Manhattan Murder Mystery (Woody Allen) - 1993

Diane Keaton (replacing the estranged Mia Farrow) appeared in her seventh Woody Allen movie (Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Radio Days).  She also appeared on stage in the Broadway play, Play It Again, Sam (written by Woody) and the movie based on the play directed by Herbert Ross.  As Woody's spouse in this movie, Diane suspects a neighbor of foul play and begins to investigate to the chagrin of Woody.  As the trail gets hotter, Alan Alda and then Anjelica Huston join in the fun.  This was the second Woody movie for both who also appeared in Crimes and Misdemeanors.  Diane and Woody continue their ad-lib banter throughout the movie that they started in Sleeper.  Zach Braff appeared in his first movie as their teenage son.  Woody's best line was: "I'm a detective.  They lowered the height requirement."  He also suggested that "Prozac and a polo mallet" would be a good substitute for psychiatric analysis.  The  juxtaposition between the movie plot and Lady From Shanghai in the mirrored movie-theatre ending is worth the price of admission.

The story was part of the first draft of Annie Hall.  This was the fourth screenplay collaboration between Woody and Marshall Brickman.  Others were Sleeper, Annie Hall and Manhattan.  Brickman is a professional writer who also worked for Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett. [JAM 5/24/2010]

["... I developed this idea years ago and decided that Marshall should write it and direct it and I'd be in it.  He got sidetracked in the writing and it didn't work out.  So I said, 'Look, you can keep the script and if you can sell it elsewhere, it will be yours.'  But he didn't.  Then it just lay dormant.  Then years later I said to him, 'Why don't we fool around on that script?  Why don't you give it back to me and see if I can write it?'  I really knew what I wanted to do with it.  He agreed and I did a version for me and shot it and that was that.  But we collaborated on it in the planning, which for me - and for him and for any writer - is the tough part.  The actual writing of the thing I like to do for myself because I want to write dialogue I can say ..." Conversations with Woody Allen - January 2000]