Broadway Danny Rose
Dir. Woody Allen, 1984
In between his comedy masterpieces Zelig and The Purple Rose of Cairo, Woody Allen made Broadway Danny Rose, a small, unambitious comedy of manners that wins through pure charm. Allen plays the titular Danny Rose, a former Borscht Belt comedian and now small-time talent agent responsible for the nostalgia-driven career revival of lounge singer Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte). When Canova wants his mistress (Mia Farrow) to come to his show, he gets Danny Rose to bring her as if she were Rose’s girlfriend. But first, Rose falls afoul of the mistress’ other boyfriend, a mafioso who wants him dead.
By setting the film a decade earlier than it was made, and filming in black-and-white, Woody Allen gives it a very beneficial timeless feel, which highlights the performance and comedy more than its wonderfully-dated Catskills style. Another winner from Woody Allen’s most critically acclaimed decade. A-