Woody Allen’s ANHEDONIA On DVD!
Yes, the first cut of ANHEDONIA — which was later retitled ANNIE HALL — will be released on DVD later this year in a special two-disc set according to the mad geniuses at Criterion. I have been longing most of my film life to see this fabled two and a half hour version that resembled 8 1/2 more than the “nervous romance” that was unveiled to critical and audience huzzahs in 1977. Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman’s original cut features scenes and characters deleted from the final release, including the “intellectuals versus Knicks” basketball game; a guided journey through Hell (later re-used in DECONSTRUCTING HARRY (2002); Danny Aiello’s brawl in a deli; Shelly Duvall and Woody in a Garden Of Eden sequence; and the scene I’ve been longing for, a black & white sci-fi parody called INVASION OF THE ELEMENT, with Woody’s parents nervous about a black family moving into their neighborhood.
Editor Ralph Rosenblum apparently made one negative from the first cut and stowed it away for posterity, not even telling Woody Allen, who was merciless as Kubrick with deleted footage. Strangely, almost the entire set of lobby cards issued for ANNIE HALL contain only shots from this first cut! More details to come, and I’m hoping down the road we can have a whole new disc of deleted Woody footage, including Michael Keaton’s scenes in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO before he was replaced by Jeff Daniels. After all, we need these eggs. For more information, click here.