Monday, July 17, 2017

Martin Landau died...

...on Saturday at age 89. Better known for his roles in Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood, I'll always remember him from Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, in which he "played a successful, upstanding ophthalmologist and family man who gets away with the arranged murder of his mistress."

Crimes and Misdemeanors, released in 1989, may have been the last of Mr. Allen's great movies from what I would consider his best "period," beginning with Annie Hall in 1977. I'd also include Interiors (1978), Manhattan (1979), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987) and Another Woman (1988) in that list. Okay, I'll throw in Match Point (2005), although it doesn't fit neatly into my narrative.

What preceded Annie Hall and followed Crimes and Misdemeanors is mostly forgettable, but for that brief twelve-year period, Woody Allen made some of the best movies ever.

P. S. For those Woody Allen fans who are positively indignant at the brevity of my list, just remember, nine great works of art (and even Radio Days may be a stretch) are about eight more than most geniuses are allowed. Think about it: aren't most artists essentially one-hit wonders?

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