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      Play It Again, Sam

      PG Released May 4, 1972 1 hr. 27 min. Comedy List
      97% 35 Reviews Tomatometer 89% 10,000+ Ratings Audience Score Overanxious film critic Allan (Woody Allen) sinks into a depression after his wife leaves him. Concerned, his married friends Dick (Tony Roberts) and Linda (Diane Keaton) encourage him to meet new women. Inspired by Humphrey Bogart's dark persona, Allan attempts to emulate him in flirting with women. However, his frail personality ensures that his every attempt blows up in his face. His hapless romantic life reaches catastrophic levels when he develops feelings for Linda. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Apr 17 Buy Now

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      Audience Reviews

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      Matthew B Play It Again, Sam may not have the depth of later Woody Allen films, but it was an important transition from earlier light-hearted Allen comedies to the more serious works that were to follow. Allen began with movies such as Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Sleeper, and Love and Death, which were essentially a series of comic set-pieces, tied together by a loose storyline. From this, he was to move on to romantic comedies in which there was a stronger plot and deeper characterisation, such as Annie Hall and Manhattan. Play It Again, Sam was made before Sleeper, and Love and Death, but it anticipated what would come later. It is essentially a comedy with no very serious pretentions, but with a well-developed narrative that tells a story with a clear beginning, middle and end. The title of the film is derived from a misquotation of a famous line in Casablanca. At the start of the movie, a rapt Allan Felix (Allen) is watching the end of Casablanca, the images from the screen reflecting off his glasses; by the end of the movie, he is living out the same scene. It is Bogart that Allan particularly admires. There are posters of the iconic actor on all the walls of Allan's flat. To say that Allan's life is influenced by Bogie is an understatement. In fact a manifestation of the deceased actor (played by Jerry Lacy) appears in Allan's room and offers him advice about his love life. Admittedly Bogart is perhaps not the right kind of person to coach someone like Allan. As Bogart tells him, "I never saw a dame yet that didn't understand a good slap in the mouth or a slug from a 45". Allan is a man who is more comfortable watching old movies than dating girls. He would rather take a date to an Erich von Stroheim film festival than to a club. He knows the dialogue from the key scenes in Casablanca off by heart, but he can never be like his hero. Woody Allen's film is redolent with nostalgia about the past. Wouldn't we all sometimes like to have a guardian angel who steps in to offer us advice? And who better than one of our heroes? However Allen is wise enough to recognise that an idealised version of the past can provide no serious help in understanding the inadequacies of human beings in the present. Bogart can take Allan only so far, as this is a different world. Woody Allen adopts a style that would become more familiar in Annie Hall a few years later. His hero soliloquises or has conversations with Bogart. The story contains flashbacks and comical fantasies, including scenarios where Dick tells Allan that he is running off with an Inuit, decides to drown himself, or attempts to murder Allan Italian-style. There are not as many comic set-pieces as in Allen's other early movies, and the dramatic content is not as profound as in Allen's later films, but Play It Again, Sam is still a very funny work that created the space to allow Allen to move from comedian to serious film-maker. I wrote a longer appreciation of Play It Again, Sam on my blog page if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2022/02/16/play-it-again-sam-1972/ Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 09/08/23 Full Review william d Still funny fifty years later. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review the movie h Movie Rating: 7/10 Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member One of the funniest movies I've ever seen over and over and over. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review jordan m I find myself trying to temper my disappointment here with the fact that this was one of Woody's first movies & that he was essentially an amateur filmmaker at this point in his career. I've only seen two other movies of his and neither were from his long list of Oscar-nominated screenplays, but even those were significantly better than this, especially Small Time Crooks. The narrative felt lazy when they had Woody speaking his comedy-adjacent lines to himself and even at 85 minutes they seemed to squeeze an incredibly simple story for all it was worth to make it to the runtime they had. I had come to expect tight, complex, intriguing movie plots from his post-2000s work and instead got one of the weakest scenarios for a movie that I've ever seen. Woody's character doesn't get into enough situations to have any really memorable quips; a handful of his lines were chuckle-worthy and the Bogart conscience was good movie fodder, but how this ever achieved a 7.6 rating on IMDb I will never understand. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review dave s Play It Again, Sam was directed by Herbert Ross, but it's clearly a Woody Allen film from start to finish. With many visual and thematic references to Bogart and Casablanca, Allen plays a neurotic film critic who is dumped by his wife. Aided by a pair of friends (Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts) with the specter of Humphrey Bogart (Jerry Lacy) as a mentor, he embarks on a quest to find a woman who can accept his eccentricities. Despite coming across, at times, as more theatrical than cinematic, it is filled with one-liners and sight gags, most of which generate some decent laughs. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Play It Again, Sam

      Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - She Digs Me Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - She Digs Me 1:49 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Depressed Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Depressed 1:40 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - A Platonic Kiss Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - A Platonic Kiss 1:52 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Bogart at the Supermarket Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Bogart at the Supermarket 2:02 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Getting Ready for a Date Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Getting Ready for a Date 2:06 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Allan's Casablanca Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Allan's Casablanca 1:39 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Museum Girl Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Museum Girl 1:46 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Thinking About Willie Mays Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Thinking About Willie Mays 2:06 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - A Three Foot Band-Aid Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - A Three Foot Band-Aid 1:46 Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Italian Movie Play It Again, Sam: Official Clip - Italian Movie 1:16 View more videos

      Critics Reviews

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      Derek Adams Time Out The working out of the parallels with Casablanca are masterly, and there are plenty of good sight gags and one-liners. Jun 24, 2006 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times Maybe the movie has too much coherence, and the plot is too predictable; that's a weakness of films based on well-made Broadway plays. Still, that's hardly a serious complaint about something as funny as Play It Again, Sam." Rated: 3/4 Oct 23, 2004 Full Review Nell Minow Movie Mom Rated: 3/5 Jan 30, 2003 Full Review Dick Lochte Los Angeles Free Press Allen has the uncanny knack of magnifying our most unguarded, embarrassing, selfish and just plain silly moments into a blossoming garden of neuroses and phobias. Jan 8, 2020 Full Review Christopher Hudson The Spectator Play It Again, Sam, is another demonstration of the comedian's self-obsessed, self-abusive humour. It is almost continuously funny in a brittle way. But the sour, allusive, intellectual witticisms begin to lose their pith Nov 17, 2017 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion The cinephile's dilemma (i.e., the "watcher" versus the "doer"), with a nifty central gag Mar 15, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Overanxious film critic Allan (Woody Allen) sinks into a depression after his wife leaves him. Concerned, his married friends Dick (Tony Roberts) and Linda (Diane Keaton) encourage him to meet new women. Inspired by Humphrey Bogart's dark persona, Allan attempts to emulate him in flirting with women. However, his frail personality ensures that his every attempt blows up in his face. His hapless romantic life reaches catastrophic levels when he develops feelings for Linda.
      Director
      Herbert Ross
      Executive Producer
      Charles H. Joffe
      Screenwriter
      Woody Allen, Woody Allen
      Distributor
      Paramount Pictures
      Production Co
      Paramount Pictures, APJAC Productions, Rollins-Joffe Productions
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 4, 1972, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jun 15, 2011
      Sound Mix
      Mono
      Aspect Ratio
      35mm
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