Woody Allen's special effects

May 02, 1999|By Tamara Ikenberg

Last week at a Queens, New York auction, fans of filmmaker Woody Allen acquired their own stardust memories. Hundreds of props from his many films were sold off because there was no more room for them in Allen's movie warehouse.

Among the interiors and other treasures purchased were shoes from "Deconstructing Harry," mahogany radio consoles from "Radio Days" and a few gaudy sofas from "Bullets Over Broadway."

Surprisingly, in a time when "Antiques Roadshow" yokels are told their Charo napkins are worth a mint, none of the cinema tchotchkes required astronomical bids. Furniture items went for a paltry $100 apiece, a "Radio Days" console for just $25. And all the proceeds will go to charity.

Perhaps the neurotic new father might have garnered higher prices for props from his personal life. But those are probably too scary to bid on.

Still, should Woody ever be compelled to do more celluloid spring cleaning, here are some possible additions to the auteur's auction block that we'd go bananas over:

* The Brobdingnagian spider from "Annie Hall": The arachnid in Annie's bathroom was big enough for her to call Alvy in the middle of the night to come over and kill it, even though their relationship was on the skids. But we never saw the beast.

* A sperm suit from "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)": The futuristic white uniforms -- as worn by Allen and Burt Reynolds, among others -- would be perfect for a reproduction-themed masquerade ball.

* The soap-bar gun from "Take The Money and Run": Career criminal Virgil Starkwell wasn't banking on the rain shower during his great escape that melted his weapon into a luxurious lather.

* The dictator's detached nose from "Sleeper": In 1973, long before cloning became chic, the DNA from a dead dictator's nose was intended to create him anew. Before the genetic miracle could be performed, the nose got flattened by a steamroller.

And on the other hand, there are some Allen movie memories we'd pay to keep shrouded in shadows and fog:

* Kenneth Branagh's nervous-ticky, nauseatingly bad Woody Allen impression in "Celebrity": Yo, Kenny, stick to iambic pentameter, 'kay?

* Mira Sorvino's grating, declasse voice in "Mighty Aphrodite": We fell in love with the bubbly prostitute's whine for about two minutes ... then it was more like death.

* Any scene in "Manhattan" featuring romantic interludes between Mariel Hemingway and Woody, or from "Husbands and Wives" featuring romantic interludes between Juliette Lewis and Woody: Maybe not crimes, but definitely misdemeanors. And definitely icky.

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