Slate Readers’ Favorite, and Least Favorite, Woody Allen Movies

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 6 2011 3:03 PM

Slate Readers’ Favorite, and Least Favorite, Woody Allen Movies

As part of my "Completeist"article on Woody Allen —I’ve seen every single one of his movies—I grouped his films byquality , from "Masterworks" down to the truly "Bad."   I think Crimesand Misdemeanors is as good a movie as Crimeand Punishment is a book (I do think Cand P is the greater art object, but that’s another story); so naturally, Ilisted that title, along with Stardust Memories , Manhattan , Annie Hall , Broadway DannyRose , Love and Death , and The Purple Rose of Cairo , under"Masterworks." The "Bad" section included such atrocities as Celebrity , Anything Else , and HollywoodEnding .

Some of my ratings led to dissent in the comments (I wastaken to task for saying Zelig wasonly "OK") so we asked readers to weighin on their favorites and least favorites , picking up to five titles ineach category.

It turns out that our readers hew to the conventional wisdom.First, the results from the favorites poll. About 1,750 individuals cast 8,422votes (remember that each person could choose up to 5 films).

Annie Hall
(1,479 votes)

/blogs/browbeat/2011/04/06/slate_readers_favorite_and_least_favorite_woody_allen_movies/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Manhattan (969)

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Hannah and Her Sisters (851)

Crimes andMisdemeanors (716)

Sleeper (440)

I continue to think that Hannahand Her Sisters and Sleeper are abit overrated (I put both of these in the "Good" rather than "Great" or"Masterwork" categories) but I’m not surprised by how the readers’ top 5 pannedout. I was mystified, though, by the fact that Hollywood Ending got 9 votes and Celebrity got 6. These are terrible movies, and I can only assumethese votes were cast in jest. (If they weren’t, please explain yourself in thecomments.)

Onto the least favorites. About 1,070 individuals cast 4,555votes (as above, remember that each person could choose up to 5 films).

The Curse of the JadeScorpion
(402 votes)

Hollywood Ending (303)

Celebrity (280)

Scoop (238)

Whatever Works (231)

I listed Curse under"Bad" so I can’t complain, but in my opinion Hollywood Ending and Celebrity are more offensive to the senses. I also think Scoop has its bright moments (it made the "OK" category in myrankings), but I’m not attached to it; I’ll shed no tears for Scoop . What does shock me is the factthat a lot of good-to-masterwork-level films attracted some "least favorite"votes— Sleeper (35), Crimes and Misdemeanors (28), Hannah and Her Sisters (28), Manhattan (28), Love and Death (27), Take theMoney and Run (24), and Annie Hall (16). Are there really people out there who think Annie Hall is one of Woody Allen’s worst films? Or were these votescast by haters trying to make a point? Analysis is welcome in thecomments.

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Juliet Lapidos is a staff editor at the New York Times.

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