If it bends, it’s funny: the best Woody Allen films

Following mainstream American film in the eighties meant waiting for Woody Allen to release something and watch critics argue. I came along at the tail end — at the time Allen had hooked up with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, a development that clouded the reception of Husbands and Wives, his most supple fusion of drama and comedy. The last decade and a half, perhaps longer, has been at best a retrenchment and at worst a horror of muddled or terrible ideas. I suspect, though, that when Allen dies — he won’t retire — the many terrible films will disappear, leaving the impressive list below.

1. Annie Hall
2. Sleeper
3. Husbands and Wives
4. Love and Death
5. The Purple Rose of Cairo
6. Manhattan Murder Mystery
7. Crimes and Misdemeanors
8. Radio Days
9. Manhattan
10. Bananas
11. Hannah and Her Sisters
12. Another Woman
13. Deconstructing Harry
14. Small Town Crooks
15. Broadway Danny Rose
16. Zelig
17. Sweet and Lowdown
18. Everyone Says I Love You

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