Regardless of what Woody Allen may or may not have done in his private life, one impossible-to-erase-fact remains: no American filmmaker has made as many great films as this guy. For those of us who can separate the art from the artist, Woody Allen’s films get to the root of what it is to be human, always probing the depths of our existential human dilemmas with the best tool we have for the job: humor.
None of his films capture both the serious and comedic sides of Woody Allen as well as his pinnacle achievement, Crimes and Misdemeanors. It is both extremely funny and extremely dark; it’s two great films for the price of one, yet (whether because of cancel culture or copyright issues) it can be found nowhere in Streaming-land.
While the spirit of Dostoevsky clearly dominates the film- from its opening title right through the last soliloquy by its fictional philosopher hero- it’s Woody’s brilliant take on modern life that hits home. Adultery, murder, theism and atheism, marriage, professional jealousy, family, love, and, of course, morality are all on the chopping block of this alternatingly suspenseful and hilarious tale. Allen usually has trouble ending his films, opting for either a saccharine, Hollywood cliché or a bleak, Bergman-like nothingness, but Crimes and Misdemeanors is a rare, perfect ending that encapsulates everything our dumb, short lives are about in one final statement. Years from now, when all of us have turned to dust, Woody Allen’s thought-provoking films will remain- ready for future generations to ponder and enjoy.
3 thoughts on “Crimes and Misdemeanors”
Very interesting movies in this club – though I have to admit I find this Woody Allen movie quite common. May I suggest these old and hard to find films:
Louie Bluie by Terry Zwigoff
Souls for Sale (1923)
Maybe you can find a copy of these – that would be fantastic! Keep up the great work!
Thank you for the suggestions. You might find this bizarre to learn (we definitely do) but all three movies you listed are easily available for streaming, whereas Crimes and Misdemeanors is not available all- at least in the United States! Our aim is to keep good films that are unavailable alive- and yes, it’s a bizarre world where a well-known movie like Crimes & Misdemeanors fits that list but Louie Bluie does not.
We do plan on featuring Wild Man Blues at some point, which Terry Zwigoff was originally asked to make and is about Woody Allen’s jazz music, and is also unavailable in the U.S. But not for a little while!