Woody Allen doubts his own directing abilities, calls 'Annie Hall' 'okay,' but loves 'Match Point'


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - When Woody Allen saw the finished cut of his movie "Manhattan," says the director of a new PBS "American Masters" show on Allen, "he thought he had blown it so badly it was unreleasable."

Robert Weide, an old colleague of Allen's, talked the reticent Woody into cooperating with the "American Masters" that will run Nov. 20-21.

Weide admitted, however, that big chunks of Allen remain a mystery - like how he assesses his own work.

"Is there anyone who doesn't think 'Manhattan' is a masterpiece?" Weide asked TV critics here. "But Woody went to United Artists and said he'd do his next film for nothing if they would just agree not to release this one."

Allen thinks "Annie Hall" was "okay," Weide said. What does he love? "He really likes 'Purple Rose of Cairo.' He likes 'Bullets Over Broadway,' 'Match Point.'"

And speaking of "Manhattan," Allen's co-star Mariel Hemingway told critics she really doesn't like to address the question of whether Allen's onscreen relationship with her young character in that film foreshadowed his controversial later real-life relationship with Soon-Yi Previn.

"I think [his relationship with Soon-Yi] was detrimental to his career for a while," Hemingway said. "But he just kept making great films" and eventually worked his way past it.

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