Annie Hall Literary Elements

Annie Hall Literary Elements


Woody Allen

Leading Actors/Actresses

Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

Supporting Actors/Actresses

Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Janet Margolin, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Colleen Dewhurst


Romantic Comedy




1978 Academy Awards: Best Picture (Charles H. Joffe), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Diane Keaton), Best Director (Woody Allen), Best Writing-Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman); 1978 British Academy of Film and Television Awards: Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Direction (Woody Allen), Best Editing (Ralph Rosenblum, Wendy Greene Bricmont), Best Film, Best Screenplay (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman); 1978 Bodil Awards: Best Non-European Film (Woody Allen); 1979 Cinema Writers Circle Awards (Spain): Best Foreign Film (Woody Allen); 1978 Directors Guild of America: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Motion Picture; 1978 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture Actress-Musical/Comedy (Diane Keaton); 1979 Guild of German Art House Cinemas: Gold Award for Foreign Film; 1977 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Best Screenplay (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman); 1977 National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actress (Diane Keaton); 1977 National Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Film-Best Screenplay (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman); 1977 New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Director (Woody Allen), Best Film-Best Screenplay (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman); 1978 Writers Guild of America: Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman)

Date of Release



Rollins-Joffe Productions

Setting and Context

Late 1970s, New York. There are few scenes in LA and Wisconsin.

Narrator and Point of View

Alvy speaks directly to the camera and he criticizes everyting that seems wrong or weird to him, as he's prejudiced.

Tone and Mood

sarcastic, critical

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist: Alvy Singer, Antagonist: Tony Lacey (but mostly Alvy's character and his obsessions)

Major Conflict

Alvy tries to find the reasons behind his break-up with Annie and the other women in his life.


Alvy and Annie's trip to Los Angeles makes their differences and their problems visible as Annie loves the city while Alvy continues to criticize it.


Alvy's opening mologoue foreshadows the experiences he had, especially with Annie. "Annie and I broke up and I still can't get my mind around that. You know, I keep sifting the pieces of the relationship through my mind and examining my life and tryin' to figure out where did the screw-up come, you know, and a year ago we were..., in love."
Annie's first performance foreshadows the path of her singing career.


Alvy's interaction with drugs. He's not completely opposed to Annie's habit of using drugs, but he has no business with them. While hanging out with their friends, Alvy takes interest in Cocacine. But later, wastes it by sneezing on it. This can be an allusion to addiction in the terms of understatement.

Innovations in Filming or Lighting or Camera Techniques

Alvy directly speaks to the camera which was unusual for its time. His flashbacks gives him the opportunity to analyze his memories and his personality. Through visual techniques, Alvy is able to intervene the events. For example, Annie's lack of interest in sex is shown by double-exposing her: one Annie is in bed with him while the other one gets out of the bed and search for a draing pad. Alvy speaks to both of them. Their conversation on Annie's balcony is subtitled with their real thoughts. This technique gives the scene humour while pointing out their differences.


Sigmund Freud’s "Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious"
Alvy’s opening monologue and Jewishness: the combination of "old joke" and "Catskill mountain resort"
Alvy and Rob's conversation and Jewishness: "You know, I was having lunch with some guys from NBC, so I said, ‘Did you eat yet or what?’, and Tom Christie said, ‘No, JEW?’. Not ‘Did you?’, JEW eat? JEW? No, not ‘Did you eat’, but JEW eat, JEW, you get it? JEW eat…”
John F Kennedy assassination: “It doesn’t make any sense. He drove past the book depository, and the police said conclusively it was an exit wound. So how is it possible for Oswald to have fired from two angles at once? It doesn’t make sense.”
About the woman he dated: “I was trying to do to her, what Eisenhower has been doing to the country for the last eight years.”


Their relationship alone is a paradox. Annie's lack of interest in sex and Alvy's statements like "I'll never play the piano again." (his inability to satisfy a woman) foreshadow their differences.


Alvy and Rob call each other "Max", even though that's not their real names. They are both comedians, but are opposites of one another.

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