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HARVEY WALLINGER - title 2

By Robert Hornak

A slight detour into nonsense.

I gather that Allan, if not a Woody Allen fan, per se, at least respected his work since I see he put a dozen of the prolific filmmaker’s movies on his list of “5,000 best screen works” on this very site. This may be thin justification for my entry in this year’s AFOFF, but there’s also some justification in light of my pick’s ubiquitous omission from nearly every corner of Allenalia, a rare political jab from “not essentially a political comedian” directly to Dick Nixon’s flummoxed jowls.

Despite his sometimes claim to political agnosticism, certain moments of commentary survive in Woody lore, namely his Woody Allen Looks at 1967 television special, from that year, wherein he spars with a particularly game William F. Buckley, Jr., or any number of his standup sideswipes: “I took some time off to write. I was working on a non-fiction version of the Warren Report.”), to the stammering quip he gives rally-speaker Alvy in Annie Hall: “I dated a woman working in the Eisenhower administration and I thought it was ironic, cause…I was trying to do to her what he’s been doing to the country for eight years.” Most of Allen’s politics is scattered over just a handful of examples, while Harvey Wallinger remains his most potent concentration of full-frontal political satire.

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