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Crimes and Misdemeanors (Widescreen)

20 customer reviews

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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: #8,192 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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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.

Some critics and filmgoers have hailed this 1989 comedy-drama as Woody Allen's best film, and while that's certainly open for debate, a good case can be made that it's the most ambitious and morally complex of Allen's films. It's the kind of movie that provokes heated philosophical debate about the role of God in our lives, the nature of guilt, and the circumstances that would allow a seemingly good, law-abiding family man and successful professional (Martin Landau) to commit a murder with no risk of being caught. Could you live with yourself under those conditions? Allen explores this complicated issue in the context of an extramarital affair that Landau's mistress (Anjelica Huston) threatens to expose, while developing a second story about a documentary filmmaker (Allen) who reluctantly makes a film about his brother-in-law (Alan Alda), a TV sitcom producer whose vanity is seemingly unlimited. From serious crimes to misdemeanors of personal behavior, Allen ties these stories together to create a provocative and unsettling study of divergent moralities and the price we're willing to pay to preserve our personal comfort and happiness. It's a sobering film, but a fascinating and funny one as well, unfolding like a thriller in which the question is not whodunit but rather, would you do it if you knew you could get away with it? --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.
The catalyst for Judah's life crisis is Dolores (Angelica Huston), a lonely airline stewardress with whom he's having more than a fling.
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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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