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4.2 out of 5 stars78
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Just got this DVD to replace our old VHS one. Love the colour and sharpness against the murky old tape we were used to. You get scene access and the original trailer.

You've got to admire Allen, not only as writer/director/actor, but also as writer willing to assign himself a leading role that is not altogether sympathetic. It starts and ends with his character's - comedian Alvie Singer - views on life and relationships. He looks back on his relationship with singer Annie Hall, the time frame jumping back and forth from different stages of their relationship, his first two wives, her former relationships, his childhood, their breakup, etc. This method of storytelling really keeps you on your toes.

Strange, but it only really sunk in now, on the umpteenth viewing, that Alvie and his friend Rob continually refer to each other as Max, for some private reason. I still don't know what Alvie means when he tells his second wife that he hates the country because there's no place to walk after dinner. Aside from that, this is a very funny and seminal film about a loving but problematic relationship between a neurotic jewish comedian and a kooky insecure nightclub singer.

An intelligent comedy that would make an ideal introduction to Allen's oeuvre. I still think Love & Death is the funniest one, Play It Again Sam the most romantic, Stardust Memories the most artistic. A personal favourite: Manhattan [DVD]
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on 3 November 2013
I am very disappointed with the Blu Ray of Annie Hall. It has a major audio sync issue. The sound is about half a second out in places, especially during the monologue at the beginning. I have been sent a replacement, which also has the issue. I have tested both discs on three players:

Sony Playstation 3 (Slim top loader)
Sony BDP-S185
Samsung BD-E5300

They are the same on the two Sony players and slightly worse on the Samsung! Some scenes are almost in sync, and others are noticeably out. Fast forwarding or re-winding makes the problem worse. The film is unwatchable.

This issue has been widely reported on the internet, but a re-call has not been announced yet. Some people with high end Blu Ray players have reported that the sync issue does not affect them.

Buyer beware!
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on 27 April 2012
Annie Hall is a rather odd film, with Allen's character - a neurotic Jewish comedian, that must have been a stretch for him to play - frequently addressing us directly, in one scene switching seamlessly from real-life to fantasy when annoyed by a boor behind him in a movie queue, in others suddenly becoming a cartoon character or using subtitles to show the subtext in his and Annie's first conversation. But never mind this playing with the form because quite apart from that Annie Hall is a very funny film: it's because Alvy Singer's romance with Annie Hall (and with Brooklyn) is so affecting and awkwardly believable that it's so hilarious. Enjoyable, cheering - and only an hour and a half long! - I'd recommend Annie Hall to anyone.
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on 10 February 2013
[Spoilers Ahead]

After watching Allen's latest films, we embraced Annie Hall fully. Allen knows New York better than other locales. More importantly, his actors in Annie Hall are distinguished. So many characters in Allen's films through the years are more or less playing Woody Allen. That's incongruous in recent films when mall-brats read his script... "maturely." The players in Annie Hall have their own voices and let Allen play Allen. Tony Roberts shrugs off Allen's paranoia, Carol Kane sees through his complex stereotyping, Paul Simon plays against type - or plays one of his bi-coastal types - as the laid back guy, and Jeff Goldblum can't remember his mantra. (I forget the characters names -- hey, look man, names are just labels and I don't get into that). In one of his not-too-much-later films, Allen counters "You're a self-hating Jew" with "No, I hate myself - but not because I'm Jewish." One has to wonder if Allen wants to stay in New York because he's a masochist. That's one for the psychiatrists. Annie Hall wants to stay in (Allen's simply stereotyped) LA. Who can blame her? She starts anew as, it turns out, an equal to Allen and people with "III" and "IV" after their names. And with a little Pilates she can get more in tune with herself, get in touch with mind spirit body.

