Woody Allen’s Annie Hall has been named the funniest screenplay of all time, by the Writer’s Guild of America.
In a list of 101 screenplays, the 1977 Oscar-winning romantic comedy – written by Allen and Marshall Brickman - was voted for by thousands of writers, pipping other comedies including Groundhog Day, Airplane! and When Harry Met Sally to the post.
Annie Hall dominated the 1978 Academy Awards, winning best actress (Diane Keaton), best script, best director and best picture.
The film is considered Allen’s signature picture, and follows the relationship between dipsy out-of-towner Annie Hall (Keaton) and neurotic intellectual, Alvy Singer (Allen), in New York.
Six other Allen films were on the list, including: Sleeper (1973), Bananas (1971), Take the Money and Run (1969), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), Love and Death (1975) and Manhattan (1979).
Second on the list is Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, in which musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) disguise themselves as women and join an all-female band, after witnessing a mafia murder.
Released 38 years ago, Annie Hall remains one of the most honest and relatable cinematic portrayals of the highs and lows of love.
The character of Annie is likeable and multi-faceted. We see her develop throughout the film, becoming an independent woman who no longer depends on Alvy’s love to define herself. But more than that, Hall is inherently likeable.
Following the film, her iconic sartorial taste (with costume design by sportswear designer Ralph Lauren) inspired an entire fashion movement.
Speaking about the nomination, Lowell Peterson, executive director of Writers Guild of America East, said: “It’s a combination of Woody’s unique sensibility and his commitment to drama as well as to joke. Annie Hall is the complete screenplay in that sense; it is that sublime intersection between compelling characters, dramatic conflict and great jokes.”
Peterson described the film as a “game changer”, “because the internal lives of these characters became something that could be laughed at in a knowing way, and people could laugh but also recognise themselves in these people.”
You can see the full list of funniest screenplays, here.
Annie Hall's funniest quotes
“There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.” - Alvy
“Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym.” - Alvy
“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.” - Alvy
"I was depressed at that time. I was in analysis. I was suicidal as a matter of fact and would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian, and, if you kill yourself, they make you pay for the sessions you miss."- Alvy
"And I thought of that old joke. This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, 'Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken.' The doctor says, 'Why don't you turn him in?' The guy says, 'I would, but I need the eggs.' Well, I guess that's, now, how I feel about relationships. They're totally irrational, crazy and absurd. But I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs." - Alvy
“That sex was the most fun I’ve ever had without laughing.” - Alvy
"Hey, don't knock masturbation! It's sex with someone I love."- Alvy
"I'm starting to get some feeling back in my jaw" - Alvy
"Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes.” – Alvy
"In California, they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into TV shows." - Alvy
"I don't want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light." – Alvy
“Don't you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here.” - Alvy
"Right now its only a no show, but I think I can get money to turn it into a concept, and then later into an idea." – Party guest
"Yeah, I do. It's for my girlfriend. Make it out to Ralph." - Autograph seeker