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Hannah And Her Sisters

review by Zach B.


Rated PG-13

Running Time: 107 minutes

Starring Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Lloyd Nolan, Max Von Sydow, Carrie Fisher

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Studio: MGM

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer, Collectible Booklet

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)

Released: November 6th, 2001
Also part of The Woody Allen Collection 3

Yes! "Hannah And Her Sisters" is finally on DVD. Probably one of my favorite Allen film, if not my absolute favorite, it sure ranks in the top three in my book. A true triumph and nominated for seven Oscars®, winning three (for Allen's screenplay, Caine's performance and Wiest's performance), Allen's knack for getting on people's insights, obsessions and desire for happiness is perfectly featured in "Hannah And Her Sisters."

The plot of "Hannah And Her Sisters" is all topsy turvy. We meet Hannah (Mia Farrow), who's a famous actress and seems to be perfect. She's a great wife, mother and seems to have it all. Hannah is also the key force that guides her family, most notably her two sisters who are like lost souls: Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Diane Wiest). They're all the children of show-biz parents. However, Hannah's world starts to crash down when her husband Elliot (Michael Caine) falls for Lee, Lee leaves her cold husband Frederick, Holly meets Mickey who happens to be Hannah's ex-husband. As relationships go all over the place and are all interconnected, we learn that Hannah isn't as perfect as she seems and she starts to go on a journey of self-discovery.

Again, "Hannah And Her Sisters" is one of Allen's best triumphs in the cinema. His directing and pacing is rather good here, as he sets an even as well as nice flow to the relationships. We hear the characters' personal thoughts and he builds the relationships with nice touches and scenes. Yet while some may be his directing in that, it's truly more of his brilliant, flalwless writing. The relationships are really great, and so are the characters, a usual Allen charm. Interesting characters and their desires make this movie go around and around. Their thoughts and feelings work well as well as their weaknesses. Not to mention the overflowing brilliant dialogue. You just have to see "Hannah" to get it all.

The performances in the film are really noteworthy. Allen is his usual neurotic self, while Mia Farrow is perfect as the strong willed Hannah who realizes her insecurities slowly throughout the movie. Sydow as the cold Frederick is fine in his smaller role, but the standouts are the Oscar® winners and one more who was worthy of a nod. Caine's role as Elliot is one of his best for sure and one of my favorites. He knows how to play him who is conflicted that his passion is supposed to overcome what's right and wrong. His mannerisms for the part are great. Wiest as Holly is fun and captures her insecuirities. And then there is Barbara Hershey as Lee, who is everything Elliot dreams about. She's really great too.

For romance, comedy and brilliant writing with real, true insight, you can't go wrong with "Hannah And Her Sisters." It's worth it for anyone's collection in my opinion, but if you've never seen it, go rush out right now and get it!


The anamorphic widescreen transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 is pretty good. Blemishes, pieces of dirt and scratches are on the print, but are never really that annoying. There is also some shimmering now and then too. Color saturation could have been better, but there is some fine detail. Still, what makes this transfer rather annoying is the grain and fuzziness. It could have been worse, but Allen doesn't care. This movie deserves better treatment.


English, Spanish and French two channel mono tracks are included on the release. Just how Allen likes it. Fidelity could have been a notch higher, but it's good for what it is. The music serves well as a backdrop, while the dialogue is clear and easy to hear. No distortion or hiss either. It suits the movie well, just as most Allen films do since they're so dialogue driven. Also included are English closed captions , English subtitles, French subtitles and Spanish subtitles.


We have the non-anamorphic widescreen (BOO!) Theatrical Trailer and the usual collectible booklet which is really informative.

"Hannah And Her Sisters" is a must see film. Allen's screenplay is magnificent, the cast is fabulous and it's a great, even and well rounded movie that gives us a peek into some of Allen's thoughts. Rent it for sure, but if you love the movie as much as me, go pick it up.

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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