Finally, a film where Allen has equals.
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on 30 May 2003
What is there to say? If you haven't seen this film, you really don't know what you're missing. This is Allen's most celebrated masterpiece, and shows Diane Keaton and Woody at their best (Keaton's singing voice is as uplifting as her acting!). The relationship between Alvy Singer and Annie Hall is portrayed with the closest attention to detail, so that whether it is waiting in line to see a movie, buying books for one another, persuading Annie to take up an academic course or photographing Alvy during a very amusing lobster incident, the result is highly effective. You know, it's like the old Groucho Marx joke: "I don't want to join any club that will take me as a member"; this is Alvy's maxim; a man who is never satisfied, but always wants invitations! Annie, the nightclub singer, is, at the same time, just like Alvy and nothing like him - what is it they have in common? The answer is their individuality. From the moment Annie utters her non-sensical phrase, "La Di Da", Alvy is in awe. It is a relationship of mutual appreciation as much as it is companionship. The relationship is doomed to fail, but the journey from friendship to love, and love to friendship, and - guess what? - friendship to love again is compelling to watch. Alvy can't communicate with other women in the way that he does with Annie, to the point that there is no room for laughter: [Alvy] "I haven't been myself since I quit smoking" [Some girl] "O, when did you quit smoking?" [Alvy] "Sixteen years ago" [Some girl] "Wait, I don't get it. Is it a joke?". Well, you decide. This film is one on many levels, with Freudian undertones, and musical overtones, and each viewing is a new experience. What if Annie had married Alvy, for example? Her name would, ironically, be Annie Singer! See this film, or don't call yourself a Woody Allen fan!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 February 2014
Having watched `Manhattan' the day before, and found it an absolute classic that I enjoyed immensely, I was left slightly underwhelmed by `Annie Hall?' I am scratching my head as to why?
Was it because of the sameness in lead protagonists; that both films were romcoms? Was it that I had got used to Woody's neurotic character?
Both had lots of wit and an Interesting story line. `Annie' won all sorts of awards and it is possibly Woody Allen's most acclaimed film? I wondered if I would have enjoyed it more, if I had watched it first?
For some reason I found the Manhattan script far wittier; the film more personal, more romantic, or believable and the characters more endearing. It was less, so obviously a comedy?
Then there are the Manhattan silhouettes and of course the black & white filming, those lovely classic tunes which `Annie' is devoid of. `Rhapsody in Blue',' `Someone to Watch over Me' and `Embraceable You' are great arrangements and so instantly familiar to most.
It's strange as to what connects you to a particular film and what thin margins there are between one and the other, but for me `Manhattan' is superior? I know some will not see it that way but there we are!
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on 4 October 2011
I was slightly disappointed after watching "Annie Hall". It is touted as one of the all time great films. While it is an enjoyable film but I don't think it quite lives up to its reputation.

Diane Keaton won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance and she is the best thing in it. She plays Annie, initially as an awkward wannabe nightclub singer but later becoming a confident young woman at the expense of her relationship with Allen's character.

The main characters in the movie are great. From Keaton's Annie to Allen's neurotic writer they are a bit mad but you come to like them a lot and wish the best for them. I thought Allen throws in too many "funny" lines for his character, especially at the start of the movie. Some of these lines just aren't funny and you just want him to get on with the story.

There are some great scenes in the movie. I thought the visit to Annie's family in the Mid-west was hilarious, complete with Jew-hating "Grammy Hall" and a cameo from a young Christopher Walken.

Definitely worth watching, perhaps along with "Manhattan", a movie from the same period in Allen's career.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 June 2010
Just to add my voice to the choir: Quite simply one of the best films
about romantic relationships ever made. Brilliantly written.
Brilliantly acted -- Diane Keaton is tremendous, the supporting cast is
full of gems and Allen himself takes the leap to present himself as a
real (if funny) human being and not a walking joke. And brilliantly
photographed by the great Gordon Willis of 'The Godfather' and many of
most important films of the 70s and 80s.

Wildly funny and ultimately heartbreaking. It's hard to imagine anyone
who has ever been in love, or struggled through grown-up relationships
NOT identifying with a lot of this film. I loved it in my late teens
when it first came out, and I love it even more 32 years later. Every
time I see it I notice different details, depending on my own current
life experiences. A film of enormous wit, humor, invention, and
understanding of the human heart. Its completely unique, playful and
idiosyncratic in style and approach, but that experimentation somehow
only makes it more accessible and universal. If you haven't seen it,
you owe yourself a try, even if you're not a Woody Allen 'fan'. And if
you saw it long ago, it may be time for another look.

