5 Films (And A TV Show)… A series where we recommend films referenced, inspired, influenced or generally like a certain Woody Allen film, from his first to his latest. All picks are subjective – let the arguments begin!
Allen pays homage to Hitchcock and a rich cinematic history with Manhattan Murder Mystery. There’s no shortage of classic detective duos, who have found themselves in a scrape. More than just adventure, many are romantic and funny too.
Our picks pay homage to some of cinema’s best mysteries. Here’s 5 films and TV show to watch after Manhattan Murder Mystery.
The Thin Man (1934)
WS Van Dyke
Still the best detective couple in cinema history. Nick and Nora Charles (the never better William Powell and Myrna Loy) wisecrack their way through one last missing persons case (and then onto many successful sequels).
Maureen O’Sullivan (Hannah And Her Sisters) appears.
Rear Window (1954)
Although Vertigo is referenced in the film, it is Rear Window that feels most like Manhattan Murder Mystery. James Stewart and Grace Kelly melt the screen, and those neighbours just aren’t what they appear.
The best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made, Donen mixed suspense with a healthy dollop of humour, with and romance. It helps to have Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, and a great reveal, even to this day.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)
Reiner pushes tribute to the extreme, with this Steve Martin comedy mystery that actually uses footage from old noir films as part of the story. It’s a big fun ride for film buffs, and Martin is in the prime of his powers.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Trevorrow’s first film (before he went on to make huge blockbusters) was a romantic indie mystery with a twist. A real classified ad looking for a time travel companion leads a couple to investigate hat is and isn’t possible – or insane. Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson are wonderful.
It was a innovative mix of comedy, mystery and drama, maybe the massive audience didn’t care because the leads were so great. Cybill Shepherd (Alice) and this new guy called Bruce Willis lit up TV as a pair of sassy detectives. Groundbreaking it it’s tone, it’s relationships and it’s star power.
Several Allen alumni pass through, from Jennifer Tilly (Bullets Over Broadway), Colleen Dewhurst (Annie Hall) to Demi Moore (Deconstructing Harry).
Let us know your picks for Manhattan Murder Mystery and if you agree with our picks. We are also looking for picks for Bullets Over Broadway, which is the next film we will cover. Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. Check out the full list of 5 Films (And A TV Show).
Manhattan Murder Mystery is epic Woody. Man we need this puppy on bluray. The Bobby Short “I Happen To Like New York” opening is the second (second only to Manhattan of course) best opening to any of Woody’s films. Bobby’s little ditty rhythmically builds so beautifully that I can’t help but smile each time I hear it. Its electric. I love Woody’s line, “My life is flashing before my eyes, and the worst part about it is, I’m driving a used car.” That simple zinger captures the essence of the difficulties people encounter in trying to attain positive locomotion in their lives. People/couples can sometimes struggle to grow personally, professionally, financially etc. Carol and Larry needed to work together to solve the murder and save their marriage. The other great line is when Woody is playing cards with Marcia Fox at Cafe De Artiste and Marcia says something like, “If you want to keep her, you have to make some effort” and Larry response is, “Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I should make a greater effort with Carol.” People need to take that first positive proactive step. Another slight visual jokes in MMM is when Marcia Fox comes to the office to visit Larry at work and he pulls out her manuscript and if you look closely the manuscript is titled “Comfort Zones” and the joke is, the manuscript is like ten inches thick! Couples need to sometimes shake things up and get out of those comfort zones to improve their marriage. This is great stuff from Woody!!!!