Friday, April 20, 2012

Woody Allen: Annie Hall in Draft Form, Take One

On the way to San Antonio, I had the great delight of stopping in at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. My original intention was to examine some casual photographs revolving around American poet Anne Sexton (1928-1974) and Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola (1920-1997), but I became so absorbed in reading an entire untitled script for what evolved into Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman's shooting script for Annie Hall (1977) that I'll have to save the first two treats for a return visit.

First, the Harry Ransom Center has a beautiful interior that showcases a lot of interesting things around its spaces, items ranging from a photograph of Turkish horse cavalry in the snow by David Douglas Duncan to a manual typewriter employed by novelist John Fowles. I looked around while a courteous member of the staff retrieved a box from the Woody Allen collection acquired in 2005. (For more on its Scope and Contents, here's a link:

Once the items were delivered for pickup, I devoted my time to reading and taking notes and, much of the time I'll admit, quietly laughing in response to the dialogue. Officially, I was exploring "UNTITLED FILM SCRIPT" dated April 15, 1976. It includes 120 typescript pages with two appended scenes, white and light Carolina blue sheets of paper bound in red leather. Fascinating. It would appear as if certain pages were updated and inserted. And there are some fun inconsistencies. At times, Alvy's (the Woody Allen character) friend Rob (played by Tony Roberts in the completed film) is named Rob, and at other points, Roberts. Usually, Rob/Roberts calls Alvy by a nickname (Max, as in the movie), but at least at one point (page 53), Alvy refers to Rob as Max. This is just a small taste -- there's a whole lot more to underscore about the creative process. Once I sort through my notes, I'll post a bit more on my findings.

In thanks to the staff of the Harry Ransom Center; also in appreciation of Woody Allen and Marshall Birckman; and, of course, for the joy of Annie Hall

Today's Rune: Partnership.           


Charles Gramlich said...

I've been in the Ransom center. Amazing stuff. I did some research there back after Katrina.

jodi said...

Erik, Annie Hall was my first real taste of Woody Allen-and I loved it. Saw it with a date (who hated it) and then dragged my sister back and laughed even harder with her. Sounds like life is good. Yay!