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This is a great installment. His work is one of my great loves, right up there with San Francisco and my childhood yellow lab. I made my mother watch every single one of his films, and now she's a fan too. She resisted at first BECAUSE of his personal life, but his talent triumphed.

I'm sure that bit in the movie is because of you. My favorite one of those is in Annie Hall, when Marshall what's-his-face appears in line at the movie theater and tells the annoying guy next to Alvy that he hasn't understood a word of his work. I bet there was a REAL person who was the inspiration for that bit. However, he was probably still talking when the movie came out and missed it.

E.C. Henry

Never really got into Woody Allen. But I did enjoy YOUR part in the story.

You gave voice lessons to Dianne Keaton?!? Wow, now that's cool.

As far as meeting Woody for the first time, I think everyone can relate to seeing a hero of yours, trying to say something you think is cleaver and falling on your butt for it.

This was one of your best blogs Billy. Keep up the fine work. I love hearing about any Hollywood experiences you've had.

- E.C. Henry in Bonney Lake, WA

adam pollock

From way down here below the hemline of the known universe, Periphery Man looks awful close to the glowing center, even if only for a cosmic moment. Thanks for a pleasurable entry about a brief moment with a great man.

Clair Lamb

Greaaaaaaat story... thanks! I've been away from this blog too long.


You're welcome, Adam...

And Clair -- glad you liked this -- by all means, stick around!

Just Another Hollywood Guy

What do you think of the Woodman's recent comments that he has NOT influenced ANY writers or directors (or at least not that he's aware of anyway), despite his long film career?

Do you think it's an accurate assessment?


JustAnother: What a great question!

It may be true that Allen hasn't necessarily influenced a specific director in a specific way (with the one huge, hiding-in-plain-sight exception of Rob Reiner, who slavishly borrowed Woody-isms for "When Harry Met Sally," from its titles and music to its NYC locale walk-and-talk shots).

However! "Annie Hall" was HUGELY influential on the entire culture of filmmaking and American television. One can trace the use of "flash-fantasies" -- quick- sketch comedic imaginary flights of fantasy cut into the midst of an otherwise realistic scene -- from "Annie" to literally thousands of movies and TV shows made since 1977; from HBO's "Dream On" to "Six Feet Under" and beyond, in contemporary network shows, in 2000s rom-coms (e.g. "High Fidelity" -- which also uses the protagonist talking directly ot the audience, a technique not merely Woody's, but certainly popularized by him in "Annie") -- et al.

The subject of specific Allen influences beyond the general is intriguing, though, and suggests a blog post -- maybe when the next Woodman movie opens?


great movie and great post


Thank you, Donald. The movie came up in class last night, to note: In 1977, the 17 year-old as Love of His Life? Grudgingly acceptable. Post- Soon Yi debacle, and in our 2011 frame of mind? You would never get away with it in a kazillion years...

Mark Bourne

Years late but no less engrossed, I am loving this series.

As a fellow Woody fan: "The only word for this is transplendent!"

Thanks for all the pleasurable writing.


We spent our Valentines evening ckooing pasta and watching "It Happened one Night", so imagine my surprise when seeing your post! Happy day of love to you!!!

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