Famed director Woody Allen is known for directing one movie a year, which leaves little time for him to take on roles in front of the camera outside of his own works. Surprisingly he found a bit of time in his busy schedule to play a role in John Turturro’s (“Transformers”) upcoming film “Fading Gigolo.”
This upcoming comedy film, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall, has Woody Allen unexpectedly playing a bookseller turned pimp.
While Woody Allen has appeared in many films in a cameo role, he has only officially acted in a handful of feature films that he didn’t direct, according to data acquired from IMDB. Take a look at some of them below.
“What's New Pussycat” (1965)
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“What’s New Pussycat?” was Woody Allen’s on-screen debut and first produced screenplay. The film follows Michael James (Peter O’Toole), a notorious womanizer who enlists the help of Dr. Fritz Fassbender (Peter Sellers) after he realizes that his ways are affecting his relationship with his fiancée Carole Werner (Romy Schneider). British filmmaker Clive Donner (“The Caretaker”) directed “What’s New Pussycat."
While Allen didn’t direct this film, he was nominated for a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for “Best Screen Comedy.”
“Casino Royale” (1967)
This comedy spoof featured not one but five directors, including John Huston (“The Maltese Falcon”), Ken Hughes (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”), Joseph McGrath (“The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It”), Robert Parrish (“Cry Danger”) and Val Guest (“The Day the Earth Caught Fire”), who was also responsible for putting this mishmash of a film together. After “M” is murdered, James Bond comes out of retirement to take on SMERSH, a Soviet counterintelligence agency in the Bond universe. To confused SMERSH, MI6, the British intelligence agency orders all secret agents use the name James Bond, which lends to the film’s tagline “’Casino Royale’ is too much for one James Bond.”
“Play it again, Sam” (1972)
Herbert Ross (“Footloose”) directs this 1972 film with Woody Allen playing Allan, a film critic that attempts to get over his wife leaving him, with the encouragement of his best friend and his wife. Allan draws much of his inspiration from “Casablanca’s” Rick Blaine as played by Humphrey Bogart. The film received a warm reception by critics and audiences alike, with a 97 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Front” (1976)
Woody Allen plays Howard Prince, a restaurant cashier who poses as a writer to pass along scripts from writers blacklisted by Hollywood for allegedly being Communist sympathizers. This dramatic comedy was directed by Martin Ritt (“Nuts”) and was received with mixed reviews by critics. Fifteen years would pass before Woody Allen would play another prominent role in another director’s film.
“Scenes from a Mall” (1991)
Bette Midler (“Hocus Pocus”) stars with Woody Allen in this comedy directed by Paul Mazursky (“Down and Out in Beverly Hills”). Allen plays a husband who admits in a mall to his wife (Midler) of 16 years, that he had an affair. The film was widely panned by critics with a 33 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Sunshine Boys” (1996)
This made-for-TV movie has Woody Allen and Peter Falk (“The Princess Bride”) playing two aging comedians who parted ways years ago, who try to overcome their differences for a potentially lucrative comeback. Director John Erman directed this television remake of the 1972 Tony-winning play.
“Antz” was a 1998 computer animated film directed by Eric Darnell (“Madagasgar”) featuring the voices of several well-known actors including Sharon Stone (“Basic Instinct”), Jennifer Lopez (“Maid in Manhattan”), Dan Aykroyd (“Ghostbusters”), Gene Hackman (”Enemy of the State”) and Woody Allen. The plot follows Z (Woody Allen), a worker ant who tries to break out of the mundane life of an ant, while also falling for Bala (Sharon Stone), a princess ant. This animated film was postively received by critics.
“Picking Up The Pieces” (2000)
“Woody Allen starred in this film, where a small New Mexican village discovers a severed hand that they believe is a miracle from God, when it actually belongs to a wife murdered by her husband, played by Woody Allen. Mexican actor and director, Alfonso Arau (“A Walk in the Clouds”) directed this relatively unknown comedy film.
Aside from these films, Woody Allen hasn’t really appeared in films outside of his own other than in cameo appearances in films such as “Company Man.”