Broadway Danny Rose

Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen) - 1984 - (black-and-white)

Six men are telling stories around a table in a smoke-filled room.  One of them, Sandy Baron (1937-2001) tells a story about failed-comedian Danny Rose (Woody) who became a theatrical agent representing third-rate acts such as balloon-folders and musical water-glass players.  His most marketable act is singer Lou Canova played by entertainer Nick Apollo Forte in his only appearance in a motion picture.  Danny gets Lou a major gig to sing for Milton Berle (1908-2002).  However, Lou can't perform without his girl friend (Mia Farrow) in the audience and insists that Woody bring her so Lou's wife will remain unaware of the affair.

Woody chases Mia to convince her to attend the show but Mia's fortune teller, Angelina (Olga Barbato 1914-2003) tells her to go see her family.  Mia was married to the mob and is now being pursued by mobster Johnny Rispoli (Edwin Bordo) who is rejected by Mia and then drinks iodine and accuses Woody of stealing his love.  Johnny's mother cries "vendetta" and sends Johnny's brothers to break Woody's legs or worse.  Woody and Mia get caught but escape by sending the mobsters after Barney Dunn (Herb Reynolds), a ventriloquist who stutters.  The show goes on.  Lou is a hit after Woody gets him sober.  Then Lou drops Woody for another agent, divorces his wife and marries Mia who becomes unhappy because she really wants Woody (this being a common theme in many Woody Allen movies).

Other story-tellers with Sandy Baron are Corbett Monica (1930-1998), Jackie Gayle (1926-2002), Morty Gunty (1929-1984), Will Jordan, Howard Storm and Woody's producer, Jack Rollins.  Howard Cosell (1918-1995) also appears in the movie in the audience with Milton Berle. [JAM 12/16/2009]

[" ... I saw that as a black-and-white Italian comedy.  And that's probably why I made it in black and white.  Because people said to me, 'I don't know why you're making it in black and white because the characters, what they wear, they'd be so much better in color.  You'd see their shirts and jackets.  Why give yourself the headache of black and white?'  But for some reason I saw it in black and white because I wanted to make a 1950s Italian movie.  And Gordon Willis understood instantly.  He said, 'It just feels better to me in black and white, too.' " Conversations with Woody Allen May 2005]