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Hannah And Her Sisters [VHS]

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Woody Allen
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Gail Sicilia, Jack Rollins, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: MGM
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 2000
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WZUX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,238 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Academy Award-winning comedy drama from Woody Allen. Hannah (Mia Farrow), a wife, mother, successful actress and linchpin to her family, is married to Elliot (Michael Caine), but Elliot is in love with Lee (Barbara Hershey), Hannah's sister. Holly (Dianne Weist), Hannah's other sister, is jealous of Hannah, whilst Mickey (Woody Allen), Hannah's first husband, is convinced he is dying of a brain tumour. When Hannah's world is turned upside down by all her relatives' behaviour, she finds she has to choose between her family and her independence. Oscars were won by Caine, Wiest and Allen (for his screenplay).

From the Back Cover

Sibling rivalry has never been so funny or so poignant as in Oscar.-winning writer/director* Woody Allen's celebrated comedy-drama Hannah And Her Sisters. Winner of three Academy Awards.** including Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and earning four additional nominations including Best Director and Best Picture, this wonderfully wise and witty film stars Michael Caine, Dianne Wiest, Mia Farrow, Barbera Hersey, Sam Waterson and Carrie Fisher.

Successful businessman Elliot(Caine) is supposedly happily married to cute and corky Hannah (Farrow). But secretly Elliot harbours passionate feelings for Lee (Hershey), Hannah's stunningly beautiful sister. Meanwhile, Holly (Weist), sister number three has confusing love entanglements of her own. A piercingly funny examination of the ups and downs and unexpected twists of human relationships.Hannah And Her Sisters is a rare gem.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Pots TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here we have a classic Woody script, fuelled by mid-life angst and fraught affections. It follows the relationship woes, conflicts and rivalries of three sisters. Into their lives comes Michael Caine, Woody Allen, and Max Von Sydow, and so the plot revolves around the interaction of these six characters, as they each contemplate their lot in life. Of the three men, we focus mainly on Woody, who frets about the meaning of his life, we focus a little on Michael, and not at all on Max - possibly the most interesting of them because of his odd approach to society. It is one of my favourite movies. I must have watched it 40 times. It has subtlety and style, and the script has pace even when it deals with the issues of small lives. In the middle we also get a snippet of E E Cummings' poem "Somewhere I Have Never Travelled".
For some reason, Woody's movies never get the full DVD treatment, and here we receive no narratives, documentaries or interviews. The DVD menu is bland and cheaply done. We are not even offered Dolby sound, though I concede that the movie was originally recorded in mono. What we do get is the movie, dubbed in five languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Italian) and theatrical trailer.
Woody is an important figure in cinema but not huge box-office. That may explain why MGM lavishes so little attention on the DVDs of his work.
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A wonderful mix of moving and funny, thought provoking and silly. There's amazing acting all around from the first rate ensemble cast including Diane Wiest, Michael Caine (both of whom deservedly won Oscars), Max Von Sydow, Allen, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey etc.

(Mild spoiler) It features a rare movie happy ending that's actually earned!

This is probably the closest to Annie Hall of all Woody Allen films in the mix of wit, technical proficiency, sophisticated style, acting, emotion, etc. He takes a bevy of characters and creates a complex heartfelt portrait of family, lovers, friends, and artists that's funny but with insightful bite. A rare film that acknowledges how wonderful life is, without denying how hard it can be at the same time. Or at least how hard we find ways to make it.
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To my mind, only 'Annie Hall' has the beating of this excellent piece of drama. Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest and Barbara Hershey are all wonderful as the three sisters and Woody himself is typically neurotic in his role as a hypochondriac comic writer. However, the best performance is from Michael Caine as the guilt-ridden husband who loves his wife (Farrow) but is infatuated with her beautiful and passionate sister (Hershey). Max von Sydow nearly steals the scene as Hershey's tempestuous artist lover and watch out for Carrie Fisher in a subsidary role. This is a beautiful film that is honest and yet uplifting in one motion, an absolute triumph in observational drama. If you're an Allen fan and do not yet own this film...well, what are you waiting for ? Buy it !
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Woody Allen's 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters is, for me, very much a mixed bag. I was tempted to rate it as three star only, but, on the strength of the performances from Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey and, predictably I guess, Allen himself, it just edges into four star territory.

The film provides another example of Allen's take on life, as mixed between tragedy and comedy - albeit without a clear demarcation in all cases. But, for me, Allen achieves this mix much more effectively in one of his film classics, Crimes and Misdemeanours, than he does here.

As has become Allen's trademark, there are a number of narrative threads running through the film. Actress Hannah (solidly played by Mia Farrow) and her two sisters, Lee (Barbara Hershey, in easily her best film role for me) and Holly (played by the much underrated Dianne Wiest) provide the central storylines. Hannah's husband Elliot (Michael Caine) becomes obsessed by Lee, who herself is suffering marriage ructions with her artist husband Frederick (played with admirable gravity by Max von Sydow), and the two embark on a passionate affair. Meantime, (ex-)drug addict Holly is struggling to find her path in life, rapidly moving between the various men in her life and numerous career paths, much to the dismay of sister Hannah. The other main storyline features Hannah's ex-husband, TV producer Mickey Sachs (played by Allen), who is also beginning to despair at life and obsessing that he has a terminal medical condition. Following some hilarious diagnosis scenes with various doctors, Mickey is given the all clear, at which point he decides he needs to find the true meaning of life, by means of religious conversion to catholicism (or maybe even Hare Krishna), much to the disgust of his Jewish parents.
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Considered by the plaudits to one of Woody Allen's most successful films, you are reminded that although it may seem to the Allen detractors that he only has one joke and a paranoiac one at that. Allen and that joke appears here again, but this really is a thoroughly good and well structured piece of work. At times you can be convinced that it has a classic almost Shakespearian structure. The three female leads are wonderful and Michael Caine deserves his Bafta for best supporting actor. Certainly a 4* Woody Allen film.
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