7.4/10
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Deconstructing Harry (1997)

R | | Comedy | 2 January 1998 (USA)
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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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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)
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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 »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

2 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Meanest Man in the World  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$356,476 (USA) (12 December 1997)

Gross:

$10,569,071 (USA) (6 March 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Joan confronts Harry about his affair with her patient, she uses the word "fuck" and its derivatives 15 times. See more »

Goofs

In Harry's line "I once almost ran over a book critic..." the word "book" doesn't match his lips; "book" is dubbed over what looks to be "film." See more »

Quotes

Harry Block: Tradition is the illusion of permanence.
Doris: You have no values. Your whole life, it's nihilism, it's cynicism, it's sarcasm and your orgasm.
Harry Block: You know in France, I could run on that slogan and win.
See more »

Connections

References Husbands and Wives (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Out of Nowhere
(1931)
Music by Johnny Green (as John W. Green)
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
Performed by Django Reinhardt
Courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
Allen's most underrated film
4 August 2001 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

It isn't as lovable as "Annie Hall" or "Hannah and Her Sisters," and it's not as overtly philosophical as "Crimes and Misdemeanors." And that's probably why "Deconstructing Harry" is underrated by film/Allen fans. Still, it ranks among the Top 5 Allen films. Woody plays a Philip Roth-like fiction writer who is lecherous, unlikable, and disloyal; in dropping his "cute loser" shtick, the performance rings with more honesty than he's had in years. In a nod to Bergman's "Wild Strawberries," Allen's character has a chance to reflect on his life as he travels to a university for an honor. Memories mix with scenes this writer's fiction, providing opportunities for the large and excellent ensemble cast. Many of Allen's later films seem tired, but the neurotic jumpiness he brings to "Deconstructing Harry" reinjects energy into his work. If you loved "Husbands and Wives," try this. I rate it 9.


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