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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 10/31/02

Broadway Danny Rose
1984 (2001) - Orion (MGM)

review by Graham Greenlee of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Broadway Danny Rose Film Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/C/D+

Specs and Features
84 mins, PG, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical trailer, film-themed menu screens, scene access (20 chapters), languages: English and French (DD 2.0 Mono), subtitles: English, French and Spanish, Closed Captioned

"I don't wanna badmouth the kid, but he's a horrible, dishonest, immoral louse. And I say that with all due respect."

Danny Rose (Woody Allen) is a theatrical manager, whose acts include one-legged tap dancers and piano-playing birds, and he's about to break through with his newest act. His name is Lou Canova (Nick Forte), and he's an Italian crooner who had one big hit in the 50's, who's also getting the opportunity to open for Milton Berle. Unfortunately, Lou's confidence is shot and he'll only perform with his girlfriend in the audience, so it's Danny job to go and pick her up.

Danny meets the girlfriend, Tina (Mia Farrow), at a big party with some "old friends" and gets mistaken for her boyfriend. One of her "old friends" is madly in love with Tina, and unfortunately is also a member of the mob. So the order to whack Danny is put out, and now Danny and Tina have to sneak back into Manhattan without being caught.

Broadway Danny Rose is one of Woody Allen's most beloved films, with the hilarious adventure that Danny and Tina have and their whirlwind romance. I personally would have liked to see the two have more time on screen together, but what we do get is inspired and entertaining. This film contains one of Mia Farrow's better performances. She does a wonderful job creating a character that goes beyond a mob-moll stereotype, and emotes so much without ever taking off her over-sized Jersey sunglasses. Also wonderful is the informal narration provided by a half-dozen old comics sharing Broadway Danny stories.

The black-and-white cinematography is presented beautifully in this anamorphic widescreen transfer. Grain is nearly unnoticeable, and the blacks are deep. Although the gray-scale overall appears a little muted, it seems to be a stylistic choice and nothing with the transfer. Edge enhancement halos are present, unfortunately, though they aren't too intrusive. Audio-wise, the 2.0 mono track is fine given the nature of the dialogue-heavy film. Though the high end can sound a little shrill, it's a passable track of the like we see on most of Woody's films. Also included is a trailer, anamorphically encoded.

Nominated for Directing and Writing Oscars, Broadway Danny Rose is a wonderfully entertaining comedy that even casual Woody fans will enjoy. Though with another to-be-desired audio track, the video transfer is one of the nicest I've seen on a Woody DVD.

Graham Greenlee
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