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Crimes And Misdemeanors (1990)



Woody Allen


Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Martin Landau, Claire Bloom, Anjelica Huston


Drama, Romantic Comedy, Indie-Arthouse Cinema





Running Time:

100 min

Crimes And Misdemeanors


Poignant, penetrating and scathingly hilarious, Crimes and Misdemeanors is a deftly rendered tale about the complexity of human choices and the moral microcosm that they represent. Showcasing Allen’s brilliant grasp of the link between the funny and the fatal, his nineteenth movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, is one of the watershed films of his career. Cliff Stern (Woody Allen) is an idealistic filmmaker… until he is offered a lucrative job shooting a flattering profile of a pompous TV producer (Alan Alda). Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) is the pillar of his community… until he learns that his ex-mistress (Anjelica Huston) plans to expose his financial and extramarital misdeeds. As Cliff chooses between integrity and selling out, and Judah decides between the counsel of his Rabbi (Sam Waterson) and the murderous advice of his mobster brother (Jerry Orbach), each man must examine his own morality, and make an irrevocable decision - that will change everyone’s lives forever.


member reviews

Not brilliant by Woody's standards, but well worth
David Heslin
08 December 2008
member rating

Woody Allen's work has been strangely inconsistent. Not, of course, in his main characterisations, which quite often involve him playing himself (or at least, the "Woody Allen" role), or someone else filling his shoes, complete with mannerisms. Instead, despite all the abundant similarities between his films in terms of themes covered, the simple fact is that Allen has made some very good films (Annie Hall, Manhattan) and some very bad ones (apparently the majority of his work since the early '90s). Crimes and Misdemeanours, for better or for worse, does not fall into either category. The story is slight. The themes are sometimes interesting . Nevertheless, there is the comforting presence of the Woody Allen character (his character is a documentary maker in this one), and the appropriately hilarious send-up of the self-obsessed television producer who wants a biographical series about himself, and rings in the film-maker to assist in this vanity piece. The one-liners are great, as usual, and the film does not shy away from exploring fascinating concepts (the way we deal with guilt, the value of a life, and the prevalence of selfish behaviour from human beings), which overall makes for a film that can at least be recommended, if not praised unreservedly.

100% of members found this review helpful




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