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Deconstructing Harry (1997)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 30,836 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 127 user | 104 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.

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Title: Deconstructing Harry (1997)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Janet (as Stephanie Roth)
Dan Frazer ...
Joel Leffert ...
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Ken
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Yankee Announcer (voice)
Jane Hoffman ...
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Annette Arnold ...
Frederick Rolf ...
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Lortensia Hayes ...
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Storyline

Harry Block is a well-regarded novelist whose tendency to thinly-veil his own experiences in his work, as well as his un-apologetic attitude and his proclivity for pills and whores, has left him with three ex-wives that hate him. As he is about to be honored for his writing by the college that expelled him, he faces writer's block and the impending marriage of his latest flame to a writer friend. As scenes from his stories and novels pass and interact with him, Harry faces the people whose lives he has affected - wives, lovers, his son, his sister. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Harry Block has written a best seller... bout his best friends... he revealed their deepest secrets... and they're not pleased... now Harry Block is going to Hell... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Meanest Man in the World  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 948,872 (Germany) (22 May 1998)

Gross:

DEM 1,795,078 (Germany) (29 May 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max Chalawsky supposedly played Mendel Birnbaum in this film, but he was not seen anywhere in the print. See more »

Quotes

Harry Block: [referring to Cookie] She's got a PhD, this girl.
Doris: Really?
[Sarcastically]
Doris: I don't know how she did on her written, but I'm sure she got an A on her orals!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in King of the Hill: De-Kahnstructing Henry (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Christopher Columbus
(1936)
Music by Leon Berry
Lyrics by Andy Razaf
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

One of Allen's Best
8 November 2002 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Just as I've found a newfound appreciation for Elvis Costello, I've likewise opened my heart to Woody Allen (my New Year's resolution: be nicer to nerdy art-types). I even saw Deconstructing Harry twice, (after which I read a Woody Allen collection of short pieces and rented both Bananas and Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex). Hey, what can I say – I thought The Purple Rose Of Cairo might've been a fluke, but I guess I'm just a Woody Allen fan now.

Deconstructing Harry is laugh-out-loud funny, tracing the steps of Harry Block, a neurotic, foul-mouthed, Jewish, self-hating, pill-popping, womanizing alcoholic (three wives and six therapists later) that oddly enough, resembles Woody Allen and his own life (give or take a few things). Block has (giggle) writer's block, and can't write about his life. As a result, he becomes `unfocused,' entangling himself in fact and fiction (i.e. he interacts with his own characters). `You expect the world to adjust to the distortion you've become,' Harry's analyst tells him. What follows is a series of skits that interact with the past and present and the real and imagined – it's kind of like watching a Kurt Vonnegut story edited by Quentin Tarentino.

The all-star cast is phenomenal: Robin Williams is hilarious, Kirstie Alley is hysterically funny, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is super-sexy and Elizabeth Shue is as sweet as sugar. Billy Crystal even pulls off a good role as the Devil. But other than the characterization, Woody's new flick is witty, cold-hearted, extremely vulgar, often tasteless and perfectly profane with enough catch-lines to keep film buffs cracking for years (`I always keep a little hooker money around'). Hannah And Her Sisters this ain't!


44 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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