Hannah and her sisters

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German title Hannah and her sisters
Original title Hannah and her Sisters
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1986
length 103 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Woody Allen
script Woody Allen
production Robert Greenhut ,
Charles H. Joffe ,
Jack Rollins ,
Gail Sicilia
camera Carlo Di Palma
cut Susan E. Morse

Hannah and Her Sisters is a romantic comedy film from 1986. It is one of Woody Allen's most complex films . Unlike in most of his other films, Allen only appears in a supporting role. The protagonists of the film are connected to one another in a variety of ways.


Hannah , a loving and undemanding person, is the eldest of three sisters. She is an actress, is extremely closed and tries not to be a burden to anyone with her problems. She doesn't even notice how stressful her closeness is for her surroundings.

Holly , the middle of the three sisters, has long been addicted to cocaine. Her acting career is not gaining momentum. She suffers from feelings of inferiority and experiences every failed audition as evidence of her inadequacy. Your relationship with Hannah is strained. She feels patronized by her.

Lee is the youngest of the three sisters. Before she met her friend the painter Frederick, her life was disastrous. She drank and found herself fat and ugly. After enjoying being the most important person in a famous artist's life, she now feels this life as a burden. She no longer fulfills her role as Frederick's student.

Elliot is married to Hannah. The sensitive and well-read Elliot cannot cope with Hannah's uncomplicated and ostensibly needless manner. He wants to be there for someone to take care of. He believes he has found this person in Lee.

Mickey is a successful and stressed-out comedy writer for television. He finds a balance in his hypochondria. Mickey was married to Hannah, with whom he has two sons who were born from a friend's sperm donation because he is considered sterile himself.

Frederick is a talented painter who cannot get along with the world around him. He sees Lee as his only connection to the outside world. He loves her more than anything, and he really doesn't love anyone but Lee.

Structure and plot

The film is divided into 16 chapters and follows several storylines that are related to each other. The plot extends over two years - the focus is on Thanksgiving dinners : one at the very beginning of the film, one just before the end and one at the end of the film.

Lee and Elliot

The story begins with Hannah's traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Elliot fell in love with Lee. Some time later, Elliot manages to run into Lee apparently by accident. Elliot gives Lee a book by E. E. Cummings and refers her to the poem that reminds him of her. When Lee reads the poem, obviously a declaration of love to her, she wears tears. While Frederick is looking at oil paintings with a customer in the basement, Elliot kisses Lee. She is horrified and pushes him away, but runs after him. Elliot confesses his love to Lee, but Lee remains vague. Lee and Elliot meet in a hotel room. After they have slept together, they both drive to their partners home. Lee breaks up with Frederick, but Elliot fails to break up with Hannah. Feelings of guilt weigh on their relationship, and Elliot and Lee grow further apart. After meeting another man, Lee finally breaks up with Elliot at the second Thanksgiving dinner.


After a visit to the doctor, Mickey is convinced that his hearing problems are due to a brain tumor. Mickey has further tests carried out at the hospital, which, although unsuccessful, add to his anxiety. A subsequent computed tomography shows that Mickey is healthy. Mickey is overjoyed, but at the same time he realizes that he has to die at some point. He quits his job and tries to give his life a new meaning. In desperation, Mickey wants to convert from Judaism to Catholicism . He gets whatever he thinks is necessary, but cannot muster any faith. Other attempts to attain religious enlightenment also fail. After a failed suicide attempt, Mickey finally comes to light in a Marx Brothers film .


Holly and her friend April have started a party service. On their first assignment, they meet David Tolchin, a successful and personable architect who both women like. The two women begin to fight for David. April manages to impress David with her half-knowledge. April also trumps Holly as an actress. The conflicts lead to the dissolution of the joint operation. Holly wants to give up acting for good and begins to write a play.

Mickey and Holly

After Mickey and Hannah broke up, Hannah wanted to bring him together with her sister. Their first evening together was a disaster. Years later, after Mickey overcame his crisis of meaning and Holly finally found her calling as a screenplay writer, they meet again. Mickey approaches Holly at a record store and they meet up. The two fall in love and get married. Holly is pregnant a year later.

Hannah and her family

Hannah and her sisters grew up as children of two actors. Her parents were always more concerned with themselves than with their children. Constant affairs between the two and the resulting allegations poison their relationship. Of the three sisters, Hannah is the only one who at least ostensibly has her life under control. She only talks about her problems with Elliot, if at all. A meal for the three sisters shows how tense their relationship is. Holly feels patronized by Hannah. Lee feels guilty about her long-term affair with Elliot.


role actor speaker
Mickey Sachs Woody Allen Wolfgang Draeger
Hannah Mia Farrow Dagmar Heller
Frederick Max von Sydow Rolf Schult
Elliot Michael Caine Jürgen Thormann
Holly Dianne Wiest Kerstin Sanders-Dornseif
author John Turturro Michael Christian
April Carrie Fisher Ulrike Möckel
Carol Joanna Gleason Marianne Lutz
David Tolchin Sam Waterston Frank Glaubrecht
Dr. Abel Ira Wheeler Joachim Nottke
Dr. Wilkes Richard Jenkins Jürgen Kluckert
Dusty Daniel Stern Joachim Tennstedt
Evan Lloyd Nolan Friedrich W. Building School
lee Barbara Hershey Cornelia Meinhardt
Mickey's father Leo Postrel Wolfgang Völz
Norma Maureen O'Sullivan Tilly Lauenstein
Norman Tony Roberts Norbert Gescher


“Woody Allen's romantic tragic comedy is a declaration of love to New York and reflects the search for meaning of modern man in an intellectual and entertaining way. Worth seeing as a comedy, parable and contemporary painting "

"'Hannah and her sisters' is Woody Allen's most successful, because it is the most complex film"


Academy Awards 1987

  • Michael Caine (best supporting role)
  • Dianne Wiest (best female supporting role)
  • Woody Allen (best original script)

In addition, nominations in the categories

  • best movie
  • best director
  • best cut
  • best production image

British Academy Film Award 1987

  • Woody Allen (best director)
  • Woody Allen (best original script)

In addition, nominations in the categories

  • best movie
  • best male actor (Woody Allen)
  • best male actor (Michael Caine)
  • best female actress (Dianne Wiest)
  • best female supporting role (Barbara Hershey)
  • best cut

The German Film and Media Evaluation FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the title valuable.

Audio film

The audio description of the film, produced by ZDF for television broadcasts and spoken by Uta Maria Torp, was nominated for the German Audio Film Award in 2010 .


  • Woody Allen : Hannah and her sisters. Screenplay (Original title: Hannah and Her Sisters , translated by Walle Bengs ). Diogenes, Zurich 1987, ISBN 3-257-21470-7 .
  • 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).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hannah and her sisters. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed August 29, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. Hellmuth Karasek : Three Sisters in Manhattan . In: Der Spiegel . No. 41 , 1986, pp. 231-238 ( online ).
  3. BAFTA Awards 1987 on the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Hannah and her sisters in the Hörfilm database of Hörfilm e. V.
  5. 8th German Audio Film Award 2010