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Manhattan (1979)

Woody Allen , Diane Keaton , Woody Allen  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Jack Rollins, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: July 5, 2000
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792846109
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,088 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Manhattan" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Nominated for two Academy AwardsÂ(r)* in 1979 and considered "one of Allen's most enduring accomplishments" (Boxoffice), Manhattan is a wry, touching and finely rendered portrait of modern relationships against the backdrop of urban alienation. Sumptuously photographed in black and white (Allen's first film in that format) and accompanied by a magnificent Gershwin score, Woody Allen's aesthetic triumph is a "prismatic portrait of a time and a place that may be studied decades hence" (Time). 42-year-old Manhattan native Isaac Davis (Allen) has a job he hates, a seventeen-year-old girlfriend, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), he doesn't love and a lesbian ex-wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), who's writing a tell-all book about their marriage and whom he'd like to strangle. But when he meets his best friend's sexy intellectual mistress, Mary (Diane Keaton), Isaac falls head over heels in lust! Leaving Tracy, bedding Mary and quitting his job are just the beginning of Isaac's quest for romance and fulfillment in a city where sex is as intimate as a handshakeandthe gateway to true love is a revolving door. *Supporting Actress (Hemingway); Original Screenplay

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
165 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than 30 Years Later, Still Woody's True Masterpiece November 14, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In 1979, Woody had the burden of trying to capture the "originality" of "Annie Hall," the Oscar-winning Best Picture of 1977.

So when "Manhattan" was released, Woody's first "true" widescreen picture (so much so that Woody insisted this film NEVER be released on video or shown on television without the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen), I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

I discovered that "Manhattan" had a completely different tone than "Annie Hall." It was more serious, but still hilarious. I became so enraptured by its themes, its music and its atmosphere that I felt, until I saw "Schindler's List" in late 1993, that I had witnessed something that comes along only once or twice a generation...and that's true greatness on film. I paid to see "Manhattan" at least four times during its initial run in 1979. I had never done this before, even when I include those popcorn pictures I had seen several times put out by Spielberg and Lucas during the 1970s. I found "Manhattan" simply incredible, so "on the mark," so revelatory about the weaknesses of people, especially so-called "intelligent" people.

Rather than go over the plot, I believe "Manhattan's" themes include the following:

