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Manhattan (1979) Woody Allen's perfect blending of comedy, drama and cinematic art remains his towering achievement. That Gordon Willis did not receive even an Oscar nomination for his black-and-white-and-infinite-shades-of-gray cinematography remains one of the academy's unforgiveable sins. So indelibly did Manhattan identify Allen with New York City that for decades fans became virtually unable to accept him working in any other setting.
Everyone Says I Love You (1996) Last year's Midnight in Paris celebrated the literary and cultural allure of Paris, but Allen's underappreciated musical fantasy explores the city as the world capital of l'amour. After all, where else but Paris could Woody Allen and Goldie Hawn — singing and dancing on the banks of the Seine — get your romantic juices going?
Match Point (2005) Allen seemed to find new creative energy working in London — this was the first of three films in a row he made there, a snappy, dangerous thriller that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud. The city's gray skies and colorless architecture make a perfect backdrop for this story of lust, jealousy and cold-blooded murder. That's not exactly something the London tourist office would have in mind, but for Allen, London — with its blood-drenched history lying just below its ever-proper exterior — is just perfect.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) A love triangle involving some very pretty people (Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz) unfolds in one of Europe's loveliest but least-cinematically-explored cities. From the curves of Gaudi's cathedral to the sultry Catalonian countryside, Vicky Cristina Barcelona undulates with sensuality.
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