Happy birthday to one of Hollywood's finest old-timers, Woody Allen, who turns 81 today. Born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, the American actor, comedian, filmmaker, playwright and musician boasts of a career spanning over six decades. Beginning with comedy, excelling in both stand-up and writing, he was ranked amongst the greatest in comedy.
Then, by the mid 60s, Allen was writing and directing films, which were a fine mix of comedy, romance and drama. He has won numerous awards (including four Academy Awards) for his screenplay and direction. It's little wonder every film star has worked with him at some point in their careers. The cast in his films is usually an ensemble one. Today, on his birthday, let's take a look at some of the top films written and directed by him, over the years.
What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
His first-ever feature film was the start of an everlasting career and a very unique project. Allen took a Japanese spy action film and dubbed over it with completely original dialogue that had nothing to do with the plot of the original film, transforming it into a comedy.
He started making waves with his strong suit for comedy with this film, which is about a bumbling New Yorker who, after being dumped by his activist girlfriend, travels to a tiny Latin American nation and becomes involved in its latest rebellion.
Annie Hall (1977)
This rom-com features Allen as the male lead, who tries to figure out the reasons for the failure of his relationship with the film's titular lead, played by Diane Keaton, in a role written specifically for her.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Allen has himself ranked it amongst his best films. It is the tale of a film character named Tom Baxter who leaves a fictional film of the same name and enters the real world.
Match Point (2005)
Cited as a welcome return to form for Woody Allen, this thriller is about a man who marries into a wealthy family, but his social position is threatened by his affair with his brother-in-law's girlfriend.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
The plot centers on two American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), who spend a summer in Barcelona where they meet an artist named Juan Antonio(Javier Bardem), who is attracted to both of them, while still enamored of his mentally and emotionally unstable ex-wife María Elena (Penélope Cruz).
Midnight in Paris (2011)
A perfect example of 'Woody Allen magic', the film follows a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the shortcomings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée and their divergent goals, which become increasingly exaggerated as he travels back in time each night at midnight.
Cafe Society (2016)
His most recent film, which released just a few months ago, is about a young man who moves to 1930s Los Angeles to work for his uncle (a talent agent) and ends up falling in love with his uncle's assistant.
His next film (seems like he's never going to stop) is the 'Untitled Woody Allen Project'. Starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake, the film is set in a late 1950s amusement park in Brooklyn. We look forward to your project, Woody Allen!