Broadway Danny Rose
Film poster
Directed byWoody Allen
Written byWoody Allen
Produced byRobert Greenhut
CinematographyGordon Willis
Edited bySusan E. Morse
Distributed byOrion Pictures
Release date
  • January 27, 1984 (1984-01-27)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million
Box office$10,600,497

Broadway Danny Rose is a 1984 American black-and-white comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. It follows a hapless theatrical agent who, by helping a client, gets dragged into a love triangle involving the mob. The film stars Allen as the titular character, as well as Mia Farrow and Nick Apollo Forte.

Broadway Danny Rose was screened out of competition at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival[1] and received positive reviews from critics. It is considered one of Allen's stronger efforts, being praised particularly for Farrow's performance.


The story of Danny Rose (Woody Allen) is told in flashback, an anecdote shared amongst a group of comedians over lunch at New York's Carnegie Deli.

Rose's one-man talent agency represents countless unorthodox, unsuccessful entertainers, including washed-up lounge lizard Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte), whose career is on the rebound. While shown to be willing to hire almost anyone, Danny is also shown to work extremely hard for his acts—often catering to almost every one of their needs, both personal and professional. On those rare occasions any of Danny's acts do succeed, they invariably leave him for more professional representation.

Lou, who has a wife and three kids, is having an affair with a woman, Tina (Mia Farrow), who had previously dated a gangster (a man still in love with her). Lou wants her to accompany him to a big gig Danny has landed for him at the Waldorf Astoria, where he will perform in front of Milton Berle, who could potentially hire him for even bigger things.

At the singer's insistence, Danny acts as a "beard," masquerading as Tina's boyfriend to divert attention from the affair. Tina's ex-boyfriend is extremely jealous, and believing Tina's relationship with Danny to be real, he orders a hit on Danny, who finds himself in danger of losing both his client and his life. The ex-boyfriend's brothers find Danny and Tina and hold them in an abandoned warehouse.

Danny and Tina narrowly escape as Danny, at gunpoint, reveals that Tina's real boyfriend is a talentless nightclub performer. According to Danny, the boyfriend is on a cruise, making him temporarily safe. While the gangsters search for the supposed boyfriend, Danny and Tina manage to escape. They eventually arrive at the Waldorf, only to find Lou drunk and unprepared for his performance. Using a unique concoction he has developed over the years, Danny sobers up Lou. As a result, Lou delivers an outstanding performance, after which he tells Danny that he plans to sign with a more professional manager. Tina, having previously urged Lou to drop Danny, refuses to speak up on Danny's behalf despite their experiences together.

Danny, feeling cheated, goes to the Carnegie Deli where he hears that the performer, he "ratted on" to save himself was beaten up by the hit men (the cruise had been cancelled) and is now in the hospital. Danny goes to the hospital to console his client and pays his hospital bills.

Lou, who has left his wife and kids to marry Tina, becomes a success. Tina, feeling guilty for not sticking up for Danny, is depressed and they eventually split up. It is now Thanksgiving and Danny is hosting a party with all of his clients there. Tina shows up to the door and apologizes, asking Danny to remember his uncle Sidney's motto, "acceptance, forgiveness, and love." At first Danny turns Tina away, but later catches up with her and they appear to make up. During this closing shot, the voiceover of the group of comedians telling the story is heard. They praise Danny, and say that he was eventually awarded Broadway's highest honor: a sandwich at the Carnegie Deli was named after him.


Steve Rossi claimed he was offered the Lou Canova role but Allen reneged when Allen was told that the film would be known as an Allen and Rossi film.[2] Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone both turned down the role.[3]



Box office

Broadway Danny Rose opened on January 27, 1984 in 109 North American theatres, grossing $953,794 ($8,750 per screen) in its opening weekend. When it expanded to 613 theatres on February 17, its results were less impressive - $2,083,455 on the weekend ($3,398 per screen). Its total domestic gross was $10,600,497, off an $8 million budget.[5]

