Set in the 1920s and 1930s, the film focuses on Leonard Zelig, a nondescript man who has the ability to transform his appearance to that of the people who surround him. He is observed at a party by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who notices that while mingling with the guests, Zelig sings the praises of the affluent classes in a refined, snobbish accent, but while in the kitchen with the servants, he seethes with rage at the fat cats in a thick proletarian voice. He soon gains international fame as a "human chameleon". Dr. Eudora Fletcher (Mia Farrow) is a psychiatrist who wants to help Zelig with this strange disorder when he is admitted to her hospital.[1] Through the use of hypnotism, she discovers Zelig yearns for approval so strongly he physically changes to fit in with those around him. Dr. Fletcher's determination allows her to cure Zelig, but not without complications; she lifts Zelig's self-esteem but much too high and thus he temporarily develops a personality which is violently intolerant of other people's opinions. Dr. Fletcher realizes she is falling in love with Zelig. Because of the media coverage of the case, both patient and doctor become part of the popular culture of their time. However, fame is the main cause of their division; the same society that made Zelig a hero destroys him. Zelig's illness returns, and he tries to fit in once more. Numerous women claim he married them, and he disappears. Dr. Fletcher finds him in Germany working with the Nazis before the outbreak of World War II. Together they escape and return to America, where they are proclaimed heroes (after Zelig, using his ability to imitate one more time, mimics Fletcher's piloting skills and flies back home across the Atlantic upside down).

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Zelig (1983)

PG

Comedy · 1h 19m · 7/15/1983

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Description

Set in the 1920s and 1930s, the film focuses on Leonard Zelig, a nondescript man who has the ability to transform his appearance to that of the people who surround him. He is observed at a party by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who notices that while mingling with the guests, Zelig sings the praises of the affluent classes in a refined, snobbish accent, but while in the kitchen with the servants, he seethes with rage at the fat cats in a thick proletarian voice. He soon gains international fame as a "human chameleon". Dr. Eudora Fletcher (Mia Farrow) is a psychiatrist who wants to help Zelig with this strange disorder when he is admitted to her hospital.[1] Through the use of hypnotism, she discovers Zelig yearns for approval so strongly he physically changes to fit in with those around him. Dr. Fletcher's determination allows her to cure Zelig, but not without complications; she lifts Zelig's self-esteem but much too high and thus he temporarily develops a personality which is violently intolerant of other people's opinions. Dr. Fletcher realizes she is falling in love with Zelig. Because of the media coverage of the case, both patient and doctor become part of the popular culture of their time. However, fame is the main cause of their division; the same society that made Zelig a hero destroys him. Zelig's illness returns, and he tries to fit in once more. Numerous women claim he married them, and he disappears. Dr. Fletcher finds him in Germany working with the Nazis before the outbreak of World War II. Together they escape and return to America, where they are proclaimed heroes (after Zelig, using his ability to imitate one more time, mimics Fletcher's piloting skills and flies back home across the Atlantic upside down).

Where to Watch

Status

Released

Languages

English, German

Country

United States

Production Companies

Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions, Orion Pictures Corporation

