DVD - 2001
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This spoof of documentary films stars Woody Allen as Leonard Zelig, the famous "Chameleon Man" of the 1920's, whose personality was so vague he would assume the characteristics of whomever he came into contact with. Filmed in black-and-white, the movie simulates the look of a newsreel, complete with stentorian narration.
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment, [2001]
ISBN: 9780792851301
Branch Call Number: DVD ZELIG
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (79 min.) : sound, black and white with color sequences ; 4 3/4 in
Language Note: English language soundtrack (mono) with optional subtitles in English, French and Spanish ; closed-captioned in English for the hearing impaired


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🎬 A brilliant film, and I'll just say that the idea is so good it was stolen for "Forrest Gump," adding sentimentality and an oldies soundtrack to bring in the chumps. Except that Zelig's personality changes to match the people around him, but Gump is so bland he might as well have no personality.

Aug 27, 2017

Allen’s preposterous pack of lies is told with a perfectly straight face by a cast of legitimate talking heads (Susan Sontag, Saul Bellow, Irving Howe) and given further credibility through grainy newsreel “cameos” from the likes of Fanny Brice, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Adolph Hitler—the latter throwing a hissy fit when Zelig, in Nazi drag, ruins a perfectly good Polish joke. An intricate blend of fancy and reality which seamlessly melds staged and archival footage (Allen actually used antique cameras and microphones for the Zelig bits) to produce a dry little comedy. It’s a one-joke production but with a running time of only eighty minutes the punchline doesn't have a chance to get stale.

May 30, 2013

Fascinating to watch.

Billed as re-enactment including some archive footage of the actual life story of Leonard Zelig.

Yet it all seems too weird to believe.

As a final incredulity, the possiblity that a plane just grabbed off an airfield in Germany would have enough gas on board to fly across the atlantic challenges credibility

I'd like to get a second opinion.

I want to trust Woody Allen but also cannot understand why I have never heard the name before.


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