‘Manhattan Murder Mystery‘ is the 22nd film written and directed by Woody Allen.
After his longest run (yet) of intense dramas, Allen returns to something that is brightly comedic with Manhattan Murder Mystery. It’s a much needed breath of fresh air, coming from all the tabloid dramas that surrounded Husbands And Wives. And in a crowd pleasing move, it reunited Allen with Diane Keaton for the first time since Radio Days, and for the last time.
Woody Allen stars as Larry Lipton. Diane Keaton plays Carol, his wife, and they live in an apartment building, across from an elderly couple. One night, the elderly woman dies from a heart attack, and nothing seems strange. But Carol starts to suspect something – and she can’t let it go despite the doubt from her friends and husband.
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Cast & Crew
- All the top billing cast are returning Allen players.
- Diane Keaton‘s return was the big story. Her first time working with Allen since Manhattan in 1979 (she did cameo in Radio Days), and her seventh and last appearance in one of his films. She stepped into the role after the end of Allen’s working and personal relationship with Mia Farrow ended.
- Alan Alda‘s second of three Woody Allen films. He was first in Crimes And Misdemeanors and would return for Everyone Says I Love You.
- Anjelica Huston‘s second and last time in an Allen film. She was also in ‘Crimes And Misdemeanors‘.
- Zach Braff‘s first film role. He would go on to star in the Bullets Over Broadway Musical two decades later.
- Marshall Brickman returns as co-writer. According to Brickman, he had been working on the script, based on Allen’s ideas, independently for years until Allen finally decided to direct and star in the film. It is the last time the two worked together to date.
- This script grew out of a subplot from ‘Annie Hall‘, which started life as a murder mystery. In the original version (which was apparently shot), Alvy and Annie came home from missing a film to find their neighbour had died. Apparently, Allen had tried to use the same subplot in Hannah And Her Sisters.
- The film’s title was a working title that stuck.
- The film is a loving tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. A poster for the film ‘Vertigo‘ appears on a bus in one scene (and even that tribute is very Hitchcock-ian). Another influence was ‘The Thin Man‘.
- The musical that Larry and Carol sees in ‘Guys And Dolls‘. The original production starred Robert Alda, Alan’s dad.
- The second and last film Allen would make for TriStar Pictures. Despite a multi-picture deal and a decades long working relationship with their chairman Mike Medavoy (who worked with Allen at United Artists and Orion Pictures), Allen chose to go with independent funding for his next few films.
Locations (show map)
- Carol and Larry Lipton’s apartment is between 2nd and 3rd Avenue at 200 East 78th Street in New York.