Study Guide

Annie Hall Scene 3

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Scene 3

Scene 3

  • Alvy's waiting in front the Beekman movie theater. A doofy, yet slightly intimidating guy thinks he recognizes Alvy from TV. When Alvy finally gives in and says, yeah, he's been on The Tonight Show (think Johnny Carson, not Jimmy Fallon), the guy calls his buddy over and makes a huge scene. Alvy's wicked uncomfortable.
  • Just then, Annie pulls up in a taxi. We think it's safe to assume this is the Annie whom Alvy said he broke up with at the very beginning of the movie. We see what you're up to here, non-linear structure. We see you.
  • Annie grumbles that she's in a bad mood. Alvy says her period must've started. Grow up, Alvy.
  • They've missed the start of the movie, Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face, by two minutes, so Alvy says they can't go in.
  • Why Face to Face? Director and star Woody Allen is a total Bergman fanboy.
  • Alvy suggests they go see The Sorrow and the Pity instead. Annie's already seen it, and doesn't want to sit through a four-hour documentary about Nazis again. Seems like a valid point to us. Still, Alvy won't go in. He has to see a movie exactly from start to finish.
  • Cut to another movie theater. Alvy and Annie are in line and stuck in front of an obnoxious, thoroughly pretentious dude who's going on and on (and on) about movies. Alvy's annoyed, and we can't blame him. This loudly opinionated guy is the worst.
  • Annie says she's bummed because she missed therapy. They're having problems with their sex life. Alvy takes her missing the appointment personally.
  • The bloviating boor behind them just keeps going. He's like the Energizer Bunny of self-importance. When he starts citing the work of famed communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, Alvy's had enough.
  • Who's Marshall McLuhan? He's the godfather of media studies. He might be most famous for his idea that "the medium is the message," which basically states that how the message is delivered is just as important as the message itself. McLuhan died in 1980, but we think it's safe to say that he would've loved Snapchat.
  • Alvy steps out of line and breaks the fourth wall to ask the audience what they do when they're stuck waiting in line with an insufferable windbag like the guy behind him.
  • Then the insufferable windbag pops out of line, too. He also breaks the fourth wall, pleading his case to the audience: It's a free country, and he's entitled to his opinion.
  • Alvy says that's true, but a) he doesn't have to pontificate so loudly; and b) he doesn't know jack about Marshall McLuhan and his philosophy.
  • Windbag says he begs to differ. In fact, he teaches a course on media and culture at Columbia University. So he thinks he knows Marshall McLuhan pretty well, thank you very much.
  • Alvy steps out of frame and returns with Marshall McLuhan himself, who was conveniently chillin' behind some signage in the movie theater lobby. McLuhan tells the pontificating professor that he's doesn't understand his work. Also? He's amazed that anybody would let him teach a class on anything. Professor Bigmouth, you got served.
  • We get a quick cut to the title screen of The Sorrow and the Pity. Sorry, Annie.

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