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Crimes and Misdemeanors (Widescreen)

20 customer reviews

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Crimes and Misdemeanors (Widescreen) + Husbands and Wives (Bilingual) + Manhattan Murder Mystery (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Bill Bernstein, Claire Bloom, Stephanie Roth Haberle
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Helen Robin, Jack Rollins, Robert Greenhut, Thomas A. Reilly
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • Release Date: April 1 2003
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AUJK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,847 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

"Poignant, Penetrating [And] Scathingly Hilarious" (Long Beach Press Telegram), Crimes And Misdemeanors Is A Deftly Rendered Tale About The Complexity Of Human Choices And The Moral Microcosms They Represent. Showcasing Allen'S Brilliant Grasp Of The Link Between The Funny And The Fatal, His 19Th Movie Is "One Of The Watershed Films Of His Career" (Los Angeles Times). Cliff Stern (Woody Allen) Is An Idealistic Filmmaker Until He'S Offered A Lucrative Job Shooting Aflattering 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 Waterston) And The Murderous Advice Of His Mobster Brother (Jerry Orbach), Each Man Must Examine His Own Morality, And Make An Irrevocable Decisionthat Willchange Everyone'S Lives Forever.

Along with Deconstructing Harry which would follow seven years later, this is Woody Allen's most somber comedy-drama, as well as his most ambitious film of the 1980s. Allen weaves together two central stories about very different groups of Manhattanites, linking them through a mutual friend, a rabbi (Sam Waterston) who's going blind. This image is key to the sometimes ponderous, often clever musings on faith, morals, and vision (or lack thereof) that obsess his deeply troubled and unhappy characters. At its center, the film explores people who, through lack of religious conviction or arrogance, rationalize their awful, selfish acts by presuming that God couldn't possibly be watching.

The central story--a neo-noir of sorts--follows a fortuitous ophthalmologist (Martin Landau, all sweat and grimaces) who faces the prospect of his obsessed mistress (Anjelica Huston) ruining his life by telling his family of their affair. Desperate, the doctor hires his slimy criminal brother (Jerry Orbach) to eliminate the situation, and then suffers overwhelming regret afterwards. The flip tale is more typical Allen. Funnier and lighter, it focuses on an impossible romance between Allen's character and Halley Reed, a film producer played by Mia Farrow. Between Allen and his Hollywood fantasy stands his brother-in-law (Alan Alda, perfectly cast as an obnoxious, successful sitcom producer), who also desires Halley. Allen is Landau's opposite: an honest, struggling documentarian who cares nothing about fortune, suffers in a loveless marriage, and is surrounded by triumphant phonies. The nice-guys-finish-last moral may be as contrived as it is devastating. Yet, when Landau and Allen finally share a final scene during a wedding, their faces, subtle body movements, and contrasting fortunes somehow suggest that indeed God may be blind, and if not, the deity has a very sick sense of humor. --Dave McCoy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD
When i was young i recall watching the great movies of neil simon on tv, brighton beach memoirs and biloxi blues,and those films of his one time wife marsha mason,and his big break in hollywood,when his play come blow your horn was produced. A playwright making films,something very few playwrights have the luxury of doing,and in fact making an impact i hope on writing in movies and the different types of films he produced. Here in crimes and misdemeanors we have a different type of filmmaker,woody allen,whoose films always had lower budgets than typical productions and he always had a staple of decent american actors who often worked they said to be in one of his films,that was their reason for making his films,since they took a big cut in salary. The movie begins with a religious doctor saying a speech in which being raised on the tanach,the understanding of jews and their god,although their teachings go much beyond that,he became a scientist and he always struggled with the tension within himself,but the movie shows he wants a moral order to make sense of life,the world and human minds are lost he's convinced without a god,as the film shows not just fantasies,fantasies could be moral and good,but bad fantasies which actually harm everyone. We have an affair,a man whoose mind leads him astray, a doctor who cant check himself,and rather than resolving the situation in a humane way,decides to dispose of her and has her murdered. He later feeling bad about the matter,he develops a sense of religiousness or conscience,decides to inform police who havent apprehended anyone,but the killer tells the doctor a lesson...think before you act,about affairs,and murders,and everything...Read more ›
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Woody Allen is the most deeply religious of movie directors; He just doesn't know it yet.
"Crimes and Misdemeanors" (an obvious nod to Fyodor Dostoyevsky) is Allen's most engrossing quest for moral order in the universe, which quest leaves him -- and the viewer -- utterly bereft.
However, unlike the bleak "Interiors" or Allen's hilarious send-up on impending death being the impetus for finding God in "Hannah and Her Sisters," Allen's treatment of God, morality and free will is multi-faceted, and doesn't come to any pat answers.
In fact, it is Allen's ambivalent contemplation of religion and ethics that conservative critics find lacking at best, or disingenuous at worst. I see it differently: Agree or disagree with him, Allen is an atheist who is nonetheless tormented by the conclusion he has reached that there is no God. His is no knee-jerk atheism, as he has clearly thought through the philosophical issues involved, wavering between Nietzschean will to power and outright denial, to existentialist reluctance in the face of the ultimate meaningless of life beyond the here-and-now.
"Crimes and Misdemeanors" is peopled by a sterling cast, whose lives and choices are in direct conflict and contrast with one another; Yet, all speak with one voice, in Allen's exquisitely economical and pointed dialogue.
Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau, in the role of a lifetime, so perfectly is the dialogue tailored to his cadence of voice and gestures), like Job, is a man who has everything he could ever want. Unlike Job, when he sees his wealth and seemingly ideal family life (with wife Claire Bloom) jeopardized, he turns his back on God.
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~Crimes and Misdemeanors~ is one of Woody Allen's more acclaimed motion pictures. Not since 'Hannah and Her Sisters' had the critics as well as the American public gave it the attention and praise that most of his films deserve. Allen has commented many times that people in his native land, generally, stay away from his pictures in droves. In fact, he has also said, that aside from a small American following, and a substantial European audience, he'd be out of business completely. ~Crimes~ is a unique and decidedly intelligent film that addresses some weighty religious, philosophical and psychological questions, and still managed to gain attention and sell a few tickets at the American box office.
Martin Landau (who won an Oscar for Best Actor) plays Judas - a successful optician caught at the receiving end of his mistresses (Angelica Huston) neurotic threats of revealing their two-year love affair to his wife and the world. Judas's dilemma peaks when his mistress, in a last ditch effort to get him back, threatens to reveal some unscrupulous business dealings in his past. Offers of money and pleas for forgiveness work to no avail until Judas is compelled to do something drastic. The man created two lives, and one is about to destroy the other. He decides to contact his long lost unscrupulous brother, and rationalize that the only way to solve the problem is to fix the mistress - permanently. (Crime)
Woody Allen plays an unhappily married, frustrated documentary filmmaker. Pitted against his egotistical and successful filmmaker brother-in-law (Alan Alda) who hires him to make a biographical documentary about his life.
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