IMDb > Deconstructing Harry (1997)
Deconstructing Harry
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Deconstructing Harry (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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Writer (WGA):
Woody Allen (written by)
View company contact information for Deconstructing Harry on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 January 1998 (USA) See more »
Harry Block wrote a bestseller about his best friends. Now, his best friends are about to become his worst enemies. See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Profane Woody See more (128 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Judy Davis ... Lucy

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Leslie

Stephanie Roth Haberle ... Janet (as Stephanie Roth)
Dan Frazer ... Janet's Dad
Joel Leffert ... Norman

Lynn Cohen ... Janet's Mom

Richard Benjamin ... Ken

Joe Buck ... Yankee Announcer (voice)
Jane Hoffman ... Grandma

Woody Allen ... Harry Block

Tobey Maguire ... Harvey Stern
Annette Arnold ... Rosalee
Frederick Rolf ... Harvey's Doctor

Elisabeth Kieselstein-Cord ... Rosalee's Sister
Lortensia Hayes ... Jennifer
Alicia Meer ... Woman in Shoestore

Victoria Hale ... Woman in Shoestore
Irving Metzman ... Shoe Salesman

Sunny Chae ... Lily Chang
Ralph Pope ... Death

Robert Harper ... Harry's Doctor

Tony Darrow ... Camera Operator

Jonathan LaPaglia ... First Assistant Cameraperson

Jeff Mazzola ... Second Assistant Cameraperson
Timothy Jerome ... Director
Peter Castellotti ... Crew Member (as Pete Castellotti)

Robin Williams ... Mel

Judy Bauerlein ... Actress
Joseph P. Reidy ... First Assistant Director (as Joseph Reidy)
Phyllis Burdoe ... Script Supervisor / Harry's Character

Julie Kavner ... Grace
Barbara Hollander ... Mel's Daughter

Adam Rose ... Mel's Son
David S. Howard ... Mel's Doctor

Kirstie Alley ... Joan

Eric Lloyd ... Hilly

Mariel Hemingway ... Beth Kramer
Amanda Barudin ... Beth Kramer's Daughter

Demi Moore ... Helen

Stanley Tucci ... Paul Epstein
Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo ... Baby Hilly
Floyd Resnick ... Israeli Patient

Bob Balaban ... Richard
Brian McConnachie ... Dr. Reese

Elisabeth Shue ... Fay

Peter Jacobson ... Goldberg
Tracey Lynne Miller ... Goldberg's Girlfriend

Hazelle Goodman ... Cookie

Amy Irving ... Jane

Jennifer Garner ... Woman in Elevator

Caroline Aaron ... Doris

Eric Bogosian ... Burt
Irwin Charone ... Bar Mitzvah Host
Hy Anzell ... Max
Shifra Lerer ... Dolly
John Doumanian ... Bar Mitzvah Guest
Alexa Aronson ... Bar Mitzvah Guest

Kenneth Edelson ... Bar Mitzvah Guest
Viola Harris ... Elsie
Si Picker ... Wolf Fishbein
Howard Spiegel ... Mr. Farber

Billy Crystal ... Larry / The Devil
Eugene Troobnick ... Professor Wiggins
Scotty Bloch ... Ms. Paley
Ray Aranha ... Professor Aranha

Paul Giamatti ... Professor Abbott
Marvin Chatinover ... Professor Cole
Daniel Wolf ... Professor Wolf
Waltrudis Buck ... Dean of Adair University

Philip Bosco ... Professor Clark

Arden Myrin ... Student Mary
Daisy Prince ... Elevator Voice (voice)

Peter McRobbie ... Damned Man
Gene Saks ... Harry's Father

Dan Moran ... Devil
Ray Garvey ... Policeman on Campus
Linda Perri ... Policewoman on Campus

