Woody Allen Explains How to Tell Which of His Movies Are Bad

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In an interview with the Telegraph, Woody Allen tells fans how to tell which of his movies are worth their time just from their titles. He explains: "I never title a movie until it's finished because if I look at the film and it's no good I don't like to give it an aggressive title, I give it what I call one of my hiding titles — the kind of title that is low-key and promises nothing, so people are less disappointed by it. But if I feel the film is good, I give it an aggressive, confident title and then hope for the best." To see if this pattern holds up, we’ve gone through his oeuvre and done our best to determine which titles are low-key and which are aggressive.

Our conclusion: It holds up, for the most part. Woody may have been the only person who loved the aggressively titled The Purple Rose of Cairo. But he probably agreed with everyone else (except Quentin Tarantino) that the tentatively titled Anything Else, Another Woman, Melinda and Melinda, Celebrity, and Hollywood Ending were among the worst films of his career.

Aggressive titles:

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Deconstructing Harry (1997)
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
Sleeper (1973)
Bananas (1971)
Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Small Time Crooks (2000)
Manhattan (1979)
Annie Hall (1977)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Zelig (1983)
Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Take the Money and Run (1969)
Cassandra's Dream (2007)


Relatively low-key titles:
Shadows and Fog (1991)
Alice (1990)
Match Point (2005)
Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Radio Days (1987)
Scoop (2006)
September (1987)
Stardust Memories (1980)
Love and Death (1975)
Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
Interiors (1978)
Another Woman (1988)
Hollywood Ending (2002)
Melinda and Melinda (2004)
Anything Else (2003)
Celebrity (1998)
Whatever Works (2008)

Woody Allen Interview [Telegraph UK]