Woody Allen, one of the most important figures in American cinema history, celebrates his 81st birthday today. Here is a list of 10 of his landmark films (up to this point) in chronological order.
2. PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972, dir. Herbert Ross)
Play It Again Sam was based upon his popular 1969 Broadway production. It is the story of the titular Sam, a man struggling to date again after his girlfriend’s suddent departure and estrangement.
The film version sets itself aside from other Allen films because, firstly, it brought a new maturity to his cinematic persona. The pace of the film was slowed down and the overall screenplay exposed new human sensibilities and honest musings on relationships and other themes that would influence a large part of his subsequent films. Secondly, here he plays a character that first came close to being a true representation of the Allen persona.
It’s interesting to point out that Play It Again, Sam is directed by Herbert Ross; this was a decision taken with Allen’s blessing as he did not think himself ready or skilled enough to balance the more dramatic tones with the more downright comedic ones.