Woody Allen

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Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, 1.12.1935)

Woody Allen is an American film director from New York City, USA.

Woody Allen: Childhood

Woody Allen was born in New York City. He was raised in New York and has lived there his whole life.

Woody's mother, Nettie was a bookkeeper at her local delicatessen and his father, Martin, was a waiter, as well as a jewellery engraver. His Jewish parents spoke Yiddish, German and English. His sister, Letty, was born in 1943.

As a teenager, Allen would write gags for newspaper columnists and was eventually discovered by Milt Kamen, who brokered Allen's first writing deal, with Sid Caesar.

Woody Allen: Comedy Career

When he was 19, Allen started writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, Caesar's Hour and The Tonight Show.

In his late 20's, Woody Allen started doing stand up comedy, in Greenwich Village, New York as well as writing for Candid Camera. He appeared on the show a few times and developed his neurotic, yet intellectual persona.

In addition to his TV writing, Allen also became a well-respected playwright. In 1966, his play, Don't Drink the Water, opened on Broadway and in 1969, a film adaptation of the play was released, as well as a 1994 version, in which Allen starred along with Michael J. Fox. In 1969, he starred in his own play, Play It Again, Sam, which also featured Diane Keaton.

Woody Allen: Film Career

Woody Allen's first film production was What's New Pussycat?, which stars Peter O'Toole and Peter Sellers, followed by the James Bond spoof, Casino Royale. On both of these productions, Woody became frustrated with the egos of the stars involved and the meddling producers. He made a decision to go it alone and make films his own way.

Woody's first film as a director was What's Up, Tiger-Lily? The film was a Japanese spy movie that Allen re-dubbed with a new comic script, in English.

In 1969, he directed Take The Money and Run, which was followed by Bananas and, one of his most notorious films, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Too Afraid To Ask).

In 1977, Woody Allen released Annie Hall, which was something of a turning point in his film career. The film won four Academy Awards, including a Best Actress gong for Diane Keaton.

Woody Allen released Manhattan in 1979. The film was a black and white homage to New York City and mocks the pretentiousness of intellectuals, whilst simultaneously being full of obscure intellectual references that alienated many of its potential fans.

In the 1980s, Woody Allen's films became somber and philosophical. September and Stardust Memories are influenced by the work of European directors such as Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. Later in the decade, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanours returned to the comic elements for which Allen had become known. His film Radio Days is considered one of his finest and is about the importance of the radio whilst he was growing up in Brooklyn.

Of the films that Woody Allen made in the 1990s, the highlights were Husbands and Wives, which earned two Academy Award nominations and Manhattan Murder Mystery, which starred Angelica Huston and Diane Keaton. In 1994, Allen released Bullets Over Broadway and received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. In 1999, his film Sweet and Lowdown also got two Oscar nominations, this time for its stars Samantha Morton and Sean Penn.

In the early 2000s, Allen's films such as Melinda and Melinda and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion were trounced by the media and performed badly at the box office. 2005's Match Point, starring Scarlett Johansson, fared far better and earned Allen a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination.

In 2007, Allen filmed Vicky Cristina Barcelona, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Woody Allen: Personal Life

Woody Allen's personal life has been the subject of great tabloid speculation. For some time, he dated the actress Mia Farrow. He has one child with her and two adopted children. The relationship broke down when she discovered Woody was having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the daughter that she adopted when she was in a relationship with Andre Previn.

Biography by Contactmusic.com

Woody Allen Sticks To His Winning Formula with 'Irrational Man'

Woody Allen Emma Stone Joaquin Phoenix

Woody Allen continues to be as prolific as ever, regularly churning out one movie a year since 2000. The financiers are only too happy to put forward the cash because, for the most part, Allen's movies are successful - critically and commercially. Since 2005, the auteur's films have taken well over $500 million at the box-office.

Woody AllenWoody Allen's new movie Irrational Man looks like the auteur's classic fare

His latest movie, Irrational Man, promises to add to that tally. Drawing on the talents of Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, the movie - shot mostly around Newport, Rhode Island - follows a troubled but charismatic professor named Abe Lucas who arrives at a new campus and whose sex life is rescued by a student.

Continue reading: Woody Allen Sticks To His Winning Formula with 'Irrational Man'

Picture - Karen LeFrak, Woody Allen and... New York City New York United States, Thursday 16th April 2015

Karen LeFrak, Woody Allen and Soon Yi-Allen - Youth America Grand Prix 2015 - Gala at the David H. Koch Theater Lincoln Center - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 16th April 2015

Karen LeFrak, Woody Allen and Soon Yi-Allen

Woody Allen Heads Cannes Film Festival with 'Irrational Man'

Woody Allen

Woody Allen's existential comedy Irrational Man starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone heads this year's Cannes Film Festival line-up, announced Thursday. The 2015 festival also sees the premiere of Natalie Portman's directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness, adapted from Amos Oz's novel.

Woody AllenWoody Allen will premiere Irrational Man at the Cannes Film Festival

Set on a small time college campus, Irrational Man follows a philosophy professor in an existential crisis who gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with a student. 

Continue reading: Woody Allen Heads Cannes Film Festival with 'Irrational Man'

Woody Allen Casts Kristen Stewart, Bruce Willis in New Film

Kristen Stewart Woody Allen Bruce Willis

Woody Allen has cast Bruce Willis, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in his latest movie. As usual with Allen's projects at this stage, the film is untitled and there are no details, though it's being produced by Letty Arsonson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson.

Kristen StewartKristen Stewart will star in Woody Allen's latest movie, alongside Bruce Willis and Jesse Eisenberg

It's an eye-striking and typically varied and unusual cast and Allen remains one of the few directors who signs up talent without showing them a script. Everybody wants to work with Allen and the general rule of thumb is: if you're asked, you take the job. Cate Blanchet won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2014 after starring in Allen's Blue Jasmine.

Continue reading: Woody Allen Casts Kristen Stewart, Bruce Willis in New Film

Lena Dunham Suggests Woody Allen Is 'A Real Perv' At Sundance Talk

Lena Dunham Woody Allen Sundance Film Festival

Lena Dunham was as outspoken as ever on the panel of 'Power of Story: Serious Ladies' at Sundance Film Festival last weekend, as she took aim at award-winning actor and director Woody Allen over his marriage to his son's sister.

Lena Dunham at Elle Women in TV event
Lena Dunham attacks Woody Allen's marriage

The 'Girls' star is never one to keep her opinions to herself, but there may have been an exchange of awkward glances as she discussed the issue of characters and reality on the Sundance panel, even suggesting Woody Allen was a 'perv'. Insisting that men got the better deal when it came to people thinking actors are like the characters they play, Dunham launched into a personal attack. 

Continue reading: Lena Dunham Suggests Woody Allen Is 'A Real Perv' At Sundance Talk

Amazon Reacts to Golden Globes Win - Will Make 12 Movies a Year

Woody Allen

Amazon Studios is stepping up its plan to take over the world and has confirmed it will begin to produce around 12 feature films per year. The streaming service won a Golden Globe for its comedy-drama Transparent and now plans a foray into the movie business.


The move seems to be a direct response to rival Netflix's entry into the movie sector. The service recently announced a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (The Green Legend) and has also signed a four movie deal with Adam Sandler.

Continue reading: Amazon Reacts to Golden Globes Win - Will Make 12 Movies a Year

Your Guide to Amazon's TV Pilots for 2015 (Next Big Things?)

Ridley Scott Woody Allen

Amazon releases its first wave of pilots for 2015 today (January 15) with an interesting slate of shows from an interesting group of filmmakers including Ridley Scott. The pilots are being delivered en masse via Amazon's Instant Video service, essentially giving the Golden Globe-winning streaming service a chance to test the water with users.

Ridley ScottRidley Scott has produced The Man in the High Castle pilot

One of the pilots is being described as must-see viewing: The Man in the High Castle. Produced by blockbuster director Scott, the show is based on the alternate history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, which won the Hugo Award in 1963. The book focuses on daily life under totalitarian Fascist imperialism occurring in 1962, fifteen years after the end of a longer World War II, lasting from 1939 to 1947. The victorious countries are Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The show will essentially focus on what America would look like had the Allies lost the war.

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Woody Allen to Create Show for Amazon, Currently Has "No Ideas"

Woody Allen

Woody Allen admits that he has "no ideas" and is "not sure where to begin", despite signing on to write and direct a full season of an unnamed show for Amazon Prime Instant Video. The half-hour episodes - of a show yet to be created - will be available to Amazon subscribers in the US, UK and Germany in 2016.

Woody AllenWoody Allen is to create an original new series for Amazon

It's a huge coup for the on-demand service, which appeared to leapfrog Netflix in the streaming stakes after picking up two Golden Globes at the ceremony on Sunday, for flagship comedy-drama Transparent about a family dealing with a father who is transgender.  

Continue reading: Woody Allen to Create Show for Amazon, Currently Has "No Ideas"

Amazon Prime Signs Woody Allen To Write And Direct His First Television Series

Woody Allen

Woody Allen has become the latest big name to make a leap into the online world of streaming, with the announcement that the veteran director will be writing and directing a comedy series for Amazon Prime.

Woody AllenWoody Allen's first foray into television will come courtesy of Amazon Prime

Little is known about the series at the moment, which is going under the name 'Untitled Woody Allen Project', however Amazon have already ordered it to a full season. There’s also no projected release date, but something we do know is that each episode will be half an hour.

Continue reading: Amazon Prime Signs Woody Allen To Write And Direct His First Television Series

Magic in the Moonlight Review


After the high of last year's Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen is back in playful mode for this rather goofy comedy, which only works for audience members willing to abandon their cynicism and just go with the flow. A solid cast makes the most of Allen's cleverly barbed dialogue, even if the performances and filmmaking sometimes feel a bit slapdash. And Allen's deeper existential themes add a hint of depth to the silliness.

It opens in 1928 Berlin, as the magician Stanley (Colin Firth) is convinced by his friend Howard (Simon McBurney) to travel to the South of France to debunk a young American mystic named Sophie (Emma Stone), who has a wealthy family in her thrall. Not only has Sophie convinced the matriarch (Jacki Weaver) that she can communicate with her dead husband, but she has also attracted the puppy-dog devotion of Brice (Hamish Linklater), the sweetly dim heir to the family fortune. But no matter how hard Stanley tries, he can't prove that Sophie is a fraud, and accepting her supernatural powers completely upends his relentlessly pessimistic view of humanity. Although it's even trickier to convince himself that he might be falling for Sophie.

Allen sets all of this up in a very simple way, prodding Firth to a hilariously ridiculous performance as a repressed Englishman for whom life has to be completely rational. Facing him off against Stone's young, free-flowing American is a bit obvious, but the script makes sure that their barbed banter overflows with witty repartee. This includes astute commentary on Allen's favourite theme: exploring the meaning of life through the contradictory blending of science, religion and human emotion. So even if the performances are rather oddly matched, Firth and Stone find some superb chemistry along the way. Although the snappiest role belongs to Eileen Atkins, as Stanley's beloved aunt, who has a wonderfully dry way of speaking the truth.

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Man Arrested After Invading Woody Allen Movie Set In Providence

Woody Allen Emma Stone Joaquin Phoenix Parker Posey

And in random mid week news, a man has been arrested after allegedly causing trouble on the set of Woody Allen’s new movie. Allen is currently filming on location near Brown University in Providence, for an as-of-yet untitled project to be released in 2015.

Woody Allen
The untitled movie is due out sometime in 2015. Filming will continue as scheduled.

Officers of the local police department were called on the scene on Tuesday, August 5, after the suspect hurled a chair at security guards and ran off. He had previously arrived on the set and started asking “weird questions”about the movie's stars, who include Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix and Parker Posey. The incident raises concerns about the security of the actors and everyone involved in the project, however the project will continue as scheduled.

Continue reading: Man Arrested After Invading Woody Allen Movie Set In Providence

Critical Consensus: 'Magic in the Moonlight' Isn't Magical Enough

Colin Firth Emma Stone Woody Allen

In ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ - the latest comedy from Woody AllenColin Firth applied his bumbling British charm to Stanley (alias: Wei Ling Soo), a British stage magician and master illusionist, brought to the French Riviera to showcase his talents in the 1920s. He is charged with unmasking Emma Stone’s Sophie, a so-called spiritualist who is suspected of exploiting a rich family with her faux clairvoyant ways.

Magic in The MoonlightColin Firth and Emma Stone filming Magic in The Moonlight 

Unfortunately, Allen hasn’t been able to create the same fervent critical buzz that surrounded his latest major project, Blue Jasmine. The reviews have been filed, and ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ currently holds a rotten rating of 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Continue reading: Critical Consensus: 'Magic in the Moonlight' Isn't Magical Enough

Picture - Co-President, Co-Founder of Sony Pictures... New York United States, Friday 18th July 2014

Co-President, Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics Tom Bernard, Woody Allen, actress Jacki Weaver, and Co-President and Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics Michael Barker - New York premiere of 'Magic In The Moonlight' at The Paris Theatre - Arrivals - New York, United States - Friday 18th July 2014

Sony, Co-Presidents and Woody Allen
Director and Woody Allen
Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn
Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn

Fading Gigolo Review


With a witty observational script, amusing characters and a jazzy sense of life in New York, this feels like an old-fashioned Woody Allen movie, even though Allen merely costars in it. Instead, it was written and directed by leading actor John Turturro, with an easy-going charm that's irresistible even if it feels vaguely dated. And despite its potentially controversial premise, the film is so gentle that it's unlikely to ruffle many feathers.

Turturro stars as Fioravante, a florist whose life hasn't gone as planned. His one-time mentor Murray (Allen) has just been forced to close his grandfather's rare-book shop, and with too much time on his hand has started working on Fior's life. Murray thinks Fior could make a living as an escort, and sends him on a date with his dermatologist (Sharon Stone). When that goes well, a string of wealthy clients follow, including the man-eating Selima (Sofia Vergara). But one of Murray's friends is more reluctant: the devout Avigail (Vanessa Paradis) is a widowed rabbi's wife who can't have contact with other men. As she and Fior begin a tentative friendship, there might be something meaningful developing. Then a jealous community cop (Schreiber) notices that something is amiss.

As a director, Turturro keeps the scenes grounded in real situations that centre on the characters rather than the machinations of the plot. This offers a lively depiction of this neighbourhood as a melting pot of African-Americans, Italians and Hasidic Jews who are part of each others' lives. Some of this might feel a bit contrived (Murray also adopts a sprawling black family), but the interaction is jaggedly funny and packed with a generous stream of honest emotion.

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Shooting 'Magic In The Moonlight' Was A Challenge For City Boy Woody Allen

Woody Allen Emma Stone Colin Firth

Woody Allen has recently unveiled his enchanting new comedy drama, Magic in the Moonlight, with an intriguing trailer and a promisingly star-studded cast. Set mainly in France in the 1920s, the unique story takes a look at the tussle between spirituality and scepticism seen through the eyes of two unlikely lovers.

Magic In The Moonlight Colin Firth Emma Stone
Colin Firth & Emma Stone Are Resplendent In 1920s Glamour In Woody Allen's New Dramedy, 'Magic In The Moonlight.'

The filmmaker has spoken of his pride towards his latest venture but has also revealed that this was tinged with uneasiness surrounding the rather soporific surroundings. "This one's set in Nice in the 1920s. I have a great cameraman, terrific art director, but finding locations was hard. We had to travel around, do selective shooting to re-create primitive spots like in the old days," the director told the NY Post's Page Six.

Continue reading: Shooting 'Magic In The Moonlight' Was A Challenge For City Boy Woody Allen