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September (1987)

Elaine Stritch , Denholm Elliott , Woody Allen  |  PG |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Price: $18.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Elaine Stritch, Denholm Elliott, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Sam Waterston
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Gail Sicilia, Jack Rollins, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • 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: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AUJM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,843 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "September" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Collectible Booklet

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Woody Allen delivers a haunting, "superbly constructed" (The Hollywood Reporter) film that examines the intricate world of human emotions and the delicate threads that hold them together. Beautifully acted by an all-star cast, including Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest, Denholm Elliott, Elaine Stritch and Jack Warden, September illustrates "some of Allen's most powerfully ironic dialogue in years" (Screen International). After a devastating nervous breakdown, emotionally fragile Lane (Farrow) has returned to her childhood home in Vermont to recuperate. Buoyed by a summer romance with neighboring writer Peter (Waterston), Lane is soon determined to leave Vermont and start a new life. But when Peter's affections mysteriously cool, and Lane's overbearing mother arrives with a shocking announcement, Lane finds herself suddenly tangled in a destructive web of passion, deception and manipulation. Now her only way out of her emotional tailspin is to confront the fear she's never escaped a terrifying secret that has haunted her entire life.

September is best known as the movie Woody Allen made twice, bang on top of each other, and still brought in on time and on budget. He decided the casting wasn't working, switched some actors and roles, and altogether dumped Sam Shepard (who subsequently had very uncomplimentary things to say about Allen as a director of actors). That was some kind of achievement and said reams about Allen's efficiency and adaptability as a filmmaker. Unhappily, the congratulations end there, for September is the single most excruciating viewing experience the Woodman ever invited audiences to share.

You could say September is Interiors without the laughs (joke: there are no laughs in Interiors either), without the pull of the Hamptons shore outside the windows, and without the chill, elegant eye of Gordon Willis behind the camera. Members of a thoroughly unappealing family convene for a weekend in Vermont. Over the course of it, almost everybody reveals a lurking preference to have a new significant other in his or her life. You will not care who, how, or why, or acquire any insights into the mysteries of human relationships. Just as Maureen Stapleton brought the breath of life to the emotionally stunted mollusks in Interiors, so here Elaine Stritch injects some sting as Mia Farrow's irrepressibly bitchy mother. The other cast members are Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest (fresh from her Hannah and Her Sisters Oscar®), Denholm Elliott, and Jack Warden. Them you may sympathize with, for theirs is a thankless task. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woody Chekhov... October 19, 2004
"September" is Woody Allen's updated version of the Chekhov play "Uncle Vanya". It is not "like" "Uncle Vanya", or as great as "Uncle Vanya". It is "Uncle Vanya". The sex of some of the characters has been changed and the dialog has been updated (Art Tatum had yet to be born when Chekhov wrote "Uncle Vanya"), but the movie is as true to Chekov's play as, for example, the movie "O" is to Shakespeare's "Othello".

Those of you who have criticized "September" as boring, including Amazon's own reviewer, Richard T. Jameson, who called it, '...the single most excruciating viewing experience the Woodman ever invited audiences to share..." need to see or read Chekov's masterpieces, The "Cherry Orchard", "Three Sisters", "The Seagull" and-most especially-"Uncle Vanya", in order that you may make your observations from a more informed perspective. Chekov was once criticized as the "..master of the play in which nothing happens..." Unfortunately, Amazon lists no VHS or DVD versions of Uncle Vanya, so you will have to wait to see Vanya performed at a college near you or sit down under a good lamp and read.

The fact that Woody Allen has never dumbed down his writing to the level of most of the movie-going public has been a two edged sword and it has cut him both ways. One only has to read the reviews here on Amazon to understand why. Is anyone curious as to why the reviews of this movie are so polarized? This is either Woody's most boring movie ever, or the reviewer's favorite Woody movie-almost nothing in the middle. I hope he gets a good laugh over that if he bothers to read such things.

I have looked all over the internet to find a reference to Woody's source for the movie and have not found it mentioned. Roger Ebert praised the movie saying, "...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
`September', written and directed but not starring Woody Allen is, what he describes as a `chamber piece' done after the symphony of `Radio Days' with its huge cast and expansive settings. In most ways, the movie is a reprise of the style of his very first serious movie, `Interiors'. In many ways, `September' is far more successful than `Interiors'. I am an ardent Woody Allen fan, and `Interiors' even leaves me feeling a bit flat.

