Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register now to see X-Men: First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Woody Allen
Diane Keaton
Michael Murphy
Mariel Hemingway
Meryl Streep
Marshall Brickman.
Directors
Woody Allen.
Screenwriters
Woody Allen.
Running Time
96 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Bown
3 Star Empire Rating
Exhibition
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

Manhattan
Woody at his very best...


submit to reddit


Plot
Disatisfied with his lot as a TV comedy writer and uncomfortable in his relationship with Tracy, a teenage drama student, Isaac Davis begins writing a novel and becomes besotted with Mary Wilke, a neurotic intellectual who's having an affair with his best friend, Yale.


Review

When Woody Allen saw the rough cut of Manhattan, he asked producers Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe if United Artists would consider destroying every frame if he did his next film for them for free. However, thanks to editor Sandy Morse, this paean to his home town emerged as Allen's most effortlessly European feature.

    Accompanied by George Gershwin's sublime Rhapsody in Blue, the shots of the fireworks over Central Park, of Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and dawn coming up over the skyscrapers may seen quintessentially New York - and some have even claimed the picture as an East Coast equivalent to Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai (1948). But this is, in fact, Allen's take on La Dolce Vita (1960), with Isaac discovering the empty decadence of the city's chattering classes in much the same way that Marcello realised the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Rome's elite.

    Filmed by Gordon Willis in Panavision on Technicolor stock that was printed in monochrome, this is not just Allen's most beautiful film. It's also the most personal. The absence of colour reflects Isaac's disillusion with both his career and the circle of friends with whom he has surrounded himself. They are all writers - Yale is working on a biography of Eugene O'Neill, Mary is a critic and columnist and his ex-wife, Jill, who left him for her lesbian lover, is writing a feminist tract on their marriage that he knows will lead to his socio-sexual humiliation. Moreover, their conversation is peppered with allusions to creative artists, from Strindberg and Kafka to Bergman, Fellini and Groucho Marx.

     Yet, Isaac consistently denigrates the one person who offers him an escape from all this shallow pretension and he only realises Tracy's importance when he includes her in his charming litany of crucial pleasures. Typically, the critics chose to castigate Allen for choosing a 17 year-old blonde as his soulmate. But she symbolises the energy and excitement that Isaac had forgotten existed within Manhattan and her parting exhortion to have faith in people is the solution to his emotional and artistic crises.


Verdict
One of Woody's most aesthetically gorgeous films as well as his classic love-hate letter to the city of his soul.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Manhattan
Empire Star Rating

Classic

Woody's best ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bereski at 10:12, 07 February 2013 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079522/]Manhattani]"He adored New York City. He romanticized it all out of proportion."is the perferct description for Woody Allen`s ode to city. The merges the (love)life of his lead character Isaac (wonderfully portrayed by Allen himself) perfectly with his love for The Big Apple. He mixes both brilliantly: the lovely long dialogues, shaped by beautiful long shots in stunning black-and-white photography ( no matter what the season was, this was still a to... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 23:18, 27 March 2012 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079522/]Manhattan beautiful, warm film about my favorite city where I`ve never been to yet. In Allen`s first black-and-white shot film he creates a sort of classic Hollywood atmosphere that is created in large by the jazzy music and the atmospheric camera work. He portrays city as a real character and not just as a background against wich the story is told. A nice and timeless story by the way with a great performance from Allen who plays the neurotic writer dating ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 19:31, 01 October 2010 | Report This Post


Allen's lyrical, beautiful tribute to the place at the centre of his heart. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by willchadwick at 17:40, 18 March 2010 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Best Barry Norman Anecdotes From His Empire Podcast Interview
From nearly punching Robert De Niro to the real story about ‘And why not?’

Empire 300th Issue: The Directors' Cut Cover
Spielberg, Whedon, Fincher, Abrams Mann and more take over

Fired! Losing Your Job In The Movies
The lowdown on getting dismissed on film

20 Not So Super '-Men' That Won't Star In A Film Any Time Soon
Forget your Batmen, your Spider-Men and your Ant-Men… Meet 3-D Man (and his pals)

The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)