Sharpen your filmic wits with this "Annie Hall" quiz.
By: Olivia Cantor
Image: United Artists
About This Quiz
It’s probably not the usual template for a romantic comedy, but Woody Allen’s 1977 opus, "Annie Hall," is classified as such, even though it had many innovations, film-wise, that are not used in traditional romantic or comedy films. Well, that’s amazing Allen for ya! Let’s see how you know your Woody films!
In an unusual way to open a Hollywood film, director Woody Allen — portraying his character, Alvy, in the film — does this technique.
Woody Allen made a lot of innovations in this film, especially when it came to traditional Hollywood storytelling conventions, like talking directly to the audience. The man sure did break many rules in his life!
Where does the film’s story largely take place?
Of course, a Woody Allen film is primarily set in New York. The majority of his films are set here.
Woody Allen plays the eccentric lead character, Alvy Singer. For the opening monologue of the film, he reveals his recent romantic status. What was it?
Alvy reveals in his monologue that he recently broke up with his girlfriend. They had many issues, which will later be apparent through flashbacks.
Alvy traces the start of some adult dilemmas from his childhood days growing up during a certain wartime era. Which war was this?
Alvy apparently has lots of issues growing up in Brooklyn during World War II. It’s not exactly clear what his problems have in connection with the war, but what the hey, he wants to mention it just the same!
The young Alvy wanted to stop functioning when he was a boy, ever since he learned this “scary” cosmic fact in science class.
When a young Alvy learned that the universe is expanding, he thought it was useless to do anything, like study or something. His theory? That if the universe expands, it will eventually explode, so what’s the point of existing. Smart kid, eh.
In Coney Island, young Alvy’s father worked as an operator of this wheeled theme park ride.
Alvy’s father is a bumper car operator. Thus, he also gets to ride in bumper cars whenever he wants to. Cool!
As an older Alvy recalls whatever happened to his young schoolmates, he reveals that he himself pursued this career.
Alvy reveals that he ended up as a comedian. And he’s so good at it, even when he’s not working!
When Alvy was waiting outside the street one day, a passerby asks whether he appears on television. When asked what his name is, Alvy gave this Hollywood actor’s name instead of his own.
Alvy mentioned to the passerby that indeed, he appears on television once in a while. He introduced himself as Robert Redford.
Which famous TV talk show indeed guests Alvy once in a while?
Alvy appears as a stand-up comedian sometimes on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." Hence, he is indeed recognizable to fans of late-night TV.
Alvy meets the equally quirky Annie Hall one day while playing this sport with his friend.
Through his best friend, Rob, Alvy met Annie Hall. They played tennis doubles.
Which Hollywood leading lady portrayed the quirky Annie Hall?
Diane Keaton won an Academy Award for portraying Annie Hall. It is said that this role was written by Allen specifically with her in mind.
What’s the top choice activity of Alvy and Annie during their date nights?
Alvy and Annie like watching movies for their date nights. However, Alvy doesn’t want to miss the movie’s beginning, even if they just missed less than five minutes of it.
Aside from talking directly to the camera to address the audience, Alvy sometimes talks to these people to get opinions about his current dilemma.
Alvy sometimes approaches random passersby on the streets and asks for on-the-spot opinions. This is yet another quirky filmmaking technique for Allen.
Alvy’s relationship with his ex-wife, Alison, didn’t last because of many things, like he was using a certain US president’s assassination as an excuse not to have sex. Which president was this?
Alvy and Alison realized that he was using his brain cells, obsessing about JFK’s assassination conspiracy theories, rather than having sex. That’s definitely a buzz kill!
Alvy was miffed one time when they were waiting in line for a movie since a film critic kept on lambasting a certain Italian film director. Do you remember which director he was lambasting?
There’s nothing worse than waiting in line for a film than hearing a film critic-wannabe lambasting the great Italian filmmaker, Federico Fellini, or so Alvy thought. This is one time we see Alvy display his academically intellectual snob persona.
Too brainy it hurts: As Alvy tried to explain to Annie why he was upset about the Federico Fellini lambasting, he pulled another famous media personality onscreen, Marshall McLuhan. But McLuhan is more familiar to which kind of community?
Communications theorist and academician, Marshall McLuhan, was game enough to appear in Woody Allen’s film as himself. Aside from being familiar to the academic community, filmmakers know him due to his famous line, “The medium is the message,” and other theories on mass media forms, like film.
Perhaps to show off his shallow and funny side, Alvy had a queasy episode with Annie about cooking this kind of sea creature.
A scene in the movie depicted Alvy as queasy when trying to cook lobsters with Annie. Sometimes, seemingly simple moments like this work for the both of them.
