Duke & The Movies

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Written by: Sam Fragoso on June 4, 2011

June 4, 2011 | 14 comments | Featured, Old Format

Woody Allen vs. Spike Lee

The Battle of Directors

My pal CS from the great blog, Big Thoughts From A Small Mind has recently created a game called “What’s Better”. Every once in a while he’ll pick two directors, actors, or actress and stack them against each other. This past Thursday, for example, was Michael Mann vs. Brian De Palma – and in the comment sections people debated who they thought was a better, more proficient director.

No worries, I already advised CS that I planned on using this idea and harnessing the post, into my own. If all goes well I’ll post a new matchup once a week. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Today’s matchup: Woody Allen vs. Spike Lee

Woody Allen

10 Sample Pictures:

Hannah and Her Sisters

Bullets Over Broadway

Annie Hall

Crimes and Misdemeanors


Sweet and Lowdown

Match Point

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Midnight In Paris


Spike Lee

10 Sample Pictures:

Do The Right Thing

She’s Gotta Have It

Malcolm X

Jungle Fever

Mo’ Better Blues


Inside Man

He Got Game

The 25th Hour

Summer of Sam

Now that I’ve gone over both of the resumes of Woody Allen and Spike Lee – you decide. Which prolific director do you prefer? Did I miss any crucial films on the list’s mentioned above? Leave your comments below, I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a good Saturday everyone.

Be safe, make good choices.


There are 14 comments for this post.

  1. James Ward on June 4, 2011 1:32 pm

    For the breadth and amazing output in his career, it’s Woody Allen by a long shot. Spike Lee has made some amazing films, though. Perhaps in 20 years we can do a fair comparison.

  2. Duke on June 4, 2011 5:25 pm

    Allen will only keeping making them. One film a year is crazy.

    Lee on the other hand hasn’t made a film since “Inside Man” … or at least one that can be found.

  3. Tom Clift on June 4, 2011 5:45 pm

    These two guys represent pretty big holes in my filmic knowledge actually. I’ve only seen a handful of their films (INSIDE MAN and DO THE RIGHT THING from Lee, MANHATTAN and VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA from Allen). Based on those, it’s a pretty difficult call. So instead, I pick Martin Scorsese. The New York connection is a pretty big part of all three of these men’s careers, and like Lee and Allen, Scorsese gives the streets of the city real personality.

  4. Duke on June 4, 2011 5:59 pm

    Sly move Tom :D

    I haven’t seen all of their films either. For Lee, check out “The 25th Hour” it’s amazing. I need to see “Malcolm X”

    For Woody Allen – “Hannah and Her Sisters” & “Match Point” are great. I need to see “Annie Hall”

    Thanks for stopping by Tom :D

  5. Andrew Buckle on June 4, 2011 10:15 pm

    I gotta go with Woody here, though, like Tom, I haven’t seen many from either director. For Lee, Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X are fantastic, but He Got Game was terrible. You keep raving about The 25th Hour so I should give it a go. For Woody, Annie Hall is a masterpiece, and Match Point and Vicky Cristina were impressive recent projects. Tough call, but I prefer Woody.

  6. Duke on June 4, 2011 10:41 pm

    I haven’t seen “Annie Hall” – have you seen “Manhattan” or “Hannah and Her Sisters”?

    “Do The Right Thing” is good, a tad overrated.

    Please see “The 25th Hour” – it’s amazing.

    Thanks for reading.

  7. Andrew Buckle on June 5, 2011 6:42 am

    I have not seen Manhattan or Hannah and her Sisters. I think there is plenty of great Woody Allen I am yet to see. While I think I have seen most of Lee’s best work (with the exception of The 25th Hour). Hence my leanings towards Woody.

  8. Duke on June 5, 2011 12:41 pm

    I need to see “Malcom X” from Lee and “Annie Hall” form Allen..

    I too would lean towards Allen.

  9. blah blah blah toby on June 5, 2011 7:41 pm

    It’s not even close really Duke. For simplicity, the effect that Allen’s films has had on cinema as a whole means he would beat most people in this kind of matchup, he literally broke ground that Lee began to tread 20 years later. Just picking 10 films for that resume must’ve been difficult with the sheer volume of his output whereas i bet you would’ve struggled to find 10 Spike Lee movies that could compare?

    Having said that Lee is a fine film maker, Right Thing, 25th Hour, Summer of Sam, Inside Man are all extremely well made and on top of that are highly enjoyable to watch.

  10. Duke on June 5, 2011 7:44 pm

    I know plenty of people who despise Allen’s work, same goes for Lee.

    They both seem to be polarizing directors – with intricate outlooks on modern day society.

    Thanks for reading.

  11. CS on June 7, 2011 6:52 pm

    Although I love Spike Lee, I have to go with Woody Allen on this one. Woody has had a ridiculous string of great films (e.g. Manhattan, Hannah and her Sisters, Annie Hall, Match etc.) that out weight his bad ones. Lee has made some great films as well but Allen wins on the pure volume of stellar titles.

  12. Duke on June 7, 2011 10:28 pm

    Very true. Allen puts out a new film practically every year.

  13. Colin on June 9, 2011 2:36 pm

    A good matchup. Lee comes out, all guns blazing, and lands some killer early punches (DtRT, Jungle Fever, etc) but runs out of steam (Bamboozled, yuk!). Allen, meanwhile, is solid and steady, making occasional scoring jabs. He, too, tires (like, from 1991 onwards) but scored enough early to win by TKO.

  14. Duke on June 9, 2011 3:50 pm

    Nice analysis.

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