7.9/10
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Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 3 November 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer

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An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Bernstein Bill Bernstein ... Testimonial Speaker
Martin Landau ... Judah Rosenthal
Claire Bloom ... Miriam Rosenthal
Stephanie Roth Haberle ... Sharon Rosenthal (as Stephanie Roth)
Gregg Edelman ... Chris
George J. Manos George J. Manos ... Photographer (as George Manos)
Anjelica Huston ... Dolores Paley
Woody Allen ... Cliff Stern
Jenny Nichols Jenny Nichols ... Jenny
Joanna Gleason ... Wendy Stern
Alan Alda ... Lester
Sam Waterston ... Ben
Zina Jasper Zina Jasper ... Carol
Dolores Sutton ... Judah's Secretary
Joel Fogel Joel Fogel ... T.V. Producer (as Joel S. Fogel)
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Storyline

Judah Rosenthal is an ophthalmologist and a pillar of the community who has a big problem: his mistress Dolores Paley has told him that he is to leave his wife and marry her - as he had promised to do - or she will tell everyone of their affair. When he intercepts a letter Dolores has written to his wife Miriam, he is frantic. He confesses all to his shady brother Jack who assures him that he has friends who can take care of her. Meanwhile, filmmaker Cliff Stern is having his own problems. He's been working on a documentary film for some time but has yet to complete it. He and his wife Wendy have long ago stopped loving one another and are clearly on their way to divorce. He falls in love with Halley Reed who works with a producer, Lester. Cliff soon finds himself making a documentary about Lester and hates every minute of it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A film about humanity.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

3 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brothers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$911,385, 15 October 1989

Gross USA:

$18,254,702

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,254,702
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (Mono)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This cinema movie featured at least three significant film directors in acting roles, with one of them actually portraying a film director. They were Alan Alda, Nora Ephron, and Woody Allen, the latter of whom portrayed director Cliff Stern. See more »

Goofs

(at 1:31:03) While they are celebrating at the wedding party the theme "Crazy Rhythm" is been played by the jazz orchestra, a muted trumpet can be heard but the trumpet player isn't using one. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Testimonial Speaker: We're all very proud of Judah Rosenthal's philanthropic efforts. His endless hours of fund raising for the hospital, the new medical center, and now, the ophthalmology wing, which until this year had just been a dream. But it's due to Rosenthal our friend that we most appreciate. The husband, the father, the golf companion. Naturally if you have a medical problem you can call Judah...
Miriam Rosenthal: You're blushing, darling.
Testimonial Speaker: ...day or night, weekends or holidays. But you can also call Judah to ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Valerie: Crimes and Misdemeanors (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Home Cooking
Written by Hilton Ruiz
Performed by The Hilton Ruiz Quartet
See more »

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User Reviews

Masterpiece
29 April 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

Most would say "Annie Hall", some would say "Manhattan", those who prefer Allen's early career might even mention "Sleeper". Few would call "Crimes and Misdemeanors" Woody Allen's best film as writer/director, but the more I watch it, the more I realize that it's not only my favorite, but in many ways the film Allen was working towards for the entirety of his career as a writer prior to this.

In "Crimes and Misdemeanors" Allen revisits a recurring theme in many of his films, adultery. It would be a simplistic and narrow-minded view of this film to say that it was simply about adultery because it is really far more complex than that, and essentially a film about all varieties of human nature and relationships, and one could even argue- the relationship between reality and film as explored through the lens of genre- romantic comedy, Film-Noir, and documentary, and what parts of this film are- satire.

"Crimes and Misdemeanors" is one of Allen's best scripts. Any screenplay attempting to accomplish as much as this one does could easily fall apart, and Allen has had less convincing attempts than this one with similar ambitions, but everything works beautifully here. This film practically defines the 'tragicomedy' sub-genre, with neither overpowering the other and much of the humor is dark humor originating in tragedy, something that is acknowledged by Allen through the character of Lester (played to perfection by Alan Alda), who comments that comedy is nothing more than "tragedy plus time". He also mentions that comedy has to have an ending, and that's one of the best things about this movie- Allen allows dramatic scenes to succeed at being dramatic and emotional, then throws a hilarious punchline at you, which has an effect that is both entertaining and somewhat unsettling. This is an expertly-written movie.

"Crimes and Misdemeanors" is the culmination of a decade of consistently brilliant, evocative, original, and fascinating films from Woody Allen, whose 80's output I would personally consider to be his best. His 70's work is far more popular, but his 80's work contains some of the most unique and memorable films ever made: "Stardust Memories", "Zelig", "The Purple Rose of Cairo", and "Hannah and Her Sisters", as well as numerous overlooked and generally forgotten films that can only be called excellent, such as: "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy", "Broadway Danny Rose", "Radio Days", "September", and "Another Woman". On top of all these memorable films is "Crimes and Misdemeanors", which is simply my favorite Woody Allen film and almost certainly his best and most focused effort.

10/10


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