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Annie Hall

This article is part from The 10 best Woody Allen films

Table of contents


10 curiosities and facts

  1. "Anhedonia"

    The original title of the film was "Anhedonia " which is a psychological term that means the inability to experience pleasure. The film's focus on the characters' struggles with relationships, identity and happiness led Allen to choose a different title that better reflected the story.

  2. The breaking-the-fourth-wall scene

    One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Woody Allen's character, Alvy Singer, pulls Marshall McLuhan out from behind a movie theater poster to settle an argument. McLuhan, who was a real-life communications theorist made a cameo appearance in the film, which was unplanned and unscripted. The scene was completely ad-libbed by McLuhan, who played himself and it has become one of the film's most iconic moments.

  3. The lobster scene

    In the scene where Alvy and Annie go to a seafood restaurant, Alvy's order of a boiled lobster inspires him to comment on the creature's intelligence and humanity. The scene was improvised by Allen who decided to riff on the topic of lobster after realizing that he had nothing written in the script for the scene. The scene has since become one of the film's most famous and memorable moments.

  4. The sneezing scene

    In one scene Alvy's friend Rob sneezes into a pile of cocaine, causing a comical and unexpected reaction. This was a completely improvised moment by the actor Tony Roberts, who wasn't sure how to react to the situation. The sneezing scene has become a fan favorite and is often cited as one of the film's funniest moments.

  5. The split-screen scene

    The split-screen scene in which Alvy and Annie are shown in therapy at the same time was not an original part of the script. Allen added the scene during post-production when he felt that the film needed a more cohesive structure. The split-screen device allowed him to show both characters' perspectives simultaneously and added a layer of depth to their relationship.

  6. The lobster joke

    The lobster joke that Alvy tells in the movie was originally told to Allen by comedian Emo Philips. Allen liked the joke so much that he decided to use it in the film and it has since become one of his most famous and quoted jokes.

  7. The opening scene

    The opening scene of the movie, which features Alvy's monologue about his failed relationships was originally intended to be a stand-up comedy routine. However Allen decided to use it as a way to introduce the character and set the tone for the film.

  8. The Oscar wins

    "Annie Hall" won four Academy Awards in 1978 including Best Picture, Best Director for Woody Allen, Best Original Screenplay for Allen and co-writer Marshall Brickman and Best Actress for Diane Keaton. The film has since been widely regarded as one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time.

  9. The real-life inspirations for the characters

    Many of the characters and situations in "Annie Hall" were inspired by real-life people and events in Woody Allen's life. For example, the character of Annie Hall was based on Allen's former girlfriend, Diane Keaton and the character of Alvy Singer was based on Allen himself. The scene where Alvy and Annie are walking on the street and discussing their first date was based on an actual conversation that Allen had with Keaton.

  10. The improvisational style

    "Annie Hall" was filmed in a very improvisational style, with many scenes and lines of dialogue being created on the spot by the actors. This approach allowed for a greater sense of spontaneity and realism in the performances, and it contributed to the film's naturalistic tone and pacing.

About the movie

Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress for Diane Keaton's performance as the titular character "Annie Hall" is widely regarded as one of Allen's greatest works. The film tells the story of a neurotic comedian named Alvy Singer (played by Allen) and his tumultuous relationship with the quirky Annie Hall. The film's mix of witty dialogue, clever visual gags and surreal flights of fancy create a memorable and moving portrait of love and loss in modern times.

One of my all-time favorite movies, I've seen it multiple times and it never fails to make me laugh and at the same time very nostalgic. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Alvy and Annie are on their first date and they're trying to order at a restaurant. Alvy keeps changing his order and making a big fuss about the menu while Annie is easygoing and just orders a cheeseburger with a side of mashed potatoes. It's a hilarious contrast that perfectly showcases the two characters' personalities.

I also love the way the movie breaks the fourth wall and uses creative techniques like split-screen and animation to tell the story. It's a very unique and innovative approach that adds to the overall charm and quirkiness of the film.

"Annie Hall" was originally meant to be a murder mystery but Allen ended up reworking the script to make it a romantic comedy. And despite its success at the box office and with audiences the movie received mixed reviews from critics when it premiered in 1977. Some praised it as a groundbreaking work of comedy, while others found it self-indulgent and pretentious.

But for me "Annie Hall" is a timeless classic that never gets old. The humor is clever, witty, and relatable, and the chemistry between Allen and Keaton is undeniable. If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend giving it a watch!


Film sheet

  • Director: Woody Allen
  • Year: 1977
  • Cast: Woody Allen as Alvy Singer, Diane Keaton as Annie Hall, Tony Roberts as Rob, Carol Kane as Allison Paul Simon as Tony Lacey
  • Awards: Academy Awards (Oscars): Best Picture Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), BAFTA Awards: Best Film Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Director Best Actor - Musical or Comedy (Woody Allen) Best Actress - Musical or Comedy (Diane Keaton)

Film Reviews

  • "Woody Allen has outdone himself with 'Annie Hall' a film that is both hilarious and poignant. Allen's writing and direction are superb and Diane Keaton delivers a standout performance that is both charming and nuanced. This is a must-see for anyone who loves great movies." - The New York Times
  • "'Annie Hall' is a masterpiece of modern cinema. Woody Allen's sharp wit and unique perspective on love and relationships make it a truly unforgettable film. Diane Keaton is a revelation in the title role and her chemistry with Allen is electric. This is a movie that will stand the test of time." - Rolling Stone
  • "'Annie Hall' is a film that captures the zeitgeist of its time. Woody Allen's neurotic persona and Diane Keaton's quirky charm make for a delightful romantic comedy that is both smart and funny. This is a movie that will leave you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart." - Variety