Revenue

$11,798,616
Part Of
Cast
Person Photo

Woody Allen

Leonard Zelig
Person Photo

Mia Farrow

Dr. Eudora Nesbitt Fletcher
Person Photo

Patrick Horgan

The Narrator (voice)
Person Photo

John Buckwalter

Dr. Sindell
Person Photo

Marvin Chatinover

Glandular Diagnosis Doctor
Person Photo

Stanley Swerdlow

Mexican Food Doctor
Person Photo

Paul Nevens

Dr. Birsky
Person Photo

Howard Erskine

Hypodermic Doctor
Person Photo

George Hamlin

Experimental Drugs Doctor
Person Photo

Ralph Bell

Other Doctor
Person Photo

Richard Whiting

Other Doctor
Person Photo

Will Hussong

Other Doctor
Person Photo

Robert Iglesia

Man in Barber Chair
Person Photo

Eli Resnick

Man in Park
Person Photo

Edward McPhillips

Scotsman
Person Photo

Gale Hansen

Freshman #1
Person Photo

Michael Jeter

Freshman #2 (as Michael Jeeter)
Person Photo

Peter McRobbie

Workers Rally Speaker
Person Photo

Sol Lomita

Martin Geist
Person Photo

Mary Louise Wilson

Sister Ruth
Person Photo

Alice Beardsley

Telephone Operator
Person Photo

Paula Trueman

Woman on Telephone
Person Photo

Ed Lane

Man on Telephone
Person Photo

Marianne Tatum

Actress Fletcher
Person Photo

Charles Denny

Actor Doctor (as Charles Denney)
Person Photo

Michael Kell

Actor Koslow
Person Photo

Garrett M. Brown

Actor Zelig (as Garrett Brown)
Person Photo

Sharon Ferrol-Young

Miss Baker (as Sharon Ferrol)
Person Photo

Richard Litt

Charles Koslow
Person Photo

Dimitri Vassilopoulos

Martinez
Person Photo

John Rothman

Paul Deghuee
Person Photo

Stephanie Farrow

Meryl Fletcher
Person Photo

Francis Beggins

City Hall Speaker
Person Photo

Jean Trowbridge

Dr. Fletcher's Mother
Person Photo

Ken Chapin

On-Camera Interviewer
Person Photo

Gerald Klein

Hearst Guest
Person Photo

Vincent Jerosa

Hearst Guest
Person Photo

Deborah Rush

Lita Fox
Person Photo

Stanley Simmonds

Lita's Lawyer
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Robert Berger

Zelig's Lawyer
Person Photo

Jeanine Jackson

Helen Gray
Person Photo

Erma Campbell

Zelig's Wife
Person Photo

Anton Marco

Wrist Victim
Person Photo

Louise Deitch

House-Painting Victim
Person Photo

Bernice Dowis

Vilification Woman
Person Photo

John Doumanian

Greek Waiter
Person Photo

Willy Holt

Rally Chancellor
Person Photo

Bernie Herold

Carter Dean
Person Photo

Susan Sontag

Herself - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Irving Howe

Himself - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Saul Bellow

Himself - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Bricktop

Herself - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Bruno Bettelheim

Himself - Contemporary Interviews (as Dr. Bruno Bettelheim)
Person Photo

John Morton Blum

Himself - Contemporary Interviews (as Professor John Morton Blum)
Person Photo

Marshall Coles Sr.

Calvin Turner - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Ellen Garrison

Older Dr. Fletcher - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Jack Cannon

Mike Geibell - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Theodore R. Smits

Ted Bierbauer - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Sherman Loud

Older Paul Deghuee - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Elizabeth Rothschild

Older Sister Meryl Fletcher - Contemporary Interviews
Person Photo

Kuno Sponholz

Oswald Pohl - Contemporary Interviews (as Kuno Spunholz)
Person Photo

Ed Herlihy

Pathe News Announcer (voice)
Person Photo

Dwight Weist

Hearst Metrotone Announcer (voice)
Person Photo

Gordon Gould

Radio Announcer (voice)
Person Photo

Wendell Craig

Universal Newsreel Announcer (voice) (as Windy Craig)
Person Photo

Jurgen Kuehn

German U.F.A. Newsreel Announcer (voice)
Person Photo

Max Amann

Himself (with Hitler and Streicher) (archive footage) (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Person Photo

Arthur Anderson

Other Doctor (uncredited)
Person Photo

Josephine Baker

Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Michael Blevins

Lizard Dancer (uncredited)
Person Photo

Fanny Brice

Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Wilhelm Brückner

Himself - Walking Behind Hitler (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Al Capone

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Charles Chaplin

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Calvin Coolidge

Himself - Pinning Medal (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Marion Davies

Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Dolores del Rio

Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Sepp Dietrich

Himself - with Hitler and Streicher (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Joe DiMaggio

Himself - Playing Baseball (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Marie Dressler

Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Lou Gehrig

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Josef Goebbels

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Hermann Göring

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Harold 'Red' Grange

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

William Randolph Hearst

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Rudolf Hess

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Adolf Hitler

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Elizabeth Kaitan

German Girl (uncredited)
Person Photo

Robert Ley

Himself - with Goebbels (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Charles A. Lindbergh

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Carole Lombard

Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Adolphe Menjou

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Tom Mix

Himself - At San Simeon (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Franz Pfeffer von Salomon

Himself with Hitler and Streicher (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Mae Questel

voice of Helen Kane (uncredited)
Person Photo

Billy Rose

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Babe Ruth

Himself - Swinging Bat (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Julius Schaub

Himself - Walking Behind Hitler (archive footage) (uncredited)
Person Photo

Gregor Strasser

Himself - with Back to Hitler (archive footage) (uncredited)
Crew
Person Photo

Woody Allen

Director
Person Photo

Woody Allen

Writer
Person Photo

Susan E. Morse

Editor
Person Photo

Gordon Willis

Cinematograpy
Person Photo

Robert Greenhut

Producer
Disc Releases
Disc Title Front Cover

Zelig

(DVD, Keep Case (Std.))

11/6/2001

Disc Title Front Cover

Zelig

(DVD, Keep Case (Std.))

11/6/2001

Disc Title Front Cover

Zelig

(Blu-ray)

9/27/2022

Disc Title Front Cover

Zelig

(Blu-ray, Keep Case (HD Slim, Low))

8/16/2016

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