The city neurotic

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German title The city neurotic
Original title Annie Hall
Annie Hall logo.png
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1977
length 93 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Woody Allen
script Woody Allen,
Marshall Brickman
production Charles H. Joffe ,
Jack Rollins
music Carmen Lombardo ,
Isham Jones
camera Gordon Willis
cut Wendy Greene Bricmont ,
Ralph Rosenblum

The urban neurotic (original title: Annie Hall ) is an American film by and with Woody Allen from 1977 .


Alvy Singer is a successful comedian, intellectually influenced, Jew and a rather neurotic guy who regularly messes with women. He meets Annie Hall, falls in love with her and meets a neurotic counterpart in her. Ups and downs alternate in their relationship, in which they trump each other with their psychoanalytic wisdom. Alvy loses Annie too, and even takes a trip to the hated California to win her back.

The specialty of the film is its temporal flexibility. He begins with Woody Allen as Alvy Singer addressing the cinema audience directly, only to travel back to different phases of his biography and only at the end to conclude the film again in the present time. Several relationships between the main character are touched upon, and the mere mention of a name can lead to a leap in time. The film travels through more than two dozen time levels, which is held together by the dialogues and the focus on the relationship problems of its main character. The central relationship appears to be that to Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), which, however, is not presented to the audience in chronological order, but also in leaps and bounds in episodes.

Allen uses a variety of means to clarify the state of his protagonist; For example, there is a short animated film sequence or family meal caricatures in the split-screen process . The scene in which he sits as an adult in his old school class is often copied and the thought “I sometimes wonder what happened to my classmates” leads to individual pupils stepping out of the scene and showing their further biography in the camera tell.

So this film is not so much a factually correct processing of events as it is a cinematic version of a chain of thought. Reality, thought games, transfigured memories and thought leaps merge seamlessly into one another; the film does not explicitly identify them as such.


“Woody Allen's strongly autobiographical comedy shows an intellectual clown who struggles with deadly serious problems, but can ultimately only be funny; it describes the path of a dreamer and born loser, who in the end nevertheless ensures his survival through the power of his own creativity. The erratic series of gags of earlier Allen films has given way to a more balanced story, in which pointed irony largely displaces slapstick. Woody Allen proves to be an extremely accomplished director who playfully juggles different styles and narrative forms. A classic of modern film comedy [...]. "

- Lexicon of international film (CD-ROM edition), Systhema, Munich 1997

Awards (selection)

German version

The German dubbing was created in 1977 under the dubbing direction of John Pauls-Harding .

role actor Voice actor
Alvy Singer Woody Allen Wolfgang Draeger
Annie Hall Diane Keaton Heidi Fischer
Rob Tony Roberts Rudiger Bahr
Allison Carol Kane Eva Kinsky
Tony Lacey Paul Simon Jürgen Clausen
Duane Hall Christopher Walken Leon Rainer
Mr. Hall Donald Symington Donald Arthur

The term urban neurotic has meanwhile entered common usage and mainly refers to residents of large cities who are characterized by special quirks that are allegedly due to urban stress.

Eckhard Henscheid , co-translator of the published original script, considers the title Der Stadtneurotiker “a misunderstanding up to and including flagrant nonsense”, because the term initially means everything and nothing, the setting Manhattan is more of a cosmopolitan city and even in the film it does not about a neurotic. Henscheid also notes critically that most of the linguistic jokes in the film in the German version did not come from Allen and Brickman, but rather were put into the mouths of the actors through the synchronization.

Production notes

Woody Allen's New York Townhouse, 118 East 70th Street (2015 photo)
  • Annie Hall's apartment, which is still preserved, is located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan , East 70th Street between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue - Woody Allen's favorite block in the city ( "his favorite block in the city"). In 2006 he bought a townhouse for himself and his family directly across the street, where he still lives today: 118 East 70th Street.
  • Sigourney Weaver had her film debut in this film in a small role (duration: 6 seconds).
  • Communication scientist Marshall McLuhan is quoted by Alvy Singer in one scene (controversy in line at the box office) and suddenly appears in person to support him ( cameo ). Alvy's reaction: "Oh, if only it were like that in real life".
  • The 1989 film Harry and Sally can in some ways be regarded as the "successor" to Der Stadtneurotiker . The constellation of the characters and their concerns are similar; musical themes and fashion styles are taken up again. Harry and Sally meet for the first time in 1977 - the year Der Stadtneurotiker comes to the cinema.
  • Jeff Goldblum makes a very brief appearance at Tony Lacey's party (speaking on the phone).
  • The roller coaster built over the house in the movie was Thunderbolt on Coney Island .
  • In the closing credits, Christopher Walken's name is misspelled ('Christopher Wlaken').
  • Howard Carpendale alludes to the film in his song The Story of Annie Hall (album Carpendale '90 ). The song is about the fact that Carpendale remembered an old friend in the character of Annie Hall.


  • Woody Allen , Marshall Brickman : The Urban Neurotic. Screenplay (Original title: Annie Hall, translated by Eckhard Henscheid and Sieglinde Rahm). Diogenes, Zurich 1988, ISBN 3-257-20822-7 .
  • Gerhard Pisek: The great illusion. Problems and possibilities of film synchronization. Depicted on Woody Allen's Annie Hall, Manhattan and Hannah and her sisters. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier WVT, Trier 1994, ISBN 3-88476-082-3 (dissertation University Innsbruck 1992).
  • Vittorio Hösle: Woody Allen. Try over the funny . dtv, Munich 2001, ISBN 978-3-423-34254-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of release for Der Stadtneurotiker . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , December 2011 (PDF; test number: 49 150 V).
  2. Thomas Bräutigam : Lexicon of film and television synchronization. More than 2000 films and series with their German voice actors etc. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-289-X , p. 342
  3. Eckhard Henscheid, Gerhard Henschel, Brigitte Kronauer: Cultural history of misunderstandings . Reclam, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-15-010427-0 , p. 103.
  4. Joseph Meyers, Inside New York 2009 , New York 2008, p. 76 ( digitized version )
  5. Woody Allen, by the way. Autobiography , Berlin 2020, pp. 357f.

Web links