Tony Sirico ... Policeman at Jail
Jerry Bruno ... Electric Bass: Stebbins Hall Band
Ray Cohen ... Piano: Stebbins Hall Band
Michael Manishor ... Piano: Stebbins Hall Band
Dave Stettner ... Trumpet: Stebbins Hall Band
Sid Jenkowsky ... Saxophone & Clarinet: Stebbins Hall Band
Bobby Shankin ... Drums: Stebbins Hall Band
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Max Chalawsky ... Mendel Birnbaum (scenes deleted)
Dana Eshghi ... Student on Campus
Mitchell Bloom ... Bar Mitzvah Guest (uncredited)

Vernon Campbell ... Guard (uncredited)

Brett Glazer ... Student (uncredited)

Katie Piel ... Student #2 (uncredited)

Tim Realbuto ... Boy at Bar Mitzvah (uncredited)
David Sontag ... Satan's Helper (uncredited)

Todd Stockman ... Father (uncredited)

Matilda Szydagis ... College Student (uncredited)

Jovanna Vitiello ... Actress (uncredited)

Directed by
Woody Allen 
Writing credits
Woody Allen (written by)

Produced by
Letty Aronson .... co-executive producer
J.E. Beaucaire .... executive producer
Richard Brick .... co-producer
Jean Doumanian .... producer
Charles H. Joffe .... co-executive producer
Jack Rollins .... co-executive producer
Cinematography by
Carlo Di Palma (director of photography) (as Carlo DiPalma)
Film Editing by
Susan E. Morse 
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Santo Loquasto 
Art Direction by
Tom Warren 
Set Decoration by
Susan Kaufman 
Elaine O'Donnell 
Costume Design by
Suzy Benzinger 
Makeup Department
Margot Boccia .... makeup
Romaine Greene .... hair
Peggy Nicholson .... hair
Rosemary Zurlo .... makeup (as Rosemarie Zurlo)
Linda Lazar .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Charles Darby .... production manager
Linda Saffire .... post production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stacey Beneville .... dga trainee
Richard Patrick .... first assistant director
Lisa M. Rowe .... second assistant director
Art Department
Frank Didio .... head carpenter
Peter Gelfman .... property master
Daniel K. Grosso .... set dresser
Vincent Guarriello .... chief construction grip
Glenn Lloyd .... art department coordinator
Ron Petagna .... construction coordinator
Cliff Schorr .... standby scenic artist
James Sorice .... master scenic artist
Mark Bachman .... principal signwriter (uncredited)
Daniel Fisher .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Beth Kuhn .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Eric Lewin .... set dresser (uncredited)
Christopher G. Markunas .... carpenter (uncredited)
Ronnie Petagna .... carpenter (uncredited)
Brett Pransky .... art crew (uncredited)
Sound Department
Nancy Allen .... assistant sound editor
Kam Chan .... foley editor
Benjamin Cheah .... assistant sound editor (as Ben Cheah)
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (as Marko Costanzo)
Lee Dichter .... re-recording mixer: Sound One Corp.
Robert Hein .... supervising sound editor (as Bob Hein)
Bradford L. Hohle .... sound consultant: Dolby
Toussaint Kotright .... cable man
Les Lazarowitz .... production sound mixer
Sylvia Menno .... dialogue editor
Anthony Ortiz .... boom operator
Bruce Pross .... foley supervisor
David Wahnon .... assistant sound editor
Dustin DuPilka .... assistant foley artist (uncredited)
V.B. Paravati .... dailies transfer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Bill Hansard .... projected fx: HEI
John Ottesen .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Katharine Baird .... digital roto artist: ILM (as Katherine C. Baird)
Cathy Burrow .... digital roto artist: ILM (as Cathy M. Burrow)
Tami Carter .... digital rotoscope artist: ILM
Camille Geier .... visual effects producer: ILM (as Camille Pirolo Geier)
Greg Hyman .... visual effects editor: ILM
Janet Lewin .... visual effects coordinator: ILM
Greg Maloney .... digital compositor: ILM
Terry Molatore .... lead roto artist: ILM (as Terry Sittig-Molatore)
Dennis Muren .... creative advisor: ILM
Joshua Pines .... scanning supervisor: ILM
Thomas Rosseter .... visual effects supervisor: ILM (as Tom Rosseter)
Kenneth Smith .... digital timing supervisor: ILM
Camera and Electrical Department
David E. Baron .... second assistant cameraperson (as David Baron)
John Clifford .... still photographer
Jack Coffen .... best boy electric
