Broadway Danny Rose (1984)

On January 1st, a large number of Netflix instant streaming films were going to expire so I did my best in trying to watch all the ones I wanted to see. One of those films was Broadway Danny Rose. I had been acquainted with Woody Allen’s films before this one, including Midnight in Paris, Manhattan, Sleeper, and Annie Hall. Regardless of those small numbers, I absolutely love Woody Allen and he is one of my favorite directors (I mean, my favorite movie is Annie Hall). I got about 30 minutes into the film when my Internet decided to stop working and by the time it did start working it was already the 1st.

I came across a post on Tumblr that someone made of their favorite Woody Allen movies. I realized I had only seen 3 of the 10 films and knew that had to change. So began my shopping spree on the library site. I am proud to say that I have 7 Woody Allen films on reserve and when they come in I will be having a Woody Allen week (so expect a lot posts that week!)

I decided to double-check Netflix and see if there were any Allen films and to my surprise Broadway Danny Rose was back on instant stream! I didn’t even mind that it was 1 in the morning: I was going to finish that movie.

I remember thinking when I watched it before that Allen’s character was softer, kinder, and perhaps a tad more vulnerable than his other characters. He isn’t quick to judge and doesn’t condemn other people as he does in his previous films. He doesn’t hold himself higher than others in Broadway Danny Rose. He is a simple guy trying to help his clients succeed. He does whatever he can to help them and is genuinely loves them.

I love the structure of this film; I think that’s what I love about a lot of Allen’s films: the structure. In this one, a group of guys who know Danny (Allen) are out to lunch and one of them is telling a story of Danny, thus the beginning of the film’s plot. Throughout the film, we cut back to the guy telling his friends the story. It is reminding us that this film is  being told in that perspective rather than real time and that we are also one of the listeners at the table.

Mia Farrow reminded me a lot of Diane Keaton for some reason in this film, or I suppose I should say in some places she did. Though I’m not sure that I could see Diane fulfilling that role. But either way I loved Mia in this movie. She played her character so well and she looked fabulous in those glasses.

The ending was so touching and, for me, it was because of his Allen’s personality. It’s just a side that I haven’t seen in his other films. I’ve always pictured Allen as only being able to play the witty-judgmental type but I was wrong. There is this one shot, when Mia comes over on Thanksgiving, that only has Allen in it and the look in his eyes and his woebegone face, ugh it just killed me :(

I wouldn’t say that this film has any really outstanding qualities that separate it like Annie Hall. Perhaps the only one being, for me, Allen’s character. But don’t let that turn you away. Really this film was so sweet, touching, and quietly perfect in a sense. The use of black and white also empathized the quality of romance and tenderness that I think wouldn’t have been achieved if Allen had used color.

I definitely recommend this film especially if you are like me and are just beginning to explore Allen’s filmography.


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