The film is structured as a christian metaphor: some comedians gather together to eat while they remeber the times and works of the most extravagant manager ever. To round this religious meaning, even a sandwich in that eating place is called Danny Rose.
What makes this film so charming is its lack of pretensions. Woody slightly departs from his usual persona while Mia Farrow delivers one of her finest performances so far, in a role that had practically nothing to do with her. The story, too, is one of the warmest ones written by Woody, totally full of love for all the lesser comedians Danny Rose manages, and even comprehension for those who betray him when they achieve success. If you mix this with even a mafia subplot, what you get is one of the most complete Woody Allen's movies: wise jokes, tons of laughter, a moving ending, and all superbly photographed in glorious black and white by a Gordon Willis at the peak of his career.
A deceiving film. A masterpiece. Probably Woody's most intimate, delicate and beautiful picture. A must have
This movie is basically an eighty-four minute monologue by Allen doing his typical fast-talking-schmoozer routine. The dialogue is fast and funny and Allen is, well, Allen. Mia Farrow is virtually unrecognizable as a cheap bimbo and does a good job playing against type, but the spotlight is on Woody all the way. Filmed in black and white in cinema-verite style on the streets of New York, this is vintage Woody Allen with non-stop one-liners and show-biz jokes.