Ranking Woody Allen's Movie Titles


Yesterday’s news that Woody Allen’s latest – long one of those maddening “currently untitled” productions – had finally earned its own title was perhaps unintentionally hilarious, simply because it’s one of the most “Woody Allen” titles the auteur has saddled a film with yet. “Magic in the Moonlight.” Can you stand it? It’s like a bad children’s’ book, or even a grocery aisle Fabio-featuring romance novel. Or, well, like a very Woody Allen title. At the very least, it’s quite in tune with his latest batch of films, films like “Midnight in Paris,” “Blue Jasmine,” and “To Rome With Love,” though it lacks the pop of “Manhattan Murder Mystery” or “Broadway Danny Rose” or even a classic like “What’s New Pussycat.”

No, “Magic in the Moonlight” isn’t a great film title, but it is a great Woody Allen film title. But is it the very best? To determine its comparative greatness in the face of forty-nine other Allen-penned and/or –directed features, we turn to a wholly unscientific ranking system.

(We've also ranked all of Woody Allen's films. You can read that list here).

48. “Bananas”

Allen’s first single word title is also his worst.

47. “Melinda and Melinda”

Because “Sliding Doors” was taken?

46. “Cassandra’s Dream”

A nightmare.

45. “Another Woman”

He wasn’t even trying here, was he?

44. “Zelig”

Not every Allen character deserves to have a film named after them, even when it’s in the spirit of a faux documentary.

43. “September”

A stunning run of unimaginative titles just keeps going (yes, it feels like we’ve been going through them for a month by now).

42. “Alice”

Alice the character may be rich (in more ways than one), but this is just bland.

41. “Stardust Memories”

Misty, water-colored?

40. “Anything Else” (tied with) “Whatever Works”

Simply too interchangeable. Remind me which one starred Jason Biggs?

39. “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy”

Too on-the-nose.

38. “Magic in the Moonlight”

Unless this film is actually about magic, this one is has some serious explaining to do.

37. “Interiors”

There’s some interior designer out there who tells everyone this is her favorite movie, and she’s never seen it (and never will).

36. “To Rome with Love”

Sounds like a bad rom-com.

35. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Ensuring that the older side of your family will never, ever be able to properly say the actual name of this film.

34. “Shadows and Fog”

Clearly meant to be evocative, it’s pretty hard to see through.

33. “Midnight in Paris”

Would only have been more obvious if Owen Wilson’s character was also, somehow, weirdly named “Paris.”

32. “Blue Jasmine”

Her name is Jasmine. She’s blue. We get it.

31. “Meeting Woody Allen”

Could be the title of every Woody Allen film.

30. “New York Stories”

Could be the title of most Woody Allen films.

29. “Celebrity”

Could just as easily been called “People.”

28. “Small Time Crooks”

Big time boring.

27. “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion”

Originally meant to be an “Indiana Jones” film (not true).

26. “Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You”

Talk about a remake name without any bite.

25. “Sleeper”

No, no, the title itself isn’t great – but there’s some clever wordplay here (cryostasis! Spies!), so it gets instant elevation.

24. “Deconstructing Harry”

Sounds messy.

23. “Match Point”

A twisty, sexy thriller about a former tennis pro? Come on, it might as well have been called “Love Means Nothing.”

22. “Love and Death”

The first of Allen’s unofficial “Xxx and Xxx” series, it’s also the most heavy-handed and forgettable.

21. “The Purple Rose of Cairo”

There is no one named “Purple Rose” in this film.

20. “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”

Admit it, it intrigued you.

19. “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”

We’d be willing to give the edge to Allen’s 1966 directorial debut, simply because it uses proper punctuation, but it still lacks the pop of “What’s New Pussycat?” And, to be fair, Tom Jones never wrote a song about tiger lilies. Instant downgrade.

18. “Crimes and Misdemeanors”

Finally, the “and” series gets some spice!

17. “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask”

It’s a mouthful, but it’s certainly effective.

16. “Radio Days”

Ranks high purely because it’s feels good to say – those repeated hard “ehs” are a winner every time.

15. “Scoop”


14. “Hollywood Ending”

Not really Allen’s thing, actually, and we like that.

13. “Mighty Aphrodite”

Oh, you try rhyming the name of a classic Greek goddess.

12. “Sweet and Lowdown”

Basically nonsense, yet still brilliant.

11. “Bullets Over Broadway”

It just sounds fun – and the film involves both bullets and Broadway.

10. “Husbands and Wives”

Only Allen could make this one work.

9. “Everyone Says I Love You”


8. “Play It Again, Sam”

If Humphrey Bogart appears via apparition in your film, you have to name it “Play It Again, Sam.” There’s a contract and everything.

7. “Annie Hall”

Allen’s best character is fully deserving of her own eponymous film title (unlike some of them, sorry, Alice).

6. “Take the Money and Run”

This only got better when Steve Miller Band wrote a song with the same name seven years later. It will be instantly bumped down this list if Allen ever names a film “Your Cash Ain’t Nothing But Trash,” “Jet Airliner,” or “Bongo Bongo” as a thank you.

5. “What’s New Pussycat?”

The film was reportedly titled “What’s New Pussycat?” because that’s how one-time star Warren Beatty answer his own phone – what more could you possibly want in a title?

4. “Hannah and Her Sisters”

It’s somehow both very informative and willfully obtuse.

3. “Broadway Danny Rose”

It rolls off the tongue and gives us both character and place.

2. “Manhattan Murder Mystery”

The most deliciously alliterative of all of Allen’s titles, it’s an enduring classic and very nearly his best.

1. “Manhattan”

It could be no other way.