Trading stories: Annie once shared with Alvy that her great love was this guy who worked as one of these.
Annie seems to fall in love with guys who are in the entertainment sector. She cites an actor as one of her greatest loves, which Alvy finds hard to believe.
In yet another way to be innovative, Woody Allen, the director, put these things whenever Alvy and Annie would talk but are not honestly speaking their mind.
Whenever Alvy and Annie had double talk time — meaning they won’t say what’s really on their mind — we can read their thoughts in their respective subtitles below the screen. This strategy has now been widely mimicked by other filmmakers on film and TV.
Annie apparently had this kind of performing talent, as Alvy discovered.
Annie apparently sings in a club sometimes. She invited Alvy one night to watch her perform, and the girl can sing!
Blink or you’ll miss it: When we were introduced to Annie’s family, this brother of hers was portrayed by one of Hollywood’s veteran actors. Which actor was this?
Christopher Walken portrayed Annie Hall's the geeky-looking brother. Aside from him, the film had other notable cameos.
Alvy was happy that he and Annie were having sex. However, he got irritated upon realizing that she can’t have sex with him without doing this first.
Alvy finally realized that Annie needed to get high before they have sex. This brings out some insecure feelings from him, of course.
Since Alvy seems so intelligent and advanced, Annie developed this type of insecurity.
Annie once blurted out “I'm not smart enough.” This is in reaction to Alvy nudging her to expand her horizons academically.
To brush off her insecurity, Alvy encouraged Annie to enroll in one of these.
Alvy continues to encourage Annie to take up some college courses in her spare time. This is for her own good, he says.
What kind of car did Annie Hall have?
The quirky Annie Hall would be perfect to own a cute Volkswagen car during the 1970s, a time when it was very popular to have one. It was also known as “The Beetle,” because it looks like one.
When Annie and Alvy broke up, he tried to figure out what went wrong. In the process, he even stepped into this classic Disney animated film and became a character in it!
In yet another quirky filmmaking process, Alvy became an animated character and entered the film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." He was discussing his dilemma with the Evil Queen, who gave snide remarks.
Even if they’ve broken up, Annie still found time to call Alvy at 3 a.m., to ask help in killing this kind of house creature.
Only people with special connections could call each other at 3 a.m. to ask the other to kill a spider in the bathroom. Alvy actually had a girl in the room when Annie called!
A split screen is when the movie screen is divided into two and each frame is showing a different scene. It wasn’t very common then to use this technique in films, but Allen used this to depict which particular scene?
The therapy split screen scene was a stroke of genius with Allen, as he showed how both Alvy and Annie dealt with their feelings during their respective sessions. It’s like an easy compare-and-contrast scene, which shows us the huge difference in their personalities.
A record producer named Tony Lacey was so impressed with Annie’s singing, that he first invited her to a party and later to record a demo. Which real-life singer portrayed Tony?
Paul Simon played the cool-cat producer named Tony Lacey. It wasn’t clear if he invited Annie because of her looks or talent, but he asked anyway.
In a cool cat-type laidback party, the bumbling Alvy ended up in a room where people were preparing to shoot some cocaine. What did he do?
The ever-bumbling and fidgety Alvy was observing some cool people lining up some coke to snort. But it irritated his nose and he sneezed through it, blowing the stash away.
As part of moving on, Annie accepted a chance to discover her musical talent and went to another state to take an offer. Where did she go?
If you want to be a singer, like Annie, you head on to California. Los Angeles is full of entertainment people who could help.
Another pre-stardom appearance: This "Jurassic Park" and "The Fly" actor had a small one-liner appearance in the California party scene. Who was it?
Jeff Goldblum was the tall guy talking on the phone during the party scene. His line was “I forgot my mantra."
Alvy decided to fly to Los Angeles to convince Annie to marry him and move back to New York. During which holiday of the year did he fly?
Alvy was visibly uncomfortable being in Los Angeles, much less being in California during Christmas season. But that’s how much he wanted Annie back. But he got turned down.
Before she appeared in "The Shining," this actress appeared in "Annie Hall" as the hippie-like journalist Alvy dated. Who was this woman?
Shelley Duvall played the hare krishna-following journalist Alvy dated prior to meeting Annie Hall. Aside from her iconic role in "The Shining," she also portrayed Olive Oyl in "Popeye."
Back in New York, the film ends with Alvy writing some material featuring his life with Annie Hall. In what form did this material materialize?
Alvy wrote a play featuring his real-life conversations with Annie. However, this time, he rewrote the ending and made it a happy one. New Yorkers can dream alright.
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