Irrational Man

Synopsis: A new philosophy professor arrives on a small town campus near Newport, Rhode Island. His name, Abe Lucas. His reputation : bad. Abe is said to be a womanizer and an alcoholic. But what people do not know is that he is a disillusioned idealist. Since he has become aware of his inability to change the world, he has indeed been living in a state of deep nihilism and arrogant desperation. In class, he only goes through the motions and outside he drinks too much. But as far as sex is concerned, he is just a shadow of himself now: depression is not synonymous with Viagra! For all that, he can't help being attracted to one of his students, pretty and bright Jill Pollard. He enters into a relationship with her which remains platonic, even if Jill would not say no to more. The situation remains unchanged for a while until, one day, in a diner, Abe and Jill surprise a conversation that will change the course of their lives dramatically...
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Woody Allen
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min


Kant said human reason is troubled by

questions that it cannot dismiss,

but also cannot answer.

Okay, so, what are we talking about here?

Morality? Choice?

The randomness of life?

Aesthetics? Murder?

I think Abe was crazy

from the beginning.

Was it from stress? Was it anger?

Was he disgusted by what he saw

as life's never-ending suffering?

Or was he simply bored

by the meaninglessness

of day-to-day existence?

He was so damn interesting.

And different.

And a good talker.

And he could always

cloud the issue with words.

Where to begin?

You know, the existentialists

feel nothing happens

until you hit absolute rock bottom.

Well, let's say that when I went

to teach at Braylin College,

emotionally, I was at Zabriskie Point.

Of course, my reputation,

or should I say a reputation, preceded me.

I hear Abe Lucas is gonna be

joinin' the faculty this summer.


That should put some Viagra

into the philosophy department.

He's this really interesting guy,

but he looks totally wasted.

I kind of like the burned-out look, though.

Oh, my God, me too.

Well, yeah, and he has affairs

with some of his students, I heard.

- Really?

- Yeah, like full... Yeah.

Abe Lucas is teaching

my Ethical Strategies class

for summer session.

- Have you read any of his papers?

- Mmm-hmm.

He's very radical.

Very original.

You either love him or hate him, really.

Faye Cohen knows someone who knows him,

but she says, he had a serious depression

when his wife left him.

The story is,

she ran off with his best friend.


'Cause, actually,

what I heard through the rumor mill

was he had a breakdown

when his best friend was killed.

He was a TV crew guy in Iraq

and he got beheaded.

Isn't that gruesome if it's true?

Jesus, I haven't even met the guy yet,

and I'm already jealous.


I love that you're jealous.

That makes me feel desired.

Oh, God, you don't have to worry.

Everybody on campus desires you.

- Oh, come on.

- But I have you.

I don't know, suddenly the thought of you

coming under the spell

of some charismatic professor...

Oh, God, you don't have to worry.

I'm under your spell.

Good. Let's keep it that way.

- Yeah?

- Mmm-hmm.

Excuse me.

Uh, do you know where Jessup Hall is?

Yes, Jessup Hall is that building

over there, the red one.

Uh-huh, all right.

Thank you.

Doctor Reed?

- Oh.

- Professor Lucas.

- Professor Lucas, welcome to Braylin.

- Thank you.

- Are you okay?

- Yes.

- I'm sure you've had a long trip.

- Mmm-hmm. It was, yeah.

- Well, um...

- Thank you.

We've just concluded our spring semester,

and summer's always very active at Braylin.


We're all very happy to have you here

in the philosophy department.

Mmm, thank you.

This is it.

Now, the faculty housing

is pretty much spread out,

but, you know, everything you can get to.

It's within walking distance of the campus.

And you're really gonna like Newport.

It's beautiful here, but it gets

a little crowded in the summer.

That can be a drag.

It's a small house,

but it's really comfortable.

Um, right over here is the living room,

and there's a little kitchen that way.

And there's a little dining room

right next to that.


This way.

Bathroom to the right.

And this is the bedroom.

It's small, but really comfortable.

And there's an office over there.

I think you'll really love

the philosophy department, you know?

It's in this old,

beautiful part of the campus.

And there's a more modern wing,

that's got state-of-the-art

stuff for science,

and computer technology,

if you're into that.

Oh, and if you want to go away,

we're just 45 minutes from Providence.

Thank you.

Do you want a drink?

Oh, no! God, no.

There's a little cocktail reception

to welcome you at 6:00.

You know, I have to tell you,

I loved your essay on situational ethics.

Oh, I'm glad you liked it.

It caused a little, uh, static

with the philosophy department at Adair.

- This is my husband, Paul.

- Hey, how you doin'?

- This is Abe Lucas, philosophy department.

- Good to meet you.

- Yeah.

- How you doin' on that?

I'd like another one, please.

- What is it?

- Vodka martini, extra olives.

- Anything for you?

- Sure, I'll have another.

- Uh, scotch?

- Mmm-hmm.

- Okay.

- Thank you.

I'm Rita Richards.

It's so good to have you here.

Hey, if you're ever bored

and you want someone to give you

the real lowdown of

who's f***ing who at this college,

just let me know.

So, Kant would argue

that in a truly moral world,

there is absolutely no room for lying.

And even the smallest lie

destroys his precious

categorical imperative.

So, Kant would say,

if a killer came to your house,

looking to kill the man hiding upstairs

and asked where he was,

you'd be obliged to tell him.

In his perfect world,

you know, you couldn't lie.

Yeah, I can see the logic

that if you open the door,

even just a crack,

you accept a world where

lying is permitted.


Okay, then, then you'd say

if the Nazis came to your house,

hiding Anne Frank and her family,

and asked if anyone

was in the attic, you'd say,

"Ja, the Franks are upstairs."

I doubt it.

Because there's a difference between

a theoretical world of philosophy bullshit,

and real life, you know?

Real, nasty, ugly life

that includes greed,

and hate, and genocide.


if you learn nothing else from me,

Rate this script:3.4 / 5 votes

Woody Allen

Heywood "Woody" Allen is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, and playwright, whose career spans more than six decades. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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