Saturday, December 01, 2007

Woody Allen - The Funny Years

Post number 500. Woo hoo!

Today is Woody Allen's 72nd birthday. I've not liked much of his stuff from the past decade or so, but the run he had before that, both in writing and on film, make him hands down one of my biggest comedy heroes.

Play It Again, Sam is an atypical Woody Allen picture. For one, while he wrote it and stars in it, he didn't direct it (Herbert Ross did). For another, it's set in San Francisco, as there was a New York-specific strike going on at the time. Finally, some of it's quite dated - jokes about rape and Polaroid don't translate too well to today's sensibilities.

Despite this, it's my favorite of his pre-Annie Hall movies. If you've got a minute, watch this clip of him trying to pick up a girl at an art museum.

If you've got six and a half minutes, here he is getting ready for a blind date. For all his verbal dexterity, this has some of the best physical comedy you'll ever see.

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