintance of Lou's girlfriend, Mia Farrow, who becomes irate when her friends tell her Lou was seen with a "cheap blonde." Danny reassures her this is not true because "Lou only cheats with one person at a time." Anyway, the plot thickens as she seeks the advice of Angelina, the fortune teller who dispenses advice from her bed to the waiting masses. A couple learns they will be visted by a man in a suit and they ask when, and Angelina replies, "When you least expect it." This is not funny here, but it is funny in the movie.
Anyway, Danny winds up running for his life after confiding to Farrow in a diner that his whole life is based on guilt. As he noted one of his family members said, "We are all guilty in the eys of God." Farrow then asks him if he believes in God, and Danny answers, "No, but I'm guilty about it."
For lines and a sweet movie that will leave you laughing and feeling good, I recommend this movie. Then go rent "Moon Over Parador," another movie no one has seen, but has great lines and performances by Richard Dreyfuss and Raul Julia.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny, November 12, 2007
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There are so many laughs in this film.Must be one of Woody Allen's best.
I could watch it again and again and it never loses it's humor.
Mia Farrow and Woody Allen are just perfect in their roles.
Brilliant and highly recommended.
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Broadway Danny Rose
Broadway Danny Rose by Woody Allen (DVD - 2001)
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