BTW the US, reportedly region free blu-ray is a very nicely done step up.
Is this a reference quality disc that will blow you away? No. But the gains
in depth, clarity, richness give the film more immediacy, and certainly make
the blu-ray worthwhile if you love the film. (Of course, as always
with Woody there still are no extras. Sigh...)
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on 4 March 2005
Woody Allen transitioned from a very funny writer/actor/director, to a truly brilliant filmmaker with "Annie Hall." I saw this landmark movie again and was amazed at how well it holds up over time, and how pristine the film looks on DVD. Like Allen's earlier works, this is hilariously funny, but beneath the humor lies a poignant love story of two mismatched, neurotic people. It is a focused film that takes a mature look at modern urban relationships. The witty, clever screenplay is one of the reasons for its enduring popularity, regardless of the audience's demographics.
Alvy Singer, (Woody Allen), is a pessimistic, insecure, angst-ridden, short, Jewish New Yorker, originally from Brooklyn, just like Mr. Allen. Obviously, there are autobiographical elements here. Singer used to be a gag writer for comedians, but made a career decision to do his own comic stand-up routine. When we meet him for the first time, he has already become a star...and is still very neurotic. "Life is full of loneliness, misery, suffering, and unhappiness - and it's all over much too quickly," he says. Singer has a spurt of good luck, however, when he meets ditsy, charming Annie Hall, originally from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Diane Keaton is outstanding in the role - she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, and began a funky clothes trend with her wardrobe that lasted for a few years. If Alvy is New York seeded rye bread, then Annie is a somewhat tightly-wound, Wonder Bread WASP. She actually orders a pastrami sandwich on white bread with mayo in a local deli - that's like ordering fettuccine with ketchup in an Italian trattoria. It's a wonder that when the two have their first conversation they don't go into instant culture shock. Alvy may have poor self esteem, but Annie sure does like him. They appear to be having a wonderful time together too, as in the scene where they chase live lobsters around the kitchen floor, trying to cook a seafood dinner. Alvy's anhedonia, (the inability to enjoy oneself), seems to abandon him temporarily as the romance flourishes.
"Annie Hall" gets much of its comedy from mundane, everyday occurrences. I actually wonder if Jerry Seinfeld didn't derive some inspiration for his hit sitcom from Allen's film. One of the more brilliant scenes occurs when Singer goes to Annie's apartment, for the first time, right after they meet, for a drink and some getting-to-know-you conversation. As they make small talk, sub-titles appear on the screen, stating what the two are actually thinking: Alvy: "I wonder what she looks like naked," Annie: "He's too smart for me; hang in there." There is also an outrageous split screen sequence of Annie and Alvie in therapy sessions, with their respective shrinks, discussing their relationship. His therapist asks if they have sex often, hers asks the same. He replies, "Hardly ever! Maybe three times a week." Annie responds, "Constantly! I'd say three times a week." Also fantastic are the wacky sequences with Annie's Midwestern family, (Colleen Dewhurst is wonderful as Annie's mother, and Christopher Walken, her spooky brother, is beyond weird). Singer comments on how different his Brooklyn family is from her Midwestern relations. Then the screen splits and we see Annie's family talking quietly over dinner, while Alvy's boisterous family, bicker over their Passover meal. As the romance progresses, Alvy's previous relationships with wives numbers 1 and 2 are depicted through a series of flashbacks.
There are problems and rough spots, as with most relationships. Alvy keeps trying to turn Annie into the woman he wants her to be. When he pushes her to go back to college and take some classes, she gains new confidence - and develops a crush on one of her professors. The plot thickens when Annie meets a hit record producer who offers her a job in Los Angeles. Alvy goes along, temporarily, to do a TV special. One of Woody Allen's pet peeves is California, and life on the left coast as compared to life in NYC, so you can bet there is plenty of scathing commentary about Hollywood. Although many know how Annie and Alvy wind up, I won't spoil it for those who don't. However, if you have not seen "Annie Hall," you are really missing something phenomenal. And if you have seen it, and don't have it in your DVD collection, you might want to reconsider.
The film is done in non-linear form, and Allen's use of split screens techniques, animated characters, direct-to-camera narration, and occasional subtitles, are extremely effective, creative and innovative. Allen won Oscars for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Actor for "Annie Hall." There are cameos by: Christopher Walken, Shelley Duvall, Carol Kane, Janet Margolin, Marshall MacLuhan, Dick Cavet, John Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Beverly D'Angelo and Sigourney Weaver.
So what is the point of this fabulous movie, besides lots of laughs and terrific acting? Well, Groucho Marx used to say, "I'd never belong to a club that would have someone like me as a member." The primary message here is that to be loved, one has to love oneself first. Of course Woody Allen is also saying that love is annoying and pointless, as are relationships in general - but we need them.
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on 15 March 2000
Many Woody Allen fans rate this as his best film, though I think it's pipped at the post by 'Manhattan'. In this film the director plays Alvy Singer, a nervous NYC comedian who falls for the charms of Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). So Woody Allen is playing himself again, and the film seems distinctly autobiographical when you consider that the two stars were a real-life item for many years. The film has some surprising cameos (Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Goldblum and Truman Capote all pop up) and there are some classic bittersweet Allen jokes peppered throughout the script. At one point, Alvy says 'There's an old joke. Two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of them says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such small portions." Well - that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.'
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