Like `Interiors' and unlike some of his major seriocomic movies such as `Crimes and Misdemeanors', `September' has not a single joke and just the barest of embarrassingly humorous situation. Unlike `Interiors', you can identify several of Allen's favorite subjects; the most prominent one being the difference between perception and reality or, as he most commonly frames it, between fact and fiction.

All action takes place in late August (`almost September') inside or on the porch of a rather large rural house in Vermont, set by a pond, and built by the principle character's father. The background information on the six marquee characters is spotty, with tidbits being parceled out slowly over the course of the short movie. The facts about the major players follows.

Lane, played by Mia Farrow, is a damaged young photographer who has been out of work due to an undisclosed medical problem, probably psychiatric. She is depicted as the purported owner of the house, which she is planning to sell to pay off her medical expenses and get a new start in New York City.

Peter, played by Sam Waterston (replacing Sam Shephard in a reshoot of the entire film), is a Madison Avenue advertising (copy writer or editor?) who is spending some time over a Summer vacation in Vermont to finish a first novel.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated and excellent play July 1, 2004
Richard T. Jameson, who has the dubious distinction of writing the "official" editorial statement about this Allen masterpiece, does not know what he is talking about. As often happens here on Amazon, many of the customer reviews are far more knowledgeable and discerning that the conventional mainstream critic's assessments.
This is a finely written, highly dramatic play transfered flawlessly to film by a master cinematographer and is immensely superior to "Interiors" which is heavily influenced by, if not actually ripped off from, Ingmar Bergman. Here, the influence is subsumed into Allen's style and milieu, and he gets tremendous performances from the cast, especially Mia Farrow who despite the later troubles with Allen gave him a heartbreaking rendition of the fragile, wounded character of "Lane" who is brought to a state of desperation in the climax of the story, which is a spellbinding example of pure dramatic storytelling.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody Allen's best films April 17, 2009
This is by far one of Woody Allen's best films. My favorite film of his is Manhattan. But September really comes close. September is a very understated but beautiful, integrated film that fits together like a great painting. It is a subtle work of art, that is so immensely satisfying due to its quiet excellence. Yet it is so frustrating that mainstream "professional" critics dismiss movies like this. It just goes to show that you shouldn't trust journalists too much, which is why I give more credence to the insights of Amazon volunteer reviewers. The fact that the critics pan this masterpiece is absolute proof that you should not trust so-called "professional" critics. But it really amazes me that they don't get it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Woody Allen at His Best!
I was really looking forward to watching this film but it is definitely NOT Woody Allen at his best. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Geraldine
1.0 out of 5 stars I have seen also the sound is bad it is barely audible
September, Elaine Stritch , is one highlight, otherwise it is the most dreary of Woody Allen's movies, I have seen also the sound is bad it is barely audible, no English... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr. A
5.0 out of 5 stars adult angst of mis-directed love interests and love unrequieted...
Wondeful W.A. film, adult angst of mis-directed love interests and love unrequieted individuals.
Published 2 months ago by CUSTOMER X
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed like most of W
One more for my W. Allen collection, the movie is okey, enjoyed like most of W:A: movies, dvd is all right, very good mail service
considering that I live in Mexico
Published 2 months ago by Adolfo Gomez
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fine Film from Woody Allen
Woody Allen movies have always been intelligent, articulate, thought provoking and well directed. September is no exception as it constitutes one of the maestro's finest efforts. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Hwang
5.0 out of 5 stars uncle vanya, lana turner, take your pick, it all works
I have not seen Uncle Vanya so cannot comment about whether this film is its mirror or not. I can say thought that this is based upon a true event which happened in HOLLYWOOD in... Read more
Published 11 months ago by carol irvin
3.0 out of 5 stars typical Allen disenchantment but not his best
Another Allen movie about the volatility and relative meaninglessness of it all, September is not as rich of dry humor and effective punch lines as some of his other films. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Carno Polo
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Elaine Stritch!
This small ensemble film centers on Lane (played by Mia Farrow) who has returned to her childhood Vermont home to try and figure out what she wants out of her life. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Michael D. Lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem
Great movie. Mia's acting so amazing--interesting, for instance, when seen in contrast to her role in "Broadway Danny Rose. Read more
Published on July 26, 2012 by Marsha
4.0 out of 5 stars A softer, quieter side to a living legend...
If you were to define the term `passion project' you might want to use a film like `September'. Woody Allen was so `passionate' about this film that he shot it more than once,... Read more
Published on February 25, 2009 by Andrew Ellington
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