Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) Written and directed by Woody Allen
Diane Keaton as Carol Lipton and Woody Allen as Larry Lipton

Carol: I mean, I don’t understand why you’re not more fascinated with this. I mean, we could be living next door to a murderer, Larry.
Larry: Well, New York is a melting pot. You know, I’m used to it.

12 Responses to “Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)”

  1. This is one of the best movies Allen ever made. As underrated as many of his are often overrated.

  2. I agree Chuck, it is underrated. MMM and Bullets Over Broadway are the last Allen films that fully worked for me (Mighty Aphrodite and Match Point came close). I haven’t seen all his subsequent output including MiP.

  3. I haven’t seen this movie in such a long time. I’ll have to revisit it now.

    One of the perks of the ‘quote of the day’ series – my Netflix queue expands with more and more films I need to revisit.

  4. I love “Bullets over Broadway” too sartre. Woody Allen always makes his best movies when he seems to deign to make a mere “entertainment”, which allows him to examine his pet themes with a lighter, and more profound, hand. I’ve always hated his “comedy at the kids table” remark which gives one a sucinct idea of why so few of his dramas work.

  5. Alison, I’m glad MQotD works for you exactly as I intend it. I’ll keep doing it even if you’re the only one!

    I really love MMM too. I like seeing Alan Alda playing kind of a sad prick. That was a nice touch.

  6. I think we share a similar reaction to his work, Chuck. With some notable exceptions, the more directly he strove for big ideas the smaller they seemed to me. His characters can be so burdened with the weight of expressing ideas that they seem like didactic devices rather than real people. Whereas the lighter touch of the entertainments allow the characters to better breath and seem human and sympathetic. As a result I care about them and the themes explored through them resonate for me more.

  7. This film continues to rise in my esteem. Such a glowing little tribute to film noir and it stands as sufficient proof that if he were so inclined, Woody Allen could make an effective low-scale and -key thriller with creeping suspense. That entire setpiece–a word so ostensibly alien to most of Allen’s work–in the hotel and particularly the hotel elevator always casts a quiet pall over viewers to whom I’m showing the film for the first time. Gentle comedy at its center with characters just prickly enough to warrant scrutiny without being so miserable as to merely evoke unremarkable, fleeting pity. Never has there been such a succinct and pointed auto-critique in an Allen work as in his Midnight in Paris, delivered by the conjuring of Gertrude Stein: “…The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair… You have a clear and lovely voice. Don’t be such a defeatist…”

  8. I’ve always loved Manhattan Murder Mystery as one of Allen’s overlooked gems. I suspect it got relegated to lesser esteem because the film opened soon after Soon Yi-Gate surfaced. Mia Farrow was originally cast in the role ultimately taken by Keaton. But after the scandal broke, Farrow, of course, bowed out and Keaton saved the day at the last minute. I thought she was a real trooper to do this favor for Woody – and her performance is really quite good here.

  9. Based on this conversation I rewatched Bullets Over Broadway over the weekend. LOVED IT.

  10. Glad about that — I think my favorite aspect of Bullets is Wiest’s dy-no-mite comedic performance.

  11. Yes Weist! Having loved her in so many thing since, it’s almost a surprise to rewatch her in this. She often plays a kind of nervous, high-voiced shy type, but here she was dramatic and deep voiced and kind of sexy. Fantastic!

  12. “Pull down your pants!”

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