1. intellectualism is overrated.
2. romance is illogical and unscientific.
3. words don't always match our actions.
4. moral structure is a man-made invention.
5. fidelity is an optimistic ideal.
6. skeletons in the closet are better left unsaid.
7. uncorrupted optimism is mostly found in young people.
8. cynicism increases as you grow old.
9. advancing years = more unnecessary baggage.
10. The more you know, the more it can hurt you.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, dreamy, spectacular, perfect May 17, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
No matter how many times I watch this piece of heavan, I still get teary at the line "you gotta have a little faith in people..." This is a movie with so much beauty and depth, humor and poignant romanticism. I can even accept Issac's (Woody Allen) older man/young girl romance ( and usually I am annoyed by the prevalance of this type of pairing in so many movies ) because to me ,the endearing Tracy, (Mariel Hemingway so SO wonderful here) represents the tender spirit of love, the open heart that simply feels what it feels. She is the point on which the movie pivots, with her sweet goodness and simple message of emotional purity in contrast to the over analysis the other older characters give love. There are so many levels on which to appreciate this movie. I could try to analyze it in words (as Woody and his complex, terrific cast of characters analyze their lives and loves...) but instead, I have to just tell you all with FEELING: Visit this film, the magical, dreamy, spectacular, perfect place...Manhattan.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AFI 's Love Stories #66: Manhattan October 6, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When Woody Allen won the Oscar (in abstentia) for writing and directing "Annie Hall," which also won the Oscar for Best Picture, it was assumed the stand-up comic turned auteur had reached the pinnacle of his career. Then Allen proceeded to go out and make an even better film with his next effort, "Manhattan." Filmed in glorious black & white (and widescreen) by the great cinematographer Gordon Willis, the opening sequence combining indelible images of New York City with Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" is a paean to city Allen loves and the most rhapsodical sequence in any of his films.
Rather than talking about the plot per se, "Manhattan" is best explained as a convoluted series of wrecked and ruined relationships centering around Allen's character, Isaac Davis. Isaac is divorced from Jill (Meryl Streep), who is now living with Connie (Karen Ludwig), and planning to write an expose on her marriage. Isaac is having an affair with 17-year-old Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), but then he meets Mary (Diane Keaton), the mistress of his best friend Yale (Michael Murphy), who is married to Emily (Anne Byrne). Ultimately, however, this is not a film about love, but rather a film about loss, because you just know that forced to make choices, Isaac is going to make the wrong ones. Tracy and Mary are characters constructed as such polar opposites and it never dawns on Isaac to focus more on what each has than on what they lack.
Of course, today this film is obviously open to reinterpretation given Allen's very public personal life and it is now assumed that the Isaac-Tracy relationship was a sign of things to come rather than a dramatic construction.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romanticized all out of proportion? Nah... July 6, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Annie Hall" may be generally regarded as the funniest of Woody Allen's adult comedies, but there's much to be said for the richly textured "Manhattan." Mariel Hemingway is perfectly cast as the doe-eyed (and teen-aged) Tracy, the initial love interest of Allen's Isaac Davis. Setting aside any parallels to Mr. Allen's current real-life situation, suffice it to say that the relationship between Isaac and Tracy is sweet and passionate, and ultimately the heart of the life lesson Isaac learns. Dianne Keaton (Mary Wilke) is the hyper, neurotic adult involved with Isaac's married friend Yale (Michael Murphy). Together, Hemingway and Keaton give excellent performances: perhaps even Mariel's best, while Keaton's is at times cloying but at heart quite sympathetic in a search for love in Manhattan. Which brings us to the real star of the film: the city itself. The opening montage alone--set to Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"--paints a delightfully romantic, pulsing portrait of Allen's New York. Cinematographer Gordon Willis's sumptuous black-and-white was shamefully overlooked by the Academy. Visually, the film is stunning, with a palette of tones that reflect the story's inherent warmth as well as its moments of stark confrontation. Allen has worked in black-and-white several times, but this is the most successful effort. And, as much as he seems to decry it, Woody once again creates a sentimental--but never mawkish--ode to love, human frailties, and the Big Apple. Yes, that's Meryl Streep as the other woman. If a classic film is one that stands the test of time, then "Manhattan" is holding up exceptionally well. Even bettern than "Annie Hall."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I make a derisive sound with my lips. It ain't to my tastes.
Published 3 days ago by Don Axt,
2.0 out of 5 stars perhaps the editing was not too good.
it was ok but there was no consistent theme, kept jumping
around.perhaps the editing was not too good.
Published 7 days ago by Isaac Maleh
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW IS THE QUALITY OF THIS DVD TODAY, (2014) ? HELP, PLEASE!
Amazoners, HELP! Bought this DVD years ago; quality STUNK! How is it now, still so dark? Is Blu-Ray really any better? Read more
Published 10 days ago by John T. R. Gorman
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
Woody at his best here with gorgeous Gershwin music and black and white photography. The script, direction, acting--all top notch. Read more
Published 12 days ago by mike kent
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic Woody Allen.
Published 12 days ago by Bankee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 14 days ago by Henry Strohbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and White Makes Manhattan Shine
This is first time I have seen Manhattan in many, many years. I'm in love with the music, the cinematography, and the New York City portrayed in Allen's film. Read more
Published 19 days ago by P. Brustowicz
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A lot of Woody Allen banter.
Published 19 days ago by Leroy Nunn
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Woody Allwn
Vintage Woody Allen...Loved it!!
Published 19 days ago by Robin Sapossnek
4.0 out of 5 stars Video kept stopping and reloading -- happened about 6 or ...
Video kept stopping and reloading -- happened about 6 or 7 times during movie. It seems to happen on most items we rent from Amazon. Why?
Published 19 days ago by Lowell Hickey
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best movies with New York City as a major character
Manhattan and Taxi Driver.
Apr 21, 2009 by A customer |  See all 3 posts
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