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Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 3 November 1989 (USA)
An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife, while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated by another woman.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Bernstein ...
Testimonial Speaker
...
...
Miriam Rosenthal
...
Sharon Rosenthal (as Stephanie Roth)
...
Chris
George J. Manos ...
Photographer (as George Manos)
...
...
Jenny Nichols ...
Jenny
...
Wendy Stern
...
Lester
...
Ben
Zina Jasper ...
Carol
...
Judah's Secretary
Joel Fogel ...
T.V. Producer (as Joel S. Fogel)

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Storyline

Judah Rosenthal is an ophthalmologist and a pillar of the community who has a big problem: his mistress Dolores Paley has told him that he is to leave his wife and marry her - as he had promised to do - or she will tell everyone of their affair. When he intercepts a letter Dolores has written to his wife Miriam, he is frantic. He confesses all to his shady brother Jack who assures him that he has friends who can take care of her. Meanwhile, filmmaker Cliff Stern is having his own problems. He's been working on a documentary film for some time but has yet to complete it. He and his wife Wendy have long ago stopped loving one another and are clearly on their way to divorce. He falls in love with Halley Reed who works with a producer, Lester. Cliff soon finds himself making a documentary about Lester and hates every minute of it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A film about humanity.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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|

Release Date:

3 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brothers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$18,254,702 (USA)
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Company Credits

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(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the second of two films directed by Woody Allen released in 1989. The first was the "Oedipus Wrecks" segment of New York Stories (1989). See more »

Goofs

When Judah decides to have Delores killed, he only dials seven digits on the phone calling his brother, Jack. Judah lives in Connecticut and Jack lives in New York, so he would have to dial at least 10 digits to call him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Testimonial Speaker: We're all very proud of Judah Rosenthal's philanthropic efforts. His endless hours of fund raising for the hospital, the new medical center, and now, the ophthalmology wing, which until this year had just been a dream. But it's due to Rosenthal our friend that we most appreciate. The husband, the father, the golf companion. Naturally if you have a medical problem you can call Judah...
Miriam Rosenthal: You're blushing darling.
Testimonial Speaker: ...day or night, weekends or holidays. But you can also call Judah to ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Paris-Manhattan (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Murder He Says
(1942)
From the Soundtrack of 'Happy Go Lucky'
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Vocal by Betty Hutton
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User Reviews

 
A film that explores the human soul.
22 May 1999 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

When I registered with the IMDb, one of the survey questions asked what my favorite film was. I listed Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. I don't know if this is always true, but for the most part I feel fairly confident regarding my choice. Allen's story here works, like most well written literature, on many levels. It is funny (Woody's lessons), symbolic (the Rabbi going blind), ironic (the good suffer and the evil go unpunished), deep (faith and suicide), and is a film that leaves you with something to identify with and learn from. Even Hally Reed's (Mia Farrow) surprising revelation at the end of the film, which I won't reveal of course, shows us a bit about the dangers of prejudging others. Woody shows us that we shouldn't judge on the surface, but must look deeper into the individual value of people. Do we trust Hally, or do we stick to what we see as the truth about Lester (Alan Alda)? This is a lesson that Woody's character, Cliff, doesn't even fully grasp at the end of the film, but Allen gives us the insight, even though what Hally reveals about Lester goes against what we've seen of him.

Crimes and Misdemeanors is certainly not for all tastes. It's not exactly a film that people would watch for pure escapism. This is a film to be treasured, revisited and held up with some of the greatest films of all time. Not for how it looks or sounds, but for what it says. This is a film aimed at both the heart and the mind and succeeds in capturing both.


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