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The Woody Allen Collection (Hannah and Her Sisters / The Purple Rose of Cairo / Broadway Danny Rose / Zelig / A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy / Radio Days)

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Woody's best films of the 1980s: A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982/88 min.), Zelig (1983/79 min.), Broadway Danny Rose (1984/84 min.), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1984/82 min.), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986/107 min.) and Radio Days (1987/88 min.). 6 DVDs. Color-b&w/PG.

This Woody Allen boxed set captures the first half of what could be called Allen's "Mia period," his films from the early 1980s. The lighthearted A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, about the neurotic romping of a bunch of friends at a country house, marks the beginning of Woody and Mia Farrow's film relationship, followed by Zelig, Allen's clever pseudo-documentary of a man who just wants to fit in. Broadway Danny Rose, the tale of a mediocre talent agent who gets involved with a client's wife, is seen as a trifle by some but held as one of Allen's best films by others. But the next two are a pair of undisputed knockouts: The Purple Rose of Cairo, in which the hero of a movie (Jeff Daniels) steps off the screen to help a woeful waitress (Farrow). The ending is at first heart-wrenching, then finds a wistful hope. Hannah and Her Sisters is possibly, after Annie Hall, Allen's most loved movie, with its Chekhovian mix of love and sorrow in the lives of three sisters (Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Barbara Hershey). Hannah won a number of awards, including Oscars® for best screenplay and supporting acting for both Wiest and Michael Caine (as Farrow's husband). Finally, the nostalgic Radio Days rounds out the set with a gentle look at entertainment back when people had to dream up their own pictures. These six films represent one of Allen's strongest periods; he moved fluidly from comedy to drama, avoiding big statements but ruefully exploring the foibles of humanity. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Contains 6 Woody Allen films: "Broadway Danny Rose, " "Hannah and Her Sisters," "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy," "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Radio Days," & "Zelig"
  • See individual DVDs for details

Product Details

  • Actors: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Woody Allen
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Ezra Swerdlow, Gail Sicilia, Jack Rollins, Michael Peyser
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 528 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O06O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,044 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Woody Allen Collection (Hannah and Her Sisters / The Purple Rose of Cairo / Broadway Danny Rose / Zelig / A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy / Radio Days)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 1, 2005
Format: DVD
This Woody Allen collection of six (6) early to middle films is more homogeneous than the first. You do not have the very serious `Interiors' sitting between two of Allen's funniest movies. But, there are some bumps along the road if you start watching this from the top and are not familiar with Allen's works. The titles in this set are:

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy


Broadway Danny Rose

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Hannah and Her Sisters

Radio Days

The first and the last films are pretty lighthearted. The middle films have a fair share of bittersweet moments. In fact, I put `The Purple Rose of Cairo' into that rare class of movies such as Terry Gillian's `Brazil' which are so good at being poignant that they are literally hard to watch. Even the rampant parody, `Zelig' has some moments when you are really strongly influenced by the plight of the main character.

Although I suspect `A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy' may be the weakest of these six, it is the one I most enjoy rewatching. And, this is the one feature of Allen's movies I most highly value. I will enjoy a James Bond action flick once, but I will watch `Hannah and Her Sisters' over and over and over.

One of the most interesting things about `Radio Days' is that it came out in the same year as the very similar film of `Brighton Beach Memoirs'. And, as I recall, the critical opinion was that `Radio Days' was far superior. I agree.

Strongly recommended for both old and new Woody Allen fans.
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By A Customer on November 11, 2001
Format: DVD
Without a doubt the existence of the third Woody Allen collection is reason to rejoice. Those of you without any of the other previous releases in your collection, should consider making this your initial acquisition. Eventually, like me, you will crave that which came before, after and whatever comes next. If you assemble all the films available you will appreciate the enormity of this man's talent and range. Actually, within this set is the very essence of what he does best. A little pathos and little bathos and some very specific NYC moments you can appreciate, even if you do not live in or know NYC. His love and respect of music and its significance to the overall impact of the film is perhaps one of Woody Allen's most significant contributions to the artform.
These selections from the 80's contain some of the most inspired casting, sets and script writing. All the Seinfeld devotees might investigate the origins of neurosis and urban nuance as it was originally conceived and enacted by a true comic genius. This is the template for ensemble comedic acting. Yes there are laughs but most arrive as bittersweet moments that are not annouced as marquee statements that benefit from a laugh track, but as simple moments that are so memorable because of their subtlety.
Perhaps the three most unique films of Woody's pantheon are here, MidSummer Night's Sex Comedy, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Zelig. All are told as fractured fairy tales that create an atmosphere of pure escapism and delight. These three demonstrate the range and flexibility of his vision.
Broadway Danny Rose and Radio Days are infused with a love of subject that few films match. Again the performances of the ensemble represent some of the finest work by those actors yet.
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Format: DVD
This edition of the Woody Allen Collection is probably the best of the three box sets recently issued by MGM DVD. While Woody is probably best known for his early-70s slapstick comedies ("Sleeper," "Bananas") and his revolutionary reconstruction of the comedy with "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan," three of his absolute best films appear in this set. "Zelig," whose technological advances foreshadow those of 1994's Academy Award favorite "Forrest Gump" by nearly ten years, is easily the better film, and the three years Woody spent making this film seems well worth the effort. About a "human chameleon," Leonard Zelig, whose insecure shapeshifting act ranges from pure novelty to affinities with fascism, is as funny as it is sharp. The best film in the set, "The Purple Rose of Cairo," also foreshadows the postmodern nostalgia films of the late 1990s, particularly "Pleasantville." Set during the Depression, this film is about a woman trapped in an awful marriage and an equally dissatisfying job. She escapes the misery of her life by watching films. She watches the same film over and over, and one of the characters comes off the screen to intervene in her life. A wonderful, complex and poignant examination of the conflation between fiction and reality, "The Purple Rose of Cairo," though a sad and dramatic film, is as powerful as anything Woody Allen has directed. The third wonderful film here is "Hannah and Her Sisters," which won three Oscars, is a return to the ensemble sensibility Woody perfected in "Manhattan." "Broadway Danny Rose" is probably the best of the remaining titles--about a hardworking theatrical manager who is failure at his work specifically because he cares so much about the personal wellbeing of his clients. Mia Farrow gives one of her best performances here.Read more ›
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