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MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY

Director: Woody Allen

104 minutes| U.S.A.| 1993| Colour| 35mm


Reunited with his co-writer from Annie Hall and Manhattan, Marshall Brickman, Allen has fashioned something of a throwback to what the aliens in Stardust Memories might have called his ‘early funny films’. To the annoyance of her husband (Allen) but encouraged by an adoring friend (Alan Alda), a New York housewife (Diane Keaton) begins to suspect that an elderly neighbour (Jerry Adler) might have murdered his wife.

The premise is reminiscent of Rear Window and the film has a neat Hitchcockian blend of humour and suspense. Allen also pays homage to Double Indemnity and The Lady from Shanghai, and there’s a tremendous moment recalling Don’t Look Now when Keaton unexpectedly catches sight of a person purportedly dead and the narrative hurtles off in a new direction. Performed with great gusto by the cast, this was Allen’s first film for some years that could be called fun.

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