In an early announcement to retailers, MGM has revealed that it will release on Blu-ray two Woody Allen films: Annie Hall (1977), winner of four Oscar Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and Manhattan (1979), winner of BAFTA Awards for Best Film and Best Screenplay.
Exact technical specs, supplemental features and region coding status for these releases are unknown at the moment, but the preliminary release date set by the studio is January 24th.
Annie Hall on DVD has aways had a shockingly shoddy looking transfer. Let's hope they made a new 2k transfer, or else we may be looking at a cleaned up "super DVD"... Good news though, the Allen back catalog is long neglected on Blu-Ray.
I have long looked forward to manhattan on blu ray. It looks as if my wait will soon be over. Already preordered it along with Annie Hall, another strong film from Woody Allen, whose classic films -- a great many of which are controled by MGM -- are long overdue for release on blu. This is certainly a fine start. I hope we also see, sooner rather than later, Sleeper, Bananas, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Radio Days, Interiors, Hanna and Her Sisters and others from the 1970s and 80s.
The clips of both films looked very good in the recent PBS documentary on Woody, so I suspect some major clean up has been performed. Looking forward to both films, and hopefully more as the year goes on. Interesting to note that the doc also included a great gag reel from Sleeper, giving hope that some extras might be included.
Sweet! Annie Hall is practically the birth of rom-com and Manhattan--an early example of Allen fantisizing about an underage girl finding him attractive--is aesthetically remarkable. I look forward to both.
BIG WARNING: Do not order any title among all those eight Woody Allen movies just released in Scandinavia! They look and sound absolutely horrible! The transfers are exactly the same as the old DVD editions. Nothing at all has been made to make them any better. I returned all mine and got my money back. Even the people in the shop where I bought them thought they looked disgustingly bad.
I am very happy about this news. BUT Woody will no doubt have any participation (not even a "Director Approval" stamp) in this. It's a shame, his films are American Classics and if he'd spend just a few hours a week helping find deleted scenes, sketches, do a behind-the-scenes bonus, or a director commentary these films would be amazing. But he truly doesn't give a rat's ass!
vanscottie, Allen doesn't want any of those things on his dvds (or blu's now I guess) because he says he thinks his films should speak for themselves.
A lot of directors refuse to have a commentary track on their films as well for the same reason.
seanflynn: I don't know what you're looking at, but all my Woody Allen Scandinavian BD's look great. Some are a bit better than others, but they are ALL much better than DVD quality. Extras are non-existent, but so what? I just watched a DVD of Anything Else from 2003, and it reminded me how fuzzy the picture is and how good the BD's look.
I hope this means that "Sleeper" will be coming soon. That was my gateway movie that got me into Woody's films. "Play It Again Sam" is another great early comedy of Allen's. Very happy to get "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan" on Blu.