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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 wrote a bestseller about his best friends. Now, his best friends are about to become his worst enemies. 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)
 »

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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

The film opened the 1997 Venice Film Festival. 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: [to a suffering damned soul in Hell] What did you do?
Damned Man: I invented aluminum siding.
See more »

Connections

References The Seventh Seal (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Twisted
(1952)
Music by Wardell Gray
Lyrics by Annie Ross
Performed by Annie Ross
Courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
See more »

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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!


46 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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