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Sudden Manhattan (1997)

Shirl Bernheim , Bill Boggs  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shirl Bernheim, Bill Boggs, Bobby Caravella, Paul Cassell, Garry Goodrow
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Vanguard Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005TRZB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,449 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sudden Manhattan" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Adrienne Shelly, the red-headed pixie star of Hal Hartley's The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, wanders through familiar Hartley-esque territory (urban angst, fear of commitment) in her directorial debut. Sweetly neurotic goofball Donna (Shelly) is a glum young Greenwich Village single with a lovesick landlord (Roger Rees) and an impotent new boyfriend (Tim Guinee) who would rather read Russian literature aloud in bed than make love. Meanwhile, she stumbles onto a series of murders that may or may not be taking place in the streets of her neighborhood. Shelly's whimsical script, a surreal tour of Greenwich Village weirdness, is scattered but quite funny. If it lacks the focus and direction of Hartley's films (or her own follow-up film, I'll Take You There), it's nonetheless an amusing, offbeat little lark with a crack ensemble (including Louise Lasser as a morbid fortune teller) and a quirky comic bounce all its own. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Sudden Manhattan is an off-beat, black comedy about a New York girl in trouble. Donna, a 20-something, is jobless, single and broke. On a fateful day, reality turns itself upside down and she is suddenly faced with one absurdity after another. Men start s

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crackerjack goofiness September 5, 2002
Adrienne Shelly's one-woman show--she's writer, director, and lead actress--is a sharp, nutso take on Greenwich Village life (that's New York City's "Village" for those unfamiliar with the reference). In it she's unemployed but still has enough money, somehow, to shell out $75 to an overly negative fortune teller (Louise Lasser) whose deadpan delivery of constant doom and gloom lends additional fun-filled quirkiness to this unique offbeat charmer of a flick.
Shelly here seems to be making a lot of fun of art house films and does so with real aplomb. Her landlord, Roger Rees, is a college professor who lets her rent her place free (very likely explaining her ability to pay the fortune teller), but has painted a door-size face of her on his apartment entrance and constantly professes his undying love for her. She'll have none of it. Instead she prefers the ministrations of a younger man, about her own age, played nicely by Tim Guinee, who winds up being unable to satisfy her physically because of his peculiar psychology that turns to Russian literature just at the wrong moments. Her girlfriend "falls in love" with two gay men, partners, who chatter endlessly about artsy stuff that means not a whole lot at all.
And, on a quiet Village street, she witnesses a murder, or two, or three, committed by a tall bearded man who has a few more personalities than the average bear. A banana-eating cop doesn't believe her when she tells him what she saw.
Though this all sounds completely disjointed, it's just this fragmented gathering of wacky shenanigans that makes this so much fun. Shelly is really smart and doesn't hesitate to show it; she could be guilty of a bit of puffery--look how smart I really am--but the sharp wit and humor here is so abundant, it more than makes up for any possible self-conscious preening.
This is a short (80 minutes) film, but really groovy. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, awful DVD transfer January 9, 2007
Cool stuff, close to Hartley's early off-beat two movies with Adrienne. She is great as always and I'll really miss her.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Shelly...

I just want to warn everyone who is considering buying this DVD that picture quality is awful. It's almost like watching pirated VCD from China or badly ripped divx...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, yet intriguing April 3, 2002
I saw this movie on a movie channel recently. It is a very captivating movie about a woman who is a little ditzy and she knows it. She is not convinced that she has just seen a murder in NYC in broad daylight with no one else around. She is torn between believing it and believing she is losing her mind. Especially when she sees the same thing happen the next day, but with a different victim. The police (who are boasting a homicide-free 30 days) think she is a lunatic. On the third day, she "sees" this again, same circumstances, different victim. The characters that she meets along the way add depth to her struggles. The ending is somewhat expected but with a hilarious twist you wouldn't expect. I highly recommend viewing this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pleasantly quirky April 9, 2002
By orange
Format:VHS Tape
is the best way to describe this film.Adrienne Shelly directs herself and a cast of not well known actors in a story or a temporary insanity with homocidal twists.The plot revolves around Donna,an unemployed manhattanite who may or may not have witnessed a murder.On top of it,she is surrounded by a bunch of loons,including a new boyfriend with a potency problem and honesty issues,an obsessive landlord,love troubled best friend and a disturbingly pessimistic psychic.
To sum up,it a short,cute,off-beat flick.Enjoy.
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