Derek Winnert


This article was written on 16 May 2017, and is filled under Reviews.

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Crimes and Misdemeanors **** (1989, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Claire Bloom, Mia Farrow, Joanna Gleason, Anjelica Huston, Martin Landau) – Classic Movie Review 5465

Writer-director Woody Allen’s 1989 movie is his 17th film as writer-director and his 10th with Mia Farrow. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Allen for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and Martin Landau for Best Supporting Actor.

Allen also stars as Cliff Stern, a struggling documentary film-maker involved with an insufferable sitcom producer called Lester (Alan Alda), his assistant Halley Reed (Farrow) and a philandering eye doctor, Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau), cheating on his wife (Claire Bloom).

Judah’s mistress Dolores Paley (Anjelica Huston) orders him to leave his wife and marry her as promised or she will reveal their affair.

Allen boldly goes into new territory for him – a Fatal Attraction-style thriller with laughs – to produce a deeply pessimistic film where love is unrequited and justice is not done.

Yet the movie is elegantly written, handsomely filmed (cinematography by Sven Nykvist and sets by Santo Loquasto), and beautifully acted. And, yes, sometimes it is even funny. Always richly entertaining, it is one of Allen’s best. It cost $19 million and grossed $18,250,000 in the US, so it was not one of his hits.

Also in the cast are Joanna Gleason, Caroline Aaron, Jenny Nichols, Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston, and Daryl Hannah.

In 1980 Allen began a 12-year relationship with Mia Farrow, who starred in 13 of his films from 1982 to 1992, but they never married or lived together. Allen married her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn on 23 December 1997.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 5465

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