Woody AllenJerry Kupcinet - photographer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hannah and Her Sisters

This article is part from The 10 best Woody Allen films

Table of contents


10 curiosities and facts

  1. The film features an ensemble cast

    "Hannah and Her Sisters" features an ensemble cast including Mia Farrow Michael Caine Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest and Woody Allen himself. It was one of Allen's most successful films, grossing over $40 million at the box office.

  2. Woody Allen won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay

    Allen won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for "Hannah and Her Sisters" in 1987. It was his third Oscar win, following wins for "Annie Hall" and "Midnight in Paris."

  3. The film was shot in New York City

    Like many of Allen's films "Hannah and Her Sisters" was shot on location in New York City. Allen has said that he loves the city and that it has always been an important part of his filmmaking.

  4. The film explores themes of love, relationships, and family

    "Hannah and Her Sisters" is a multi-layered film that explores the complex dynamics of love, relationships and family. It weaves together multiple storylines and characters each with their own struggles and desires.

  5. The film's score features music by Cole Porter and George Gershwin

    The film's score features music by iconic composers Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Allen has always been a big fan of classic jazz and swing music, and he often incorporates it into his films.

  6. Mia Farrow's character is named after Allen's real-life sister

    The character of Hannah is named after Allen's real-life sister, who is also a successful writer and director. Allen has said that he drew inspiration from his own family for many of the characters and situations in the film.

  7. Michael Caine's character is a nod to his role in "Alfie"

    Michael Caine's character in "Hannah and Her Sisters, " a successful writer who becomes romantically involved with his wife's sister, is a nod to his role in the 1966 film "Alfie." Caine received an Oscar nomination for his performance in "Hannah and Her Sisters."

  8. The film was a critical and commercial success

    "Hannah and Her Sisters" was both a critical and commercial success grossing over $40 million worldwide and receiving multiple Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

  9. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards

    "Hannah and Her Sisters" was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It won three including Best Original Screenplay Best Supporting Actor for Michael Caine and Best Supporting Actress for Dianne Wiest.

  10. The film's ending is an homage to "The 400 Blows"

    The final scene of "Hannah and Her Sisters " in which the characters are shown walking along the beach, is an homage to the final scene of Francois Truffaut's "The 400 Blows." Allen has cited Truffaut as a major influence on his filmmaking.

About the movie

"Hannah and Her Sisters" is a multi-character ensemble piece that explores the lives and relationships of three sisters (played by Mia Farrow Barbara Hershey, and Dianne Wiest) and the men in their lives, including Allen himself as Hannah's ex-husband. The film's mix of humor and drama, as well as its exploration of themes like mortality and faith make it one of Allen's most profound and affecting works.

It's a complex and beautifully crafted story that follows the lives and relationships of three sisters over the course of two years. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Elliot (played by Michael Caine) confesses his love to Lee (played by Barbara Hershey) in a parked car on a rainy night. The way the raindrops fall on the windshield and the headlights reflect off the wet pavement creates a stunning visual that perfectly captures the emotions of the moment.

What I find most interesting about "Hannah and Her Sisters" is the way it explores themes of love, family and mortality. The characters are all flawed and complex, and their relationships are messy and complicated at the same time. But despite the drama and the chaos there is a sense of hope and humanity that shines through.

Allen originally wrote the film as a murder mystery, but later scrapped that idea and focused on the relationships between the characters instead. And when the movie premiered in 1986, it was a critical and commercial success earning three Academy Awards and widespread acclaim from critics.

"Hannah and Her Sisters" is a masterpiece of storytelling with a brilliant ensemble cast, sharp dialogue and a timeless message about the complexities of life and love. If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend giving it a watch. It's a film that will make you laugh cry, and reflect on the beauty and fragility of the human experience.


Film sheet

  • Director: Woody Allen
  • Year: 1986
  • Cast: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Michael Caine Carrie Fisher, Maureen O'Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan Max von Sydow
  • Awards: Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actress - Dianne Wiest Best Original Screenplay), Golden Globe Awards (Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, Best Screenplay), BAFTA Awards (Best Film, Best Direction Best Screenplay) Cannes Film Festival (Best Director)

Film Reviews

  • "Hannah and Her Sisters is a tour-de-force of filmmaking, featuring Woody Allen's signature wit and charm. The ensemble cast delivers standout performances, and the film's exploration of family, love and mortality will resonate with audiences long after the credits roll." - The New York Times

  • "Woody Allen has done it again with Hannah and Her Sisters, delivering a masterful film that is both funny and poignant. The complex relationships between the characters are portrayed with sensitivity and depth, and the film's examination of life's big questions is both engaging and thought-provoking." - Variety