BROADWAY DANNY ROSE
Review by Michael Jacobson
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte
Director: Woody Allen
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: Theatrical Trailer
Length: 84 Minutes
Release Date: November 6, 2001
need a valium the size of a hockey puck.”
Danny Rose is
a simple, irresistible comedy from Woody Allen that features one of his most
memorable starring roles. He plays
the title character, a manager of a strange menagerie of talent that he would do
anything for, but he rarely reaps the
rewards from his good deeds:
when an act of his starts to become big, they always leave Danny behind
(one word, Mr. Rose: contract).
story is told in a brilliant setting, by a group of New York comics (including
the likes of Sandy Baron and Will Jordan) having lunch at a deli and sharing
their favorite Danny Rose stories. Baron
tells his companions to sit back and get comfortable, because he has the best
story of all, and it’s going to take a while to tell.
the story of Rose and his new, troublesome talent Lou Canova (a terrific Forte).
Lou once had his fifteen minutes as an Italian crooner in the 1950s.
Now, still with a big voice (but with a big physique, big appetites and
big temper to match), Rose is determined to make Canova the success he’s been
dreaming of, and he’ll do anything to make that happen.
follows is a nightmare of comic
Lou, despite being currently married and behind on alimony payments to
two ex-wives, has it bad for his current mistress, the brash Tina (Farrow, in a
memorable role). With the biggest
gig of his life coming up (the chance to perform on a Milton Berle special), he
begs Danny to be the “beard”…in other words, bring Tina to the show as his
date so they can be together.
reluctantly agrees…he goes to pick up Tina only to find her furious with Lou
and his two-timing ways, and refusing to go!
The lovesick Lou protests he can’t go on without her, and starts taking
to the bottle to calm his nerves. Danny
has to act fast and use his glib tongue more masterfully than he’s ever done
in his life to save the day!
goes from bad to worse when a Mafioso type, who is also in love with Tina,
attempts suicide, sending his two hit men brothers after the guy who stole Tina
away from him. The trouble,
naturally, is that they think it’s Danny, not Lou!
Now Danny has to save Lou’s show, convince Tina to be there, and save
his own life all in a matter of hours.
is a much lighter picture for Allen, considering his previous film was the
tongue-in-cheek Zelig and his subsequent film was the beautiful The
Purple Rose of Cairo. But Woody
light is still terrific entertainment, and his funny, lively screenplay earned
him an Oscar nomination.
ending is poignant and memorable, including a romantic reunion and the ultimate
tribute to a Broadway man as indicated by the circle of comics.
You’ll see for yourself what that tribute is.
TRIVIA: Two of Lou
Canova’s songs, “Agita” and “My Bambino”, were actually penned by Nick
Apollo Forte himself.
of all of Allen’s pictures, this one most has the look and feel of an
independent film. Gordon Willis,
who created the beautiful black and white imagery of Manhattan and the
effectively old-fashioned look of Zelig, takes a more au natural approach
to Broadway Danny Rose. The
photography is good, but less self-aware, using black and white for a feeling
rather than an artistic statement. MGM
has done a fine job with this anamorphic transfer…the blacks are deep and pure
and the whites are clean, and there’s very little noticeable grain to break up
the image quality.
is a serviceable mono offering, per Woody Allen’s own audio preference.
Dialogue is well rendered throughout, and there’s nothing else
especially praiseworthy or cause for complaint about it.