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Annie Hall [DVD] [1977]

Release Date:05/30/2000
Woody Allen's greatest popular and critical success gets a by-the-numbers DVD release from MGM. Excluding the film's theatrical trailer, there aren't any extras to speak of, but at least Annie Hall has been intelligently divided into digital chapters for easy access to favorite scenes. Considering editor Ralph Rosenblum's vivid cutting on Annie Hall, this must have taken some thought and care. While Annie Hall was one of MGM's earlier DVD releases, the lack of extras is most probably due to Allen's reluctance to revisit any of his movies; the eccentric filmmaker is famous for never watching his own movies once he is finished with them and claims that he has no special fondness for Annie Hall even though it swept the 1977 Academy Awards. The DVD features the movie in its original widescreen aspect ratio but it hasn't been converted to the superior anamorphic format, which can improve the picture quality by roughly 33 percent. While Gordon Willis' justly acclaimed cinematography still looks beautiful here, this oversight is strange considering that other Allen titles such as Manhattan come in anamorphic widescreen. The audio transfer conforms to the original sound of the picture and has been transferred to Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. While this isn't the definitive DVD release of this brilliant and trend-setting romantic comedy it is still preferable to the video version.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    95% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (19 out of 20)

    Special Features

    • Trivia and production notes
    • Original theatrical trailer


    Annie Hall
    Woody Allen's romantic comedy of the Me Decade follows the up and down relationship of two mismatched New York neurotics. Jewish comedy writer Alvy Singer (Allen) ponders the modern quest for love and his past romance with tightly-wound WASP singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton, née Diane Hall). The twice-divorced Alvy knows that it's not easy to find a mate when the options include pretentious New York intellectuals and lifestyle-obsessed Rolling Stone writers, but la-di-dah-ing Annie seems different. Along the rocky road of their coupling, Allen/Alvy weigh in on such topics as endless therapy, movies vs. TV, the absurdity of dating rituals, anti-Semitism, drugs, and, in one of the best set pieces, repressed Midwestern WASP insanity vs. crazy Brooklyn Jewish boisterousness. Annie wants to move to Los Angeles to find that fame that finally does in the relationship -- but not before Alvy gets in a few digs at vacuous, mantra-fixated California. Originally entitled Anhedonia (the inability to enjoy oneself), Annie Hall blended the slapstick and fantasy from such earlier Allen films as Sleeper (1973) and Bananas (1971) with the more autobiographical musings of his stand-up and written comedy, using an array of such movie techniques as talking heads, splitscreens, and subtitles. Within these gleeful formal experiments and sight gags, Allen and co-writer Marshall Brickman skewered 1970s solipsism, reversing the happy marriage of opposites found in classic screwball comedies. Hailed as Allen's most mature and personal film, Annie Hall beat out Star Wars for Best Picture and also won Oscars for Allen as director and writer and for Keaton as Best Actress; audiences enthusiastically responded to Allen's take on contemporary love and turned Keaton's rumpled menswear into a fashion trend. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Woody Allen
      Woody Allen - Alvy Singer
    • Diane Keaton
      Diane Keaton - Annie Hall
    • Tony Roberts
      Tony Roberts - Rob
    • Carol Kane
      Carol Kane - Allison
    • Paul Simon
      Paul Simon - Tony Lacey

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.