Edward J. Egan III .... best boy grip
Michael Green .... camera operator
A. Lee Morris .... camera trainee
Gary Muller .... first assistant cameraperson
Michael Proscia Jr. .... gaffer
Robert Ward .... key grip (as Bob Ward)
Deborah Brozina .... second assistant camera: re-shoots (uncredited)
Howard J. Cournoyer .... moving light operator (uncredited)
Chris Hammond .... electrician (uncredited)
Wayne Paull .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Phillip Todd .... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Fleet Emerson .... extras casting: Sylvia Fay Casting
Patricia Kerrigan DiCerto .... casting associate (as Patricia Kerrigan)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lars Andersen .... assistant costume designer
Patrick Chevillot .... assistant costume designer
Kevin P. Faherty .... wardrobe supervisor (as Kevin Faherty)
Juliet Ouyoung .... assistant costume designer
Melissa Stanton .... wardrobe supervisor
Debra Tennenbaum .... assistant costume designer
Mitchell Bloom .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
Rosemary Lepre .... costume assistant (uncredited)
Kay Michaels .... costume dyer (uncredited)
Roseann Milano .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Jamal El-Amin .... apprentice editor
William Kruzykowski .... assistant film editor
Mark Livolsi .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Carmel Malin .... musicians coordinator
Jill Meyers .... music clearances
Transportation Department
Edward Iacobelli .... transportation captain (as Ed 'Ack' Iacobelli)
Other crew
Jenn Blais .... set production assistant
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
David DiCerto .... assistant: to Mr. Brick
Drew Dillard .... location manager
Bronwen Epstein .... assistant production coordinator
Joe Facey .... craft service
Michael P. Fox .... production secretary
Lauren Gibson .... assistant: to Mr. Allen (as Lauren Gibson Chapin)
Ken Halsband .... location scout (as Kenneth Halsband)
Shell Hecht .... production coordinator
Diane Howells .... location assistant
Pietro Lorino Jr. .... assistant production auditor
John Mingalone .... set production assistant
Andy Muller .... set production assistant
Murphy Occhino .... set production assistant
Justin Reinsilber .... location assistant
Shea Rowan .... set production assistant
Marcy Shaffer .... location assistant
Joan Stein .... producing intern
Carl Turnquest Jr. .... projectionist
Craig Ulmschneider .... set production assistant
Steven Weisberg .... office assistant
Kathy Welch .... production auditor
Tom Yeager .... location scout (as Thomas Yeager)
Joseph Zolfo .... location scout
Eric Kopeloff .... assistant: Ms. Morse (uncredited)
Michelle Rouhani .... production assistant (uncredited)
Jeremy Strong .... production intern (uncredited)
Eric Yellin .... production assistant (uncredited)
Greg Johnson .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong language and some sexuality
96 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby SR (Mono)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman , Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson were sought in vain for the role of Harry Block.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: 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 »
Harry Block:Six shrinks later, three wives down the line, and I still can't get my life together.See more »
Movie Connections:
Christopher ColumbusSee more »


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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Profane Woody, 18 December 2005
Author: Ricky Roma ( from

It's a shame that so much negative criticism focuses on Deconstructing Harry's bad language, because this is one of Allen's funniest, smartest and most perceptive films. In fact, it may actually be his best film full stop – only Manhattan and Crimes and Misdemeanours can challenge Harry. But although the bad language and crudity may affect some people's enjoyment of the film, for me, as someone who loves bad taste, it's a major benefit, especially as it's a side of Allen we rarely see. I mean, we're used to the romantic Allen and the neurotic Allen, and we've even had serious Allen, but here you have Allen almost becoming Philip Roth. It's very enjoyable to watch.

In this film, Allen's alter ego is Harry Block, a writer in the mould of Philip Roth who, in the words of one his exes, turns everyone else's suffering into literary gold. And this assertion is corroborated by the opening scene, a section from one his books where a man and a woman who are having an affair, during a barbecue, decide to have sex in a bathroom while their spouses are eating in the garden. It's a very funny scene, especially as an attempted blow-job is interrupted by a false alarm (the woman grinds her teeth when the man spots his wife) and as some doggy-style sex is interrupted by the woman's blind grandmother coming into the room (when asked what's happening, the woman tells her grandmother that she's making Martinis while they continue banging away). But while the scene is absolutely hilarious, it does also have a point. This is a scene from Harry's life. He's using it in his work. Therefore his ex isn't too happy to find this episode in his book. Of course, Harry tries to explain that it was 'loosely based' (the grandmother was an embellishment), but that doesn't cut much ice with his ex, who's having all of the sordid details of her affair revealed to friends and family. So the film touches on ideas of a writer's responsibility. What's exploitation and what's inspiration?

One of the most revealing sections of the film is when Harry talks to his therapist. He discusses his attitude to women. "I'm always thinking of f****** every woman I meet… I see a woman on a bus. I think what she looks like naked. Is it possible I might f*** her?" Essentially Harry is a man who has never grown up. He can't commit and he can't sustain a relationship with a woman, a fact backed up by his string of exes and his affection for prostitutes. Indeed, for him, whores are perfect. You don't have to woo them, they don't nag you and they do whatever you want; all you've got to do is pay them. And in the film, Harry takes Cookie, a black prostitute ("Do you know what a black hole is?" Harry asks her. "Yeah, that's how I make my living.") with him to an honouring ceremony at his old school.

Harry also takes a friend along with him and his young son – well, he actually 'kidnaps' his son. And the whole journey, the whole act of going back to remember the past, brings back memories of stories he wrote, stories that are thinly veiled versions of actual events. One of the funniest is a story of a man who married his therapist. At first everything is great, the woman understands the man like no other woman in the world. But once they have a child she becomes "Jewish with a vengeance". No longer is she smart and funny and sexy; all of a sudden she's a dowdy nag who's rediscovered her religion. And in one hilarious moment she even prays before administering a blow-job. Again it's highly amusing, but again it has a point; Harry wants everything to remain perfect. He can't understand why people have to change. I mean, even having a child doesn't change him. He talks to his son about naming his penis. He may be getting on, but he's still really just a kid.

Harry's whole life philosophy is neatly summed up by his half-sister: "You have no values. With you it's all nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm and orgasm." To which Harry quips, "Hey, in France I could run for office with that slogan, and win!" But although Harry may be deemed to be juvenile, he's entirely correct about religion. He tells his devout sister that they're clubs and that their function is to exclude people. And then he asks her whether it bothers her more when a Jew gets killed or a gentile. She says a Jew death bothers her more – "They're my people." "They're all our people," he replies. I'm with Harry. Religions are nothing but divisive. Plus they encourage people to prove how devout they are – as if you can be more Jewish than someone else, or more Catholic etc. It all becomes a competition.

But amongst all this, the only thing that Harry can do to remain sane is to write. Somehow life doesn't make any sense but fiction does. I guess it's a problem most writers have. To able to write you have to observe, but the more you observe the less you understand why people behave the way they do. Plus the more you observe the more you actually remove yourself from life. However, self-examination does allow Harry to become more perceptive as regards himself. In fact, his characters help him out a lot, as they offer insights that he couldn't possibly come up with alone. So although the film's coarse, it ends up being quite optimistic. Salvation lies within.

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