101 Funniest Screenplays

Allen employed a great framing device to establish the tone and plot: The movie opens on four Ed Sullivan Show-era comedians at the Carnegie Deli, reminiscing about a colorful talent manager named Danny Rose, whose acts ranged from a flock of parakeets pecking at a piano to an Italian nightclub singer with a Mob-connected girlfriend, played by Mia Farrow. The latter provides the engine for the story-within-the story. Allen was coming off of Stardust Memories and Zelig when Broadway Danny Rose was released. With its archetypal Catskills-era characters and nostalgia for a vanished era in show business (the film was shot by Gordon Willis in black and white), Broadway Danny Rose could be considered a precursor to other comedies he made during the 1980s and ’90s, including Radio Days, The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Bullets Over Broadway.