Annie Hall – Spitting Image – tape 14

Here’s the first showing on British TV for Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. Very possibly his greatest film. It doesn’t have the massively problematic sexual politics of Manhattan, although Allen’s preferences were already there in the scene of him as a young schoolboy.

Young Woody Allen

But it’s basically a joy. Full of great jokes. Like this scene where he’s getting annoyed by a man in the cinema queue, and he brings out Marshall McLuhan, media guru, to tell him he’s completely wrong.

Or when he can’t make out with Carol Kane because he’s obsessing about the Kennedy assassination.

Woody Allen and Carol Kane

When he and Annie try to cook lobsters and they escape.

Annie Hall Lobsters

Lots of brief appearances, like John Glover as Annie’s actor boyfriend.

John Glover

And of course, the ‘classic’ Annie Hall look which set a style.

The Annie Hall Look

“That’s OK, we can walk to the kerb from here.”

We can walk to the kerb from here

The conversation with the subtextual subtitles.

Subtextual Subtitles

When Annie and Alvy are guessing the stories of people in the park, “the winner of the Truman Capote lookalike contest” is, apparently, Truman Capote himself.

Truman Capote Lookalike

Annie’s brother is Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken in Annie Hall

Cartoon Woody Allen

Cartoon Woody Allen

Shelley Duvall is a Rolling Stone reporter. “Transplendant”

Shelley Duvall

Paul Simon appears as Tony Lacey.

Paul Simon as Tony Lacey

“How often are you having sex?” “Constantly, three times a week.” “Hardly ever, three times a week.”

In the Psychiatrist's Chair

Alvy takes cocaine.

Jeff Goldblum – “I’ve forgotten my mantra.”

Jeff Goldblum in Annie Hall

“It keeps out the alpha rays. You don’t get old.”

Keeps out the alpha rays

Structurally, Annie Hall is very unusual. It’s not remotely chronological, jumping around within (and outside) the relationship between Annie and Allen’s Alvy. The film editor, Ralph Rosenblum, wrote a whole book about how he basically saved the movie from disaster. Given the way it flits from scene to scene, that’s not beyond possibility.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th November 1987 – 21:00

After this, recording switches, and we get the end of an episode of The Charmer. Then a trailer for a Columbo movie, Etude in Black.

Then, an episode of Spitting Image. Continuing this blog’s rather supernatural ability to feature celebrities who have recently died (or, in some cases, die soon after they’re mentioned, here’s Paul Daniels.

Paul Daniels on Spitting Image

Donald Sinden gives Brian Blessed acting lessons.

Donald Sinden Brian Blessed Spitting Image

There’s a sketch in a sex shop that I’m surprised was allowed, given a previous sketch about Robert Maxwell couldn’t use the word ‘shit’

Spitting Image sex shop

Oddly, Chris Barrie is credited as ‘Performer’ and not ‘Impressionist’. I presume he must have been a puppet operator as well as doing many of the voices.

After this episode, recording continues with an episode of The South Bank Show on Gore Vidal.

Gore Vidal

After this, there’s a news report about an air crash at Denver Airport, which puts this recording at November 15, 1987.


  • The Sun
  • Ferguson
  • Allied Lyons
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Unisys
  • Boots
  • Heinz Soup of the Day
  • Volvo
  • Calor
  • Wimpy
  • Creepshow 2 in cinemas
  • Bordeaux
  • Lyons Original Filter Coffee
  • Amstrad videos
  • Ferguson
  • Electricity
  • Unisys
  • Bernard Matthews Lamb Roast
  • Prudential
  • Calor
  • Black Magic
  • Duracell

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