Play It Again, Sam

Screening on Film
Directed by Herbert Ross.
With Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts.
US, 1972, 35mm, color, 86 min.
Print source: HFA

N is for Nostalgia

After a neurotic film critic with a passion for Bogart (Allen) is dumped by his wife, he finds himself unable to maintain stable relationships with women and enters into a series of dates that fail miserably. Aided by the apparition of the "real" Bogart (played by Jerry Lacy) and seeking true love à la Casablanca, he eventually falls for his best friend’s wife (Keaton). Based on Allen’s stage play, the film serves as a comic homage to the screen icon and to a mode of masculinity that is decidedly out of place in early 1970s California, an atypical setting for an Allen vehicle. Allen as actor is at his funniest here, particularly in the anxious mannerisms he adopts while preparing for a date from hell.

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive