by Dennis Polifroni
(USA 1977 93m) DVD/Blu Ray
p. Jack Rollins, Charles H. Joffe d. Woody Allen w. Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman ed. Ralph Rosenblum ph. Gordon Willis art. Mel Bourne cos. Ruth Morley
Woody Allen (Alvie Singer), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Tony Robert (Rob), Paul Simon (Tony Lacey), Carol Kane (Allison Portchnick), Janet Margolin (Robin), Colleen Dewhurst (Mrs. Hall), Christopher Walken (Duane), John Glover (Annie’s Ex), Shelley Duvall (Pam), Marshall McLuhan (himself), Truman Capote (himself)
April 27, 1977
This was it. The date that would change the world in their perception of a comedian and film-maker named Woody Allen.
There is a moment, almost half way through ANNIE HALL, where the main character, one Alvie Singer, is sitting at a dinner table with his girlfriend and, for the first time, her family. Jewish, nervous, a bit of an intellectual and brought up on the streets of Brooklyn, Alvie sits quietly, observing the camaraderie of a very tight-knit, white-bread, WASP family. The family speaks of swap meets and familiar, local drunks that amuse them while they shopped in town. They praise Annie’s Grandmother on a wonderful dinner (“it’s a great sauce!”), but the old lady doesn’t respond. Grandma just keeps chewing and, regularly, eyes her grand-daughters new beau with looks of bewilderment and disdain.
It’s a seemingly ordinary moment with a family that resembles, as Alvie would comment on earlier in the film, a Norman Rockwell painting from the cover of an issue of THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.