While I recognize Crimes and Misdemeanors may be Woody Allen’s most profound film, I have to say Broadway Danny Rose is my favorite Woody Allen of all time. It has some of his sharpest jokes and philosophical writing, he’s also at the top of his game aesthetically—the black and white is gorgeous. Not to mention Mia Farrow is outstanding as a tough.
In many ways I find Broadway Danny Rose his most human and vulnerable story—something he refuses in his later, solipsistic films and they suffer dearly for it. More than that, I think it’s his most literary film. Just as Bob Dylan will be remembered as much for his lyrical poetry as his music (is that a fair distinction?), Allen will be remembered as much for his writing as his films, and the framing of Broadway Danny Rose as a narrative related by a bunch of seasoned Jewish comedians at the Carnegie Deli is excellent example of why he should be. He captures New York in Broadway Danny Rose far better than the often touted Annie Hall and Manhattan. Broadway Danny Rose is his NYC masterpiece, and Danny Rose his greatest character.