In light of Woody’s recent title change of Bop Decameron (which is great) to Nero Fiddled (which is not) I decided to rank my favorite Woody titles.
1. Crimes and Misdemeanors
Crime and Punishment is Woody’s ur text and I suspect title template.
2. Sweet and Lowdown
While Woody didn’t invent this play on the sugar alternative, it certainly ties the film together.
3. Small Time Crooks
This is a sentimental favorite. It’s a trifle certainly, but such a fun bauble. The title is descriptive, demeaning and punchy.
4. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
Double-entendre is at the center of this film and this title, while too clunky perhaps, the title invokes both romantic and deadly encounters.
5. Radio Days
Perfectly descriptive of the times.
6. Bullets Over Broadway
7. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask
Where YWMATDS is too much of a mouthful EYAWTKAS*BWATA enacts the shyness the subject culturally demands. Perhaps not memorable and a marketing nightmare, but effective.
8. Match Point
I’d argue that Match Point is perhaps the most sophisticated mise-en-scene in the oevre of Woody. Few of his movies carry the motif visually as well as this one. I’d love to be able to connect this to the title, but I can’t.
I just like it okay.
I suppose it’s pretty obvious that I’ve run out of steam on these. I even considered listing Vicky Cristina Barcelona because I love the way that it flows off the tongue.
The Five Worst Woody Allen Titles
5. Deconstructing Harry
Perhaps people like this title. I suppose it tells you everything you need to know about the movie. A bit like Midnight in Paris. I penalize for having no flare.
4. Hollywood Endings
Bland without any layers.
3. Cassandra’s Dream
I consider it a cheat when you have a character that is what his name says. I also think it’s overly cute to put the title of your film into your film. This is an obvious attempt to shoe-horn some depth into the story.
2. Whatever Works
I’m pretty sure they asked Woody what the title to his new movie should be and this is what he said.
1. Anything Else
I’m pretty sure that some produce struck through Woody’s proposed title and wrote this along side. Despite this being a pretty dreadful movie, it does feature my favorite Woody character, David Dobel.