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The Real Howard Spitz (1998)

 -  Comedy  -  28 August 1998 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 249 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

Howard Spitz is a cranky, has-been detective novelist out of money and out of luck - until he meets eight-year-old Samantha, who convinces him he has what it takes to write children's books.



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Title: The Real Howard Spitz (1998)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Genevieve Tessier ...
Samantha Kershaw
Joseph Rutten ...
Laura Kershaw
Kay Tremblay ...
Theodora Winkle
Lex Gigeroff ...
Ronnie Relish
Red Allen
Jeffrey Hirschfield ...
Lawrence - Primrose Rep (as Jeff Hirschfield)
Denny Doherty ...
Balthazar Mishkin
Joanne Hagen ...
Edward Gregson ...
Ciel Crosby ...
Librarian (as Cathy Lee Crosby)
John Loverin ...
Bartender - Cop Bar
John Fulton ...
Ted the Cop


Howard Spitz is a cranky, has-been detective novelist out of money and out of luck - until he meets eight-year-old Samantha, who convinces him he has what it takes to write children's books.

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements | See all certifications »





Release Date:

28 August 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Writer's Block  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


After UK distributor Metrodome decided to release the film directly to video, director Vadim Jean took the unusual step of personally financing several prints himself for cinematic release. See more »


References Frasier (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Really Strange Direction
20 May 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is a family movie that was broadcast on my local ITV station at 1.00 am a couple of nights ago . This might be a strange decision on the part of the schedulers but THE REAL HOWARD SPITZ is a rather strange film , strange in the way it doesn't want to upset its audience . Come on there's nothing kids like more than sadism and that's why Roald Dahl was such a popular author for children . It also explains why DOCTOR WHO was such a successful show across the world . In this screenplay you're just dying for pulp fiction author to do something nasty to the kids but this doesn't happen . I'm not advocating child abuse but to see Howard Spitz lose his rag at the little ones would have made the movie rather better . Can you imagine how much worse KINDERGARTEN COP would have been if the producers had gone all PC ? I mean if you're making a movie centered around a children's author who hates children shouldn't the story show and not tell ?

Much of the problem lies with director Vadim Jean and you do get the feeling he doesn't know how to handle the material which is bad news for the movie . As someone previously noted the soundtrack is haphazard and Kelsey Grammar is very wooden . I guess he was trying to play it dead pan just like in that show he's famous for but it fails to work here and there's many scenes with quiet ridiculous camera angles which seem unintentional but which are very distracting . But at the end of the day the main problem remains that the potential is ruined because no one wanted to offend the audiences sensibilities

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