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Discussion before

Woody Allen created one of his sweetest films when he based the character of a downtrodden show business manager named Danny Rose on his own manager and producer, Jack Rollins. Danny will do anything for his clients, so he ends up pretending to be the boyfriend of lounge singer Lou Canova’s (Nick Apollo Forte) mistress (Mia Farrow) so she can attend his comeback performance. Allen loved giving Farrow roles she had been told she could never play, so he went wildly against type by casting her as a brassy Italian mob widow, with spectacular results. This little black-and-white fable has a lived-in-feeling, thanks greatly to the contributions of Juliet Taylor, Allen’s casting director for four decades. She helped him find the perfect match for Danny’s assemblage of oddball clients—a one-legged tap dancer, a balloon sculptor and a blind xylophone player. Taylor also helped Allen put together some great comics from the 1950s, including Corbett Monica and Jackie Gayle, to narrate the film by swapping Danny Rose stories at the Carnegie Deli. Although the famed restaurant had to close down for two days to accommodate filming, the managers were so thrilled that they named a sandwich after Danny, among the few times they ever named one for a fictional character. (d. Woody Allen, 84m, 35mm)

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