best film: The Godfather is an easy choice for almost every actress in film history but it’s a surprisingly tough one for Keaton with not only the sequel, The Godfather Part II, but Annie Hall and Manhattan with Woody at the end of the 70’s.  Still though, it’s Coppola’s 1972 crime opus that lands, ultimately, as Keaton’s best film. And although she’s nowhere near as essential to the film as Pacino or Brando of course, her scenes are absolutely key and how about that ending? It’s perfection.

best performance:  Annie Hall and it’s a wide margin despite how good she’s been over the course of her career. She’s the titular character in Annie Hall of course and her transformation carries the film. Woody is consistent, very funny, and his is a great performance and character. But it’s Keaton who hands down gives the best performance in the film. She sings (and not only sings but sings with vulnerability), is awkward, charming, and authentic.

stylistic innovations/traits: I don’t have an archiveable film with Keaton in it since 1993 which is an incredibly long time (25 years at the time I’m writing) but her work from 72-93 holds up so well it’s good enough to keep her in the top 12 actresses of all-time. Keaton has many strengths. For starters, she’s in 4 of the top 58 films of all-time. That is hard to fathom. Nobody- not even the best 10 actresses of all-time- can come close to that. Keaton’s resume has many levels. She has The Godfather films. Again, she’s not central but she is absolutely crucial scenes in the first two film (think about the blow up with her and Pacino in Godfather Part II). She has the broader comedies with Woody like Sleeper and Love and Death and the more mature performances and work like Annie of course, Interiors and Manhattan. She’s like Shirley MacLaine or Katharine Hepburn with her ability to do both comedy and drama. Also, I think her work in Reds is important to show that she’s much more than just the fortune person to be a co-collaborator with Coppola and Woody at some of their creative peaks.

directors worked with: Woody Allen (7) and Francis Ford Coppola (3).  She has 13 total archiveable films for Keaton and 11 were in collaboration with Woody (didn’t direct Play it Again, Sam) or Coppola. ‘

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Annie Hall
  2. The Godfather, Part II
  3. Love and Death
  4. Reds
  5. Manhattan

Archiveable films

1972- Play It Again, Sam
1972- The Godfather
1973- Sleeper
1974- The Godfather, Part II
1975- Love and Death
1977- Annie Hall
1978- Interiors
1979- Manhattan
1981- Reds
1982- Shoot the Moon
1987- Radio Days
1990- The Godfather Part III
1993- Manhattan Murder Mystery