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He'll take Manhattan
From Annie Hall to Zelig, a Woody Allen walking tour of New York City
By Chris Epting
Updated: 3:14 p.m. ET Aug. 27, 2004
As the Republican Convention unfolds in New York, the drama will be mostly focused on platform planks, policy, speechmaking, sound bites and the like. There will be characters of all sorts paraded across the stage, and New York will become a mere backdrop for lots of partisan politics and protests. But for those in search of the Big Apple’s real spirit, it would behoove both visiting Republicans and full-time New Yorkers alike to take a tour of the sites that have become more familiar courtesy of Woody Allen, whose films serve as loving, visual (and sometimes neurotic) reminders of what makes New York such a personally affecting place. Woody’s New York is an authentic New York; as much about offbeat delis and street corners as it is about skylines and museums.
So if you’re ready to walk off some angst, then let’s visit some of Woody Allen’s most memorable New York filming locations…
1977 - Annie Hall
Considered by many to be his best ever, the bittersweet story of a quirky neurotic named Annie Hall did as much for alternative female fashions as it did for the filmmaker’s career. All of a sudden, women were wearing men’s ties, vests and hats, and Woody was viewed as more of an “artist” who dealt with adult themes and humor versus some of his lighter works (i.e. Sleeper and Love and Death). Autobiographical or not, Annie Hall won Oscars that year for Best Picture, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Director (Woody Allen), and Original Screenplay.
1979 - Manhattan
Manhattan remains a favorite of most Woody Allen aficionados. Shot in stark black and white and set to a powerful Gershwin score, it dealt with awkward adult themes in a genuinely touching manner, and featured a wonderfully sinister turn by Meryl Streep (as Woody's estranged, now-lesbian ex). A young Mariel Hemingway played Woody’s teenage love interest in the film, and it was at John’s Pizzeria (278 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village) where she broke the news to him that she was off to London to study. A real-life haunt of Woody’s, the classic New York restaurant Elaine’s, (1703 Second Avenue between East 88th and East 89th Street) is where the film opens, with Woody waxing on to his friends about the trials and tribulations of dating a 17-year old. The iconic poster image for the film of Woody and Diane Keaton seating on a bench together was shot at Riverview Terrace on Sutton Square, just beneath the 59th Street Bridge on the east side of Manhattan. Perhaps the most famous scene from the movie, this is where Woody and Diane Keaton watch the sun come up together, in the shadow of the bridge. (There’s no longer a bench located where the pair sat.)
1984 - Broadway Danny Rose
This 1984 effort focused on the career of Danny Rose, a small-time, two-bit Broadway talent agent whose roster of hopeless, hapless clients and bad luck send him on a series of adventures, recalled by some old Borscht belt comedians who swap Danny Rose stories at one of New York’s most famous delis, The Carnegie. Another real life spot frequented by Woody Allen over the years, it remains virtually unchanged since the film and also stands as one of the most authentic New York culinary experiences. The Carnegie Deli is located at 854 Seventh Avenue.
1986 - Hannah and Her Sisters
1989 - Crimes and Misdemeanors
, located at 301 Park Avenue.
1992 - Husbands and Wives
A novel, documentary-style of shooting distinguishes Husbands and Wives, a layered drama dealing with marital, post-marital and extra-marital relationships. In the film, Mia Farrow’s has lunch with the newly-single Judy Davis at the Dean & Deluca Café, located at 121 Prince Street in SoHo. Sidney Pollack and his airhead girlfriend go to the movies at the 68th Street Playhouse, located at Third Avenue and 68h Street.
1993 - Manhattan Murder Mystery
1994 – Bullets Over Broadway
An ode to the Damon
Runyon-era of the Great White Way, Bullets Over Broadway featured
one of Allen’s best ensemble casts, including Dianne Wiest, John
Cusack and Chazz Palminteri. The Belasco
, located at 481 8th Avenue (which he had also used for a scene in
1987’s Radio Days.). New York City remains one of the great
“characters” in many Woody Allen films; a living, breathing movie
set that’s as integral to the story as the actors and actresses. So
if you’re in town for the convention and you want to experience a
true slice of the Big Apple, take a look at some of the cinematic
spots he’s helped immortalize. And of course, if you live here, it’s
never too late for a “Woody Walking Tour.”
, located at 481 8th Avenue (which he had also used for a scene in 1987’s Radio Days.). New York City remains one of the great “characters” in many Woody Allen films; a living, breathing movie set that’s as integral to the story as the actors and actresses. So if you’re in town for the convention and you want to experience a true slice of the Big Apple, take a look at some of the cinematic spots he’s helped immortalize. And of course, if you live here, it’s never too late for a “Woody Walking Tour.”
Copyright © 2004 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.