Crimes And Misdemeanors 1990 CC

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(23) IMDb 8/10
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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).~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Woody Allen, Alan Alda
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 40 minutes
Starring Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Caroline Aaron, Anjelica Huston, Mia Farrow, Jenny Nichols, Martin Landau, Jerry Orbach, Claire Bloom, Sam Waterston, Joanna Gleason
Director Woody Allen
Genres Comedy
Studio MGM ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 11 February 2002
Main languages English
Dubbing Italian, Spanish, French
Subtitles Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, French, English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 21 Aug. 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Despite what other critics have said, it remains untrue that Allen only discovered Bergman after the "early funny ones" and thus, flippantly decided to be profound. Long-term aficionados of the director will know that he was indulging in homage to the likes of Bergman, Godard and Fellini as far back as Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Sleeper, and Love & Death. However, whereas those films took certain elements from European cinema and turned them into satire, Allen would eventually begin to explore his own serious side with films like Interiors, Stardust Memories, Another Woman and September, before finally perfected his new found style with this glorious and morally oblique modern-masterpiece.

Crimes and Misdemeanours is a film that manages to move gracefully between two very different (though ultimately, very serious) stories, whilst simultaneously juggling a tone that is both light and humours, but also bleak and profound. By focusing on two different characters, Allen is able to bring us into the film slowly... it is to his credit as a filmmaker that he is able to pull off the subtle shifts in style, creating a mood in one scene that is vague and philosophical, before cutting to something that seems much more frivolous. The serious moments never seem pretentious and the lighter moments are never forced, with Allen making great use of his persona as the slightly neurotic loveable loser at odds with the world around him, as he's hired by his brother-in-law (a pompous TV producer) to direct a flattering documentary portrait of the man and his work.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 31 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
Despite what another commentator has said, it remains untrue that Allen only discovered Bergman after the "early funny ones" and thus, flippantly decided to be profound. Long-term aficionados of the director will know that he was indulging in homage to the likes of Bergman, Godard and Fellini as far back as Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Sleeper, and Love & Death. However, whereas those films took certain elements from European cinema and turned them into satire, Allen would eventually begin to explore his own serious side with films like Interiors, Stardust Memories, Another Woman and September, before finally perfected his new found style with this glorious and morally oblique modern-masterpiece.
Crimes and Misdemeanours is a film that manages to move gracefully between two very different (though ultimately, very serious) stories, whilst simultaneously juggling a tone that is both light and humours, but also bleak and profound. By focusing on two different characters, Allen is able to bring us into the film slowly... it is to his credit as a filmmaker that he is able to pull off the subtle shifts in style, creating a mood in one scene that is vague and philosophical, before cutting to something that seems much more frivolous. The serious moments never seem pretentious and the lighter moments are never forced, with Allen making great use of his persona as the slightly neurotic loveable loser at odds with the world around him, as he's hired by his brother-in-law (a pompous TV producer) to direct a flattering documentary portrait of the man and his work.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By km.ord on 29 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this is Allen's greatest testament as both writer and director. This is a multi complex movie which covers so many aspects of life. Its major themes include guilt, obsession, betrayal, religion, sexuality and murder. Martin Landau is absolutely stunning in his role as an ophthalmologist who is the pillar of the community, and whom is blackmailed by a neurotic lover - which ultimately leads to moral and tragic consequences. Allen struggles to be his usual humorous self in the midst of his own crumbling marriage; he also suffers as a victim of unrequited love (with Mia Farrow), as he tries to rebuild his own life.

There are three main stories which make up the overall plot, although the Landau storyline is the most dominant. It has to take centre stage because the themes within this particular plot are the nucleus which holds everything together. All of the stories are indirectly interlinked, as are the characters, which leads to a strange, yet fascinating conversation between Allen and Landau at the end of the movie, when they eventually meet by accident at a relatives wedding. Humour is present within this story; however, the themes are based on mental suffering, which makes it difficult for the lighter side of the movie to dominate in any way.

It's a movie which I've watched on many an occassion. Each viewing has revealed something new - which is the blueprint for any great story. I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. The script is so cleverly written, it makes you realise perhaps, how enormously difficult it would be to write something yourself, based around human complexity. The story really does reveal Allen as a master scriptwriter.
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