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Crimes & Misdemeanors [DVD] [1990] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Nov 1997
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305075328
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,727 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Along with Deconstructing Harry which would follow seven years later, this is Woody Allen's most sombre comedy-drama, as well as his most ambitious film of the 1980s. Allen weaves together two central stories about very different groups of Manhattanites, linking them through a mutual friend, a rabbi (Sam Waterston) who's going blind. This image is key to the sometimes ponderous, often clever musings on faith, morals, and vision (or lack thereof) that obsess his deeply troubled and unhappy characters. At its centre, the film explores people who, through lack of religious conviction or arrogance, rationalise their awful, selfish acts by presuming that God couldn't possibly be watching.

The central story--a neo-noir of sorts--follows a fortuitous ophthalmologist (Martin Landau, all sweat and grimaces) who faces the prospect of his obsessed mistress (Anjelica Huston) ruining his life by telling his family of their affair. Desperate, the doctor hires his slimy criminal brother (Jerry Orbach) to eliminate the situation, and then suffers overwhelming regret afterwards. The flip tale is more typical Allen. Funnier and lighter, it focuses on an impossible romance between Allen's character and Halley Reed, a film producer played by Mia Farrow. Between Allen and his Hollywood fantasy stands his brother-in-law (Alan Alda, perfectly cast as an obnoxious, successful sitcom producer), who also desires Halley. Allen is Landau's opposite: an honest, struggling documentarian who cares nothing about fortune, suffers in a loveless marriage, and is surrounded by triumphant phonies. The nice-guys-finish-last moral may be as contrived as it is devastating. Yet, when Landau and Allen finally share a final scene during a wedding, their faces, subtle body movements, and contrasting fortunes somehow suggest that indeed God may be blind, and if not, the deity has a very sick sense of humour. --Dave McCoy

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By LiteratureLover on 1 Dec 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is a brilliant film. Allen merges his comic interests with his serious Bergman ambitions perfectly. It is a bitter-sweet experience, and more successful than something like, say Interiors (1978), as the comedy here serves to highlight the ultimate tragedy of the narrative.
I defy anyone not to be moved by the film's quietly devastating conclusion, a conversation between Allen and Martin Landau's characters at an upscale Manhattan function. Love is not always returned, good intentions in life are not enough, and ultimately, there is no right or wrong. You can get away with anything if you choose to forgive yourself. There is no higher power to arbitrate between us - we are on our own in the universe.
That Allen successfully explores these fundamental existential matters in an entertaining way is a massive achievement. I'd urge anyone to see this film.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By mike@aba.co.uk on 19 Jun 2001
Format: DVD
Crimes & Misdemeanours is an examination into the dark soul of Everyman. By setting Man's intentions against Man's actions, Allen masterfully illuminates the dark space that lies between the two, and the monsters that lie in wait there. It's never an easy journey when a Director holds a mirror up to us in this way, and this film is no exception. By clever use of the story of two decent ordinary guys lives, Allen opens out nice & easy, lulling the viewer into a false sense of 'Allen' insecurity. But as the story progresses, these simple men become victims of their own desires, and, consequently, others become victims of these simple men. We see here an older, more sullen Allen, miserly with his feelgood moments in the film, dragging us unwillingly down into the place he's intent on showing us, our own dark ambition. Comedy would not be my first choice of words to describe this film, but unmissable would definately feature. Watch this film!
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