Critical response

Broadway Danny Rose received a very positive reception from critics. It holds a 100% positive "Fresh" rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews, with a weighted average of 8.10/10. The site's consensus reads: "Woody Allen's hard-working, uphill-climbing Broadway talent agent is rendered memorably with equal parts absurdity and affection."[6]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film three and a half stars out of four, praising Allen, Forte, and Farrow, whom he described as "the real treasure among the performances."[7] Janet Maslin of The New York Times described Danny Rose as "one of the funniest and most touching characters Mr. Allen has yet created" and added, "Broadway Danny Rose [...] proceeds so sweetly and so illogically that it seems to have been spun, not constructed."[8] Time Out praised the combination of style and substance, stating, "The jokes are firmly embedded in plot and characterisation, and the film, shot by Gordon Willis in harsh black-and-white, looks terrific; but what makes it work so well is the unsentimental warmth pervading every frame."[9]

In a 2016 poll of Time Out contributors, Broadway Danny Rose was ranked Allen's sixth greatest film, with editor Joshua Rothkopf praising "Mia Farrow's brassy Italian ballbuster, a wild transformation you’ll never forget."[10] Sam Fragoso of IndieWire also lauded Farrow's "wonderfully out-of-type performance" and listed the work as a highlight of Allen's career.[11] The Daily Telegraph film critics Robbie Collin and Tim Robey named it the director's ninth best effort, praising Farrow's acting and writing for making the film's titular character "one of Woody’s most snugly tailored roles: instantly funny, a little sad, and right up at the most endearing end of the characters he’s played."[12]

In October 2013, Broadway Danny Rose was voted by Guardian readers as the fifth best film directed by Allen.[13]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Award Category Subject Result
Academy Awards Best Director Woody Allen Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Original Screenplay Won[14]
David di Donatello Award Best Foreign Screenplay Won
Best Foreign Actress Mia Farrow Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Nominated
WGA Awards Best Original Screenplay Woody Allen Won


Home media

Broadway Danny Rose was released through MGM Home Entertainment on DVD on November 6, 2001. A limited edition Blu-ray of 3,000 units was released by Twilight Time on April 8, 2014.[15]


Actor Alec Baldwin has discussed how he has, with some degree of regularity, "hosted parties where the only activity is just watching Broadway Danny Rose together".[16]

Safdie Brothers have both mentioned it as among their favorite films.[17]

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel episode "The Testi-Roastial" (2023) was inspired by this film.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Broadway Danny Rose". Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  2. ^ BattleMN. "An Interview with Steve Rossi - Part One". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  3. ^ Eila Mell (6 January 2005). Casting Might-Have-Beens: A Film by Film Directory of Actors Considered for Roles Given to Others. McFarland. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-0-7864-2017-9. Archived from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  4. ^ Harvey, Adam (2007). The Soundtracks of Woody Allen. US: Macfarland & Company,Inc. p. 31. ISBN 9780786429684.
  5. ^ "Broadway Danny Rose (1984) - Box Office Mojo". Archived from the original on 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
  6. ^ "Broadway Danny Rose". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1984). "Broadway Danny Rose". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (January 27, 1984). "Woody Allen's 'Broadway Danny Rose'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  9. ^ "Broadway Danny Rose". Time Out. 1984. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  10. ^ "The best Woody Allen movies of all time". Time Out. March 24, 2016. Archived from the original on May 29, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Fragoso, Sam (July 25, 2014). "Here Are Woody Allen's Best Movies". IndieWire. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ Collin, Robbie; Robey, Tim (October 12, 2016). "All 47 Woody Allen movies - ranked from worst to best". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  13. ^ "The 10 best Woody Allen films". The Guardian. October 4, 2013. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  14. ^ "Broadway Danny Rose". 2 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2021-02-15. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  15. ^ "Broadway Danny Rose (1984) (Blu-Ray)". Screen Archives Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  16. ^ "On a Zoom Call with Woody Allen | Here's the Thing". WNYC Studios. Archived from the original on 2021-02-01. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  17. ^ "The Safdies' Favorite Movies: 20 Films Josh and Benny Want You to See". IndieWire. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  18. ^ "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Pays a Clever Homage to Woody Allen's Best Movie". Starfacts. Retrieved May 27, 2023.