- Directed and written by Woody Allen.
- Millions of books written on every conceivable subject by all these great minds and in the end, none of them knows anything more about the big questions of life than I do ... I read Socrates. This guy knocked off little Greek boys. What the hell's he got to teach me? And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we're gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I'll have to sit through the Ice Capades again. It's not worth it. And Freud, another great pessimist. I was in analysis for years and nothing happened. My poor analyst got so frustrated, the guy finally put in a salad bar. Maybe the poets are right. Maybe love is the only answer.
- A week ago I bought a rifle, I went to the store - I bought a rifle! I was gonna, you know, if they told me I had a tumor, I was gonna kill myself. The only thing that might've stopped me - might've - is that my parents would be devastated. I would have to shoot them also, first. And then I have an aunt and uncle - you know - it would've been a blood bath.
- One day about a month ago, I really hit bottom. You know, I just felt that in a Godless universe, I didn't want to go on living. Now I happen to own this rifle, which I loaded, believe it or not, and pressed it to my forehead. And I remember thinking, at the time, I'm gonna kill myself. Then I thought, what if I'm wrong? What if there is a God? I mean, after all, nobody really knows that. But then I thought, no, you know, maybe is not good enough. I want certainty or nothing. And I remember very clearly, the clock was ticking, and I was sitting there frozen with the gun to my head, debating whether to shoot.
[The gun fires accidentally, shattering a mirror] All of a sudden, the gun went off. I had been so tense my finger had squeezed the trigger inadvertently. But I was perspiring so much the gun had slid off my forehead and missed me. And suddenly neighbors were, were pounding on the door, and, and I don't know, the whole scene was just pandemonium. And, uh, you know, I-I-I ran to the door, I-I didn't know what to say. You know, I was-I was embarrassed and confused and my-my-my mind was r-r-racing a mile a minute. And I-I just knew one thing.
I-I-I had to get out of that house, I had to just get out in the fresh air and-and clear my head. And I remember very clearly, I walked the streets. I walked and I walked. I-I didn't know what was going through my mind. It all seemed so violent and un-unreal to me. And I wandered for a long time on the Upper West Side, you know, and-and it must have been hours. You know, my-my feet hurt, my head was-was pounding, and-and I had to sit down. I went into a movie house. I-I didn't know what was playing or anything.
I just, I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and, and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective. And I went upstairs to the balcony, and I sat down, and, you know, the movie was a-a-a film that I'd seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and-and I always, uh, loved it. And, you know, I'm-I'm watching these people up on the screen and I started getting hooked on the film, you know. And I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself. I mean isn't it so stupid? I mean, l-look at all the people up there on the screen. You know, they're real funny, and-and what if the worst is true.
What if there's no God, and you only go around once and that's it. Well, you know, don't you want to be part of the experience? You know, what the hell, it's-it's not all a drag. And I'm thinkin' to myself, geez, I should stop ruining my life - searching for answers I'm never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts. And, you know, after, who knows? I mean, you know, maybe there is something. Nobody really knows. I know, I know maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that's the best we have. And then, I started to sit back, and I actually began to enjoy myself.
- You missed a very dull TV show on Auschwitz. More gruesome film clips, and more puzzled intellectuals declaring their mystification over the systematic murder of millions. The reason they can never answer the question "How could it possibly happen?" is that it's the wrong question. Given what people are, the question is "Why doesn't it happen more often?" Of course it does, in subtler form.
- It's been ages since I sat in front of the TV, just changing channels to find something. You see the whole culture - Nazis, deodorant salesman, wrestlers, beauty contests, the talk show. Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling, hmm? But the worst are the fundamentalist preachers, third-rate con men, telling the poor suckers that watch them that they speak for Jesus and to please send in money. Money, money, money! If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.
- [voiceover, about Lee] God, she's beautiful. She's got the prettiest eyes, and she looks so sexy in that sweater. I just want to be alone with her and hold her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and take care of her. Stop it, you idiot. She's your wife's sister. But I can't help it! I'm consumed by her. It's been months now. I dream about her. I, I, I think about her at the office. Oh, Lee. [sighing] What am I gonna do? I hear myself mooning over you, and it's disgusting. Before, when she squeezed past me in the doorway, and I smelled that perfume on the back of her neck... Jesus, I, I thought I was gonna swoon! Easy. You're a dignified financial advisor. It doesn't look good for you to swoon.
- For all my education, accomplishments and so-called wisdom, I can't fathom my own heart.
- Mickey's Father: How the hell do I know why there were Nazis? I don't know how the can opener works!
- Hannah: [after learning Mickey is infertile] Could you have ruined yourself somehow?
- Mickey: How could I ruin myself?
- Hannah: I don't know. Excessive masturbation?
- Mickey: You gonna start knockin' my hobbies?
- Norma: It's a good thing that we had a talented daughter!
- Evan: I can only hope that she was mine! With you as her mother, her father could be anybody in Actor's Equity!
- Gail: Two months ago, you thought you had a malignant melanoma.
- Mickey: Naturally, I, I- Do you know I- The sudden appearance of a black spot on my back!
- Gail: It was on your shirt!
- Mickey: I- How was I to know? Everyone was pointing back here.
- [Holly and Mickey have just seen a punk band]
- Holly: Don't you just love songs about extra-terrestrial life?
- Mickey: Not if they're sung by extra-terrestrials.
- Barbara Hershey - Lee
- Carrie Fisher - April Knox
- Michael Caine - Elliot
- Mia Farrow - Hannah
- Dianne Wiest - Holly
- Maureen O'Sullivan - Norma
- Lloyd Nolan - Evan
- Max von Sydow - Frederick
- Woody Allen - Mickey
- Lewis Black - Paul
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Mary
- Christian Clemenson - Larry
- Julie Kavner - Gail
- J.T. Walsh - Ed Smythe
- John Turturro - Writer
- Daniel Stern - Dusty
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