Woody Allen – A (more) rational perspective

Woody Allen is one of the most prolific film makers in American film history. Counting 45 films as director starting with What’s Up, Tiger Lily? From 1964 to Irrational Man from 2015. He has written all of them, though  20% of his movies (9) were collaborators with other script writers. All original material if you don’t include a self help book or overdubbing  a Japanese spy film.

In general, his movies score an average rating of 7.16 from the IMDB users. His first film is also his worst (6.1) while his highest is Annie Hall. This is in correlation with its success at that Academy Award, where Allen won best director (out of Allen’s 7 nominations) and best original script. Later on he added later 2 for Hanna and her Sisters (Ranked 2nd) and Midnight in Paris (4th) out a total of 16 nominations (he never arrived to the ceremony to receive them).

Playing with others

During the years, 2251 actors have appeared in his films (1397 Male, 854 Female).
After Allen himself (28), the most recurring actor is actually a Doctor, named Kenneth Edelson. He appeared in 16 of Allen’s films, and that is his entire cinematic experience.  I guess there is some truth in Allen’s Hypochondriac nature.


*  Includes only actors with 7 or more appearances

From this chart we can see that Diane Keaton (which was also in a romantic relationship with Allen) is the actor(ess) that the audience like to see in his films. Allen himself, in the films he appears, scores 0.1 above his average score, meaning his presence has no affect on the reception. Its a good thing the he is always in the search of an avatar.

The Allen Genre

During the years Allen developed a unique style, representing his neurotic personality. The outcome is usually a tragicomedy with many references to high brow culture.


* There are 93 counts because a movie can be more than one Genre

Allen, that started his career in stand up evolved into making comedies. There is a thin line when a movie can be declared a comedy and when its just funny. The next two major genres in Allen’s films are Drama and Romance, which usually are the setting of the comedy – because what can be more funny than a failed marriage or a life tragedy?

The things Woody likes

In his movies, Allen returns to the same subjects many times. In the following illustrations, the more frequent issues were clustered into 4 groups: What makes a human, arts, film technique and historical periods. Even more than genres, a certain movie is usually about more than one thing: A divorced actor on the verge of suicide in the 40’s.

The human experience – through Woody Allen’s  glasses


In Allen’s world, adultery, prostitution and divorce are an important element of being human,yet only Deconstructing Harry

and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger include adultery and prostitution. I wounder if that means the prostitution doesn’t count as adultery and isn’t  a reason  to get a  divorce.


Though audience are less fond of the negative sides of marital relations: prostitution and adultery are in the lower half of the rank.

Art is life

Many of his films either focus on or reference to the arts and artists.


The fact that actress is the most significant subject matter shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who are familiar with Allen’s personal romantic history.


* In this chart, ratings are on a scale of 1-00.

And with such a troubled history, its amazing the films are only second from the bottom, and not first.

Woody the time traveler

Although none of his films is categorized as “Historical” in more than a third of his films occur (or at least a part of them) in the past.


Its interesting to find that these films have a weighted average of 7.51, much higher than his average score (7.16). Though I doubt it that an historical location would have redeem his last film.


WOODY ALLEN by pouria-h on DeviantArt“>


9 thoughts on “Woody Allen – A (more) rational perspective

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  5. In a sense, Allen isn’t arguing that God is dead—he’s trying in vain to find something akin to a belief in God that will make life seem worth living. Allen’s comedies more and more often wrestle with this inescapable bleakness.


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