Thursday, December 2, 2010


(January 1984, U.S.)

Compared to some of Woody Allen's bigger classics like SLEEPER (1973), ANNIE HALL (1977) and MANHATTAN (1979), a modest little film like BROADWAY DANNY ROSE probably doesn't stand up as well. It doesn't, really. But in its own right, the film has an irresistable quality to it. The fact that's it's shot in black and white adds a cliche of artistic element to it. The fact that it stars Woody Allen playing his usualy neurotic, moronic and sometimes psychotic personality never hurts, either.

As with many of Allen's film characters, Danny Rose is associated with show business. The kick here is not so much his profession as a theatrical manager, but rather the ridiculous acts he handles; a one-legged tap dancer, a blind xylophone player, a balloon artist and a woman who plays the tops of drinking glasses with her hands whom Danny swears will one day play at Carnegie Hall (???). His one great client is an overweight Italian crooner who's in love with a cheap, gangster's blonde Tina (played by Mia Farrow), and it's with her that the screwball adventure begins to take shape, much in the spirit of films like BRINGING UP BABY (1938) and WHAT'S UP, DOC (1972). Those who know Woody Allen's nervous style and mannerism will know that he won't take too kindly to any kind of adventure that puts him in any confusing or dangerous position.

As mentioned earlier, BROADWAY DANNY ROSE will likely not go down in film history as one of Woody Allen's best. It's a fun film to watch, nonetheless. The dialogue below when he's just been grabbed and shoved into a car with two gangsters who intend to kill him is a prime example -

Favorite line or dialogue:

Danny Rose: "Fell...fellas...fellas...fellas...may I...can I...may I just interject one thing at this particular point in time?"
Gangster #1: "Keep goin' straight."
Danny: "Look, I LIKE Johnny. This is...what you don't understand...I LIKE your brother. I got nothin' against him. I just met him today. He's sweet. I liked his poem. What's under discussion here is the girl's feelings. That's what we're...the girl...incidentally, where is the girl?"
Gangster #2: "Oh, we're gonna take real good care-o-you, pal."
Danny: "I wanna say one thing, and I don't mean to be didactic or facetious in any manner...she doesn't love him. That's...she doesn't love him anymore. What can I...? You know...I know, it's hard to take, you know, because we all want what we can't have in life. This's a natural thing. But, uh, you know, take my cousine Seal - not, not pretty like Tina at all. She looks like something in a reptile house in the zoo. So, you'll like this story...she meets this accountant..."
Gangster #1: "Will ya shut up!"

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