Manhattan

1979, Comedy/Drama, 1h 36m

69 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

One of Woody Allen's early classics, Manhattan combines modern, bittersweet humor and timeless romanticism with unerring grace. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Director Woody Allen's love letter to New York City stars Allen as frustrated television writer Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced malcontent facing middle age alone after his wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), leaves him for a woman. Isaac is dating fresh-faced Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), a high school girl he knows is wrong for him, and begins to wonder if he and brainy writer Mary (Diane Keaton), the mistress of his best friend, Yale (Michael Murphy), might make a better couple.

Cast & Crew

Woody Allen
Isaac Davis
Diane Keaton
Mary Wilkie
Michael Murphy
Yale
Anne Byrne
Emily Pollack
Tisa Farrow
Party Guest
Helen Hanft
Party Guest
Bella Abzug
Guest of Honor
Gary Weis
Television Director
Charles Levin
Television Actor No. 1
Karen Allen
Television Actor No. 2
David Rasche
Television Actor No. 3
Mark Linn-Baker
Shakespearean Actor
Frances Conroy
Shakespearean Actress
Raymond Serra
Pizzeria Waiter
Robert Greenhut
Executive Producer
Jack Rollins
Executive Producer
Gordon Willis
Cinematographer
Mel Bourne
Production Design
Robert Drumheller
Set Decoration
Albert Wolsky
Costume Designer
Fern Buchner
Makeup Artist
Romaine Greene
Hair Stylist
Martin Danzig
Production Manager
Michael Tilson Thomas
Musical Director
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News & Interviews for Manhattan

Critic Reviews for Manhattan

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (65) | Rotten (4)

  • Allen has always had difficulty harmonising his comic talents and the skittering form of his films: Manhattan is a temporary resolution gratefully received.

    July 31, 2018 | Full Review…
  • What George M. Cohan did with the Stars and Stripes in 1919, Allen is doing with neurosis in 1979: waving it, telling us that as long as we're proud of it, we're all pretty damned OK. That's the real romance of Manhattan.

    January 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A pretty and problematic picture that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

    June 14, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • With Manhattan, a sparkling romance about the overspecialized anxieties of overintellectualized New Yorkers, Woody Allen has bounced back from the sobriety of "Interiors" to an exhilarating new comic high.

    December 18, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The film should not come as a complete surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to Allen's doings lately. This is the movie that Annie Hall hinted at and to which last year's Interiors, flawed as it was, seems to have served as a necessary prelude.

    February 10, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Allen serves up a nostalgia that was utterly of its time; he incarnates an idea of the city that, even now, remains as strong as its reality and refracts his disappointed ideals into high existential crises.

    September 3, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Allen has always had difficulty harmonising his comic talents and the skittering form of his films: Manhattan is a temporary resolution gratefully received.

    July 31, 2018 | Full Review…
  • What George M. Cohan did with the Stars and Stripes in 1919, Allen is doing with neurosis in 1979: waving it, telling us that as long as we're proud of it, we're all pretty damned OK. That's the real romance of Manhattan.

    January 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A pretty and problematic picture that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

    June 14, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • With Manhattan, a sparkling romance about the overspecialized anxieties of overintellectualized New Yorkers, Woody Allen has bounced back from the sobriety of "Interiors" to an exhilarating new comic high.

    December 18, 2015 | Full Review…
  • By the way, Isaac's wife, played by Meryl Streep, has left him to become a lesbian. This wasn't that popular a move back in 1979. In fact, Meryl did it before New York magazine even had a "Lesbian Chic" cover.

    June 15, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Fortunately, this film has a quick run time of 96 minutes so you only have to be around these obnoxious people and their trite problems for a short time.

    April 1, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Manhattan

  • Dec 09, 2013
    It struggles to engage throughout, but it has a strong start, great acting, and is definitely worth seeing as so to experience the genius of Woody Allen's witty humor.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2013
    This classic's use of location is close to perfect, but unfortunately the story taking place in this romanticized metropolis is at its best standard and at its worst a bit creepy. If you've seen Annie Hall, the rambling wit and wisdom here is pretty much identical. If not for the beauty of the cinematography, I'd be hard pressed to find anything particularly special about this as opposed to more focused and more unique Allen movies.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 27, 2013
    Manhattan represents one of Woody Allen's greatest critical responses, widely considered to be among his best. It's a well conceived film, to be sure, with amazing cinematography, a unique story, and a script penned by Woody that is filled with his characteristic wit and dialogue, with good characterizations and an avoidance of clichés. Set against a beautiful backdrop of late 1970s New York, and filmed in black and white, it looks brilliant. The acting is as strong as most Allen pieces, with solid early performances from greats Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. All of this contribute to what feels like a very real story. This is what Allen is perhaps best at, injecting humor and comedy into realistic situations. My issue with Manhattan, however, is that the story isn't as involving or as engaging as his other works. It's also not nearly as funny. This is perhaps at least partly due to the dated nature of the film, not aging as well in humor as even some of his earlier works, such as the fantastic Annie Hall. It's enjoyable, but it never reaches the pinnacle of Allen's other work which are often more poignant, hilarious, and engaging. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2012
    Another hilariously wonderful Woody Allen movie, Manhattan is arguably Allen's second best movie, beaten only by Annie Hall, and it is very likely one of his most visually beautiful in gorgeous, rich black and white.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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