Bring in the new year with some classic Woody Allen on Blu-ray from the cinephiles at Arrow Academy.
January 2017 sees the stand-alone releases of two more of Allen’s best pictures, completing the collection started in December. Broadway Danny Rose is the director’s heartfelt tribute to the days of New York vaudeville, following hapless agent Danny Rose as he struggles to keep up with the sudden fame of one of his cheesy crooners.
With The Purple Rose of Cairo, Allen makes one of the best movies about movies of all time. Starring Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels, this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy is a complex and rich film that explores the very nature of illusion and reality.
Broadway Danny Rose | Blu-ray | 9 January 2017 | £17.99
A small but perfectly-formed comedy-drama about Broadway legend Danny Rose (Woody Allen) – not a star but perhaps the most hapless agent ever to work in the profession, whose no-hope clients include piano-playing parrots, blind jugglers, one-legged tap dancers and stuttering ventriloquists.
Things change dramatically when an unexpected lounge-music craze threatens to make cheesy crooner Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte) both famous and successful, a situation that natural loser Danny is helplessly ill-equipped to deal with. He proves similarly hapless when Lou turns out to have a mistress (an unrecognisable Mia Farrow) whose mobster ex-boyfriend is none too impressed with the company that she’s currently keeping and decides to advertise this fact at the worst possible moment.
Both laugh-out-loud funny and warmly nostalgic, Broadway Danny Rose is Allen’s heartfelt tribute to the days of New York vaudeville that he himself experienced first-hand when starting out as a comedian two decades earlier – underscored by the fact that the Greek chorus of Broadway veterans chuckling over Danny’s various mishaps and misfortunes are the real thing.
The Purple Rose of Cairo | Blu-ray | 9 January 2017 | £17.99
One of the best movies about movies ever made, The Purple Rose of Cairo is a magical, intoxicating comic fable about life, love, illusion and hope.
In the Depression-hit New Jersey of the early 1930s, lonely waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) becomes addicted to the products of the Hollywood dream factory as a means of briefly escaping her bleak life and loveless marriage. In the comforting darkness of the cinema, she becomes so obsessed with one film in particular, the adventure-romance The Purple Rose of Cairo, that its central character Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) notices her in the stalls and steps through the screen to greet her. But how can the rest of the film proceed without him? And what if other actors get similar ideas above their station?
Both a hilarious romantic comedy and a complex philosophical essay about the nature of illusion and reality, The Purple Rose of Cairo is one of Woody Allen’s richest films, its ideas slipping down so easily that it only later becomes apparent just how deep they are.