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PLAY IT AGAIN SAM, 1972
Movie Reviews!

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PLAY IT AGAIN SAM MOVIEPLAY IT AGAIN SAM, 1972
Movie Reviews

Directed by Herbert Ross

Starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Jerry Lacy, Jennifer Salt and Tony Roberts

Review by Russell Hill

SYNOPSIS:

A mild mannered film critic is dumped by his wife and his ego is crushed. His hero persona is the tough guy played by Humphrey Bogart in many of his movies and the apparition of Bogart begins showing up to give him advice. With the encouragement of his two married friends, he actually tries dating again, with less than satisfactory results, until he relaxes.

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REVIEW:

Mistakenly watched one afternoon in my University movie library because of its title, I never even knew this movie existed until I put in the VHS and watched it. Boy, how glad I was I did that!

Allan (Allen) is a celebrated film critic but his personal life is a mess. Trying to sort out his life after wife Nancy leaves him, friends Dick (Roberts) and Linda (Keaton) help him out in the best possible way by matching him with single women. Also helping him out along the way is a ghostly Humphrey Bogart who gives him advice the Bogie way. Throughout his quest, Allan tries his hardest to find himself a mate but cannot get over the fact that he falling in love with Linda. Will he hide his feelings for her forever, or will be break the bro code by declaring his love for his friend?

Originally performed on Broadway, this movie is one of Allen’s finest. Just like his character in this movie, I would like to call myself a film reviewer and state that “Casablanca” is my favourite movie of all time. But the similarities end there. Other films of Woody’s have been heralded as his finer works, but this is a sleeper movie because the comedy is unique in many ways from the likes of “Manhattan” and “Annie Hall”.

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Woody is just like his typical cinematic self. All self denying and nervous around the opposite sex, Allan could be described by many critics as being similar to previous roles which Woody has given but the one defining element which makes this movie stand out as being one of the better performances is his interaction with Keaton. Their friendship seemingly closer than seen in previous movies, it seems their pent-up sexual frustration is best shown here in roles which are damn good to watch.

Keaton, like Woody, is marvellous once more. As nervous as Woody but looking far more beautiful than evident in other films made around this time, her Linda is delightful. The interaction between the two is wonderful to see, and brings to mind the great romantic double acts throughout cinema.

I have always said that the third star of Woody’s films made during this time is Tony Roberts. Having appeared alongside Woody and Diane in many of the more-recognised movies Woody made, his comic timing in this movie is spot on which seems to match his contemporaries on many occasions here.

The tragedy is that when you mention the films of Woody Allen to any Lee Nolan, they will tend to mention “Manhattan” or “Annie Hall”. The man has been responsible for being involved in some of the finest comedies, and this classic must surely be included in this group.

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PLAY IT AGAIN SAM