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Crimes and Misdemeanors

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Overview

Woody Allen spent most of the 1980s and '90s veering between comedy and drama, and he rarely combined the two with greater success than in Crimes and Misdemeanors, in which he weaved together two stories, one deadly serious, one often funny, both ending in sadness. Martin Landau plays Dr. Judah Rosenthal, a prominent ophthalmologist with a successful practice, a loving family, and a reputation for generous charity work. But Rosenthal also has a secret: his mistress, Dolores Anjelica Huston. What began as a casual...
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MGM (Video & DVD), 06/05/2001, VHS Tape, Brand New! VHS Tape. Case New. Shrink wrapped! Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.

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Overview

Woody Allen spent most of the 1980s and '90s veering between comedy and drama, and he rarely combined the two with greater success than in Crimes and Misdemeanors, in which he weaved together two stories, one deadly serious, one often funny, both ending in sadness. Martin Landau plays Dr. Judah Rosenthal, a prominent ophthalmologist with a successful practice, a loving family, and a reputation for generous charity work. But Rosenthal also has a secret: his mistress, Dolores Anjelica Huston. What began as a casual fling has become uncomfortably intimate, and as he tries to break off the relationship, Dolores threatens to expose his infidelity to his wife and some unorthodox financial arrangements to his colleagues. Fearful that Dolores will make good on her threats, Judah confesses his secret to his brother Jack Jerry Orbach, who has ties to organized crime and offers to "make the problem go away." Meanwhile, Cliff Stern Woody Allen is a filmmaker working on his pet project, a documentary about philosopher Prof. Louis Levy Martin Bergmann. However, films about philosophers don't pay the rent, so Cliff's wife Wendy Joanna Gleason arranges for him to make a documentary for public television about her brother Lester Alan Alda, a famous TV comedian whose vapidity is exceeded only by his arrogance. While Cliff tries to bite the bullet and finish the film, he finds himself falling in love with PBS producer Halley Reed Mia Farrow.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of Woody Allen's most serious dramatic comedies, Crimes and Misdemeanors invoked comparisons to Hannah and Her Sisters, which Allen had made three years earlier. Similar to Hannah in its novel-like scope, interweaving stories, and rich ensemble acting, Crimes took the previous film's moral and ethical issues one step further: whereas Hannah was primarily concerned with love and loss, Crimes presented questions about the very meaning of human existence. Unabashedly philosophical, Allen's film was also one of his darkest, powered by a relentless pessimism, evocative of Allen's heroes Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, and Anton Chekhov, coming to rest at the conclusion that true love will go unrewarded and the bad will go unpunished. It is a mark of Allen's strength as a director and storyteller that, despite such pessimism, Crimes managed to be a surprisingly funny film, a masterful demonstration of Allen's ability to weave together high comedy and sober drama. An ambitious project that Allen helmed with remarkable self-assurance, Crimes and Misdemeanors further established him as one of the cinema's most reliably cerebral directors.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2001
  • UPC: 027616854186
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Martin Landau Judah Rosenthal
Woody Allen Cliff Stern
Mia Farrow Halley Reed
Alan Alda Lester
Anjelica Huston Dolores Paley
Jerry Orbach Jack Rosenthal
Sam Waterston Ben
Joanna Gleason Wendy Stern
Caroline Aaron Barbara
Claire Bloom Miriam Rosenthal
Stephanie Roth Sharon Rosenthal
Jenny Nichols Jenny
David S. Howard Sol Rosenthal
Anna Berger Aunt May
Victor Argo Detective
Martin Bergmann Prof. Louis Levy
Thomas P. Crow TV Producer
Gregg Edelman Chris
Kenny Vance Murray
Rabbi Joel Zion Rabbi
Derek Smith
Bill Bernstein Testimonial Speaker
George Mason Photographer
Zina Jasper Carol
Dolores Sutton Judah's Secretary
Joel Fogel TV Producer
Donna Castellano TV Producer
Jerry Zaks Man on Campus
Barry Finkel TV Writer
Steve Maidment TV Writer
Nadia Sanford Alva
Chester Malinowski Hit Man
Stanley Reichman Chris' Father
Rebecca Schull Chris' Mother
Garrett Simowitz Young Judah
Frances Conroy House Owner
Sol Frieder Seder Guest
Justin Zaremby Seder Guest
Marvin Terban Seder Guest
Hy Anzell Seder Guest
Sylvia Kauders Seder Guest
Nora Ephron Wedding Guest
Merv Bloch Wedding Guest
Thomas Bolster Wedding Guest
Robin Bartlett Wedding Guest
Grace Zimmerman Bride
Randy Aaron Fink Groom
Warren Vaché Jazz Band
Technical Credits
Woody Allen Director, Screenwriter
Susan Bode-Tyson Set Decoration/Design
Fern Buchner Makeup
Robert Greenhut Producer
Joseph Hartwick Production Manager
Speed Hopkins Art Director
Jack Rollins Executive Producer
Charles H. Joffe Executive Producer
Jeffrey Kurland Costumes/Costume Designer
Santo Loquasto Production Designer
Susan E. Morse Editor
Sven Nykvist Cinematographer
Thomas A. Reilly Associate Producer
Helen Robin Associate Producer
Juliet Taylor Casting
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Experience this as a just a comic story or as a serious philosophical tale.

    The blend between great story and great message really come together here. Whether you agree with Allen's conclusions, you will be faced with a vital question in this movie: does a moral God run the universe or are we simply on our own to make our own choices and just live with the results? All this is wrapped up in scene after scene of terse drama and/or humorous dialogue. This one is really a masterpiece that deserves to be seen, seen again and discussed, as well as enjoyed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews