MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 668 this week

American Splendor (2003)

7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 38,146 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 223 user | 181 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.

Writers:

(comic book series American Splendor), (comic book series Our Cancer Year), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 17 Oct 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 28 Jan 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 11 May 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 15 May 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: American Splendor (2003)

American Splendor (2003) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Splendor.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film about the life and career of the eccentric avant-garde comedian, Andy Kaufman.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Gerry Becker
Ed Wood (1994)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The mostly true story of the legendary director of awful movies and his strange group of friends and actors.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world.

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Steve Coogan, Lennie James, John Thomson
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A medical student in the 70's treats patients, illegally, using humor.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

Director: Thomas McCarthy
Stars: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A look at Brian Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Colm Meaney, Henry Goodman, David Roper
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A single mother, with dreams of becoming a writer, has a son at the age of 15 in 1965, and goes through a failed marriage with the drug-addicted father.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Adam Garcia
Rushmore (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Ambrose ...
Joey Krajcar ...
...
Cameron Carter ...
...
...
Housewife
...
...
...
Interviewer (voice)
...
Throat Doctor (as Larry John Myers)
Vivienne Benesch ...
Lana
...
Nurse
...
Mr. Boats
...
Marty
...
Edit

Storyline

Harvey Pekar is file clerk at the local VA hospital. His interactions with his co-workers offer some relief from the monotony, and their discussions encompass everything from music to the decline of American culture to new flavors of jellybeans and life itself. At home, Harvey fills his days with reading, writing and listening to jazz. His apartment is filled with thousands of books and LPs, and he regularly scours Cleveland's thrift stores and garage sales for more, savoring the rare joy of a 25-cent find. It is at one of these junk sales that Harvey meets Robert Crumb, a greeting card artist and music enthusiast. When, years later, Crumb finds international success for his underground comics, the idea that comic books can be a valid art form for adults inspires Harvey to write his own brand of comic book. An admirer of naturalist writers like Theodore Dreiser, Harvey makes his American Splendor a truthful, unsentimental record of his working-class life, a warts-and-all self portrait... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esplendor americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£135,568 (UK) (2 January 2004)

Gross:

£306,630 (UK) (9 January 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Demme had tried to adapt a film version of "American Splendor" in the 1980s, but the project never came to fruition as Demme wasn't an established director. See more »

Goofs

The sign outside the hospital where Harvey works refers to the "Department of Veterans Affairs". The "Veterans Administration" did not become the Department of Veterans Affairs until 1989. See more »

Quotes

Real Joyce: See, I thought I was marrying somebody with a sense of humor.
Real Harvey: I guess I fooled you.
See more »

Connections

References Crumb (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Taint Nobody's Bizness (If I Do)
(1923)
Written by Everett Robbins and Porter Grainger
Performed by Jay McShann
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Something different.
14 February 2004 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

By no means your average true story, American Splendor blends fact with fiction to create a slightly surreal world. Surreal, because it's so down-to-earth. It's a tale about the life of Harvey Pekar, essentially a relative non-entity. His one saving grace is that he writes comic books, the twist being that they're not about superheroes or anything extraordinary. Rather, they're about gritty reality. Pekar is the star of his own stories, and the life he leads, the people he knows and the everyday things he does are the essence of what his stories entail.

It's a strange story, and to rate it as a movie seems odd, somehow. The guy has led a pretty staple life, and there's nothing in it which elevates him above anyone else. Then again, that's really the point. There are plenty of elements in here which we can all relate to, and consequently, we find ourselves drawn into it. Ultimately it's convincing.

The