Mysterious Manhattan Murder (1993) Review


Mysterious murder in Manhattan, twenty-fourth director for Woody Allen’s cinema (to date the number of films directed by him has reached forty-nine, awaiting Rifkin’s Festival), is one of the digressions on the theme of noir so dear to the New York director, who bases a story of blackmail and revenge in slapstick sauce, recovering the former partner Diane Keaton and openly paying homage to The Lady of Shanghai by Orson Welles and other cornerstones of the genre.

The uxoricida

Larry and Carol have been married for many years, have a child in college and are going through a tired phase of their relationship. One evening, a couple of neighbors, the House, meet in the elevator. When they find out that the woman died the following evening, Carol begins to speculate that Mr. House eliminated her to make a new life. Despite Carol’s grievances, the investigation continues, and also involves a couple of friends … [sinossi]

Return with the mind a Mysterious murder in Manhattan after reading About nothing, a sort of autobiography by Woody Allen that caused such a stir in the United States of America – mainly because of the tireless and obsessive persecution of the director carried out by Ronan Farrow, the perhaps natural son that the director would have had with the then Comrade Mia Farrow: the conditional is a must, given that the same actress later claimed to have had it from Frank Sinatra, who continued to attend behind Allen – and she went out to Italy thanks to The ship of Theseus, inevitably means to see it from a completely different perspective. Despite being among the works pretty it is in fact one of his great loves of the New York director, like almost all the noir homages completed during his fifty-year career; while he always appears profoundly critical of his forays into cinema more properly “author”, Allen seems to find real satisfaction only and exclusively in his most dynamic directions, if this adjective can have the slightest sense applied to his cinema. As it is as it is not Mysterious murder in Manhattan undoubtedly plays a role of primary importance within the Allennian filmography, and for various and diverse reasons. In the first place, it is the first film that the director directs after the scandal that blew up his relationship with Mia Farrow and that will mark his life so deeply: the ex-partner accuses him of having raped his underage daughter Dylan , and despite two different official investigations showing beyond any reasonable doubt that the fact does not exist and Allen has never harassed his adopted daughter, in the collective imagination – and alas media, to demonstrate the damage that bad information can do – will continue to look like a pedophile. Farrow’s resentment is obviously linked above all to the fact that Allen has started a relationship with another of his daughters, the 22-year-old Soon-Yi Previn who will become his wife a few years later (and with whom he is still married today). After Husbands and wives, a fascinating experiment in cinema “freed” from the constraints of narrative logic that analyzes a couple in crisis – interpreted, full of masochism, by Allen and Farrow – here is a return to lightness in and of itself. It can be said without fear of denial that Mysterious murder in Manhattan is Allen’s first comedy comedy since Love and war, almost twenty years earlier. Also Broadway Danny Rose, with which he also shares some suggestions, is actually permeated by an umbratile, modest, bittersweet spirit.

In reverse Mysterious murder in Manhattan in all respects it is a farce, no matter how it develops among corpses, double players, lovers and various kinds of turpitudes. It is no coincidence that to write the script Allen returned to confront a friend and colleague like Marshall Brickamn, with whom he had already written The sleepyhead, Me and Annie, is Manhattan. Three films in which another figure appeared ready to return, Diane Keaton. Despite what the popular vulgar affirms, Keaton It was not Allen ‘s great relationship: however much you read everywhere that the two would have left themselves behind the work of Manhattaninstead, it is true that their brief interlude of a couple of years ended shortly after Try it again, Sam, the Allenian comedy directed by Herbert Ross. The choice to go back to working with Keaton in Mysterious murder in Manhattan therefore it was not to suggest who knows what second thought or flashback, but only the consolidation of a friendly and professional relationship that on the other hand had been revived, in the eighties, also by the participation of the actress in Radio Days, perhaps the director’s most fully autobiographical film. If there is a will, in choosing such a thunderous script – and actually fun, especially in some solutions -, it is not to revive the glories of the past, but rather to chase away the shackles of the present to immerse yourself in time outside the time of cinema, the magic of the classic that has always fascinated Allen. Mysterious murder in Manhattan it immediately turns into a great tribute to the cinema of the past, between hitchcockisms and winks to Billy Wilder de The flame of sin (and perhaps even with a hit and run in Polanskian territory, in that Rosemary’s Baby starring Farrow). Then we return to the immortal Casablanca already a cult object in Try it again, Sam, playing on the impossibility of aspiring to the image of Bogart having to be content with that of Peter Lorre as much as possible. And cinema, understood as space, is also part of the narrative, given that the elderly House, who according to Allen’s wife – Keaton, of course – is a uxoricide who killed his wife to have a good time with a lover (remember something ?), is an operator. It is by exploiting this location that Allen can take away the whim to replicate, after having already shown it on stage, a famous sequence of The lady from Shanghai by Orson Welles, almost to reiterate how truth can only shatter in front of the imaginative power of cinema, the only place – in this immaterial sense – where the human can find real satisfaction of his life.

his completely playful posture Mysterious
murder in Manhattan
it appears sublime and ephemeral at the same time, unable to rise above
above your own joke yet delicious in the familiar bickering between Keaton and Allen in the
psychotic evenings when four are added Anjelica Huston and
Alan Alda, in clumsy attempts to frame the uxoricide
resorting to the tricks seen in the movies. In this sense, the sequence of
fake phone call built through a wild overlock
audition of an aspiring actress not too gifted is a stroke of
genius that alone is worth watching the entire film. To this yes
they add the classic Allenian colds, starting from now
famous “You know I can’t listen to Wagner too much… I already feel it
the urge to occupy Poland! ” exclaimed by the actor and director
outside the theater where he had been led – a little by force – by
Keaton. It opens with Mysterious
murder in Manhattan
a phase of stubborn lightness in the cinema of Woody Allen, who of
heaviness had to prove far too many in his daily life: the
noir, in this period case, will return to the next Bullets
on Broadway
while then it will be the turn of the fun There
goddess of love
and the homage to the musical (out of tune) All
say I Love You
It will be only in 1997 with Harry
in pieces
five years after Husbands
and wives
that Allen will really try to start fixing the
puzzle of its existence (and to reflect within it
cinema); in December of that year, a few days before Christmas, it will be
married to Soon-Yi by Massimo Cacciari in Venice.

Mysterious murder in Manhattan, the trailer.
    Mysterious murder in Manhattan

  • Genre: comedy, noir
  • Original title: Manhattan Murder Mystery
  • Country / Year: USA | 1993
  • Directed by: Woody Allen
  • Screenplay: Marshall Brickman, Woody Allen
  • Director of photography: Carlo Di Palma
  • Editing: Susan E. Morse
  • Performers: Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Jerry Adler, Joy Behar, Lynn Cohen, Marge Redmond, Melanie Norris, Ron Rifkin, Sylvia Kauders, Woody Allen, Zach Braff
  • Production: Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions, TriStar Pictures
  • Duration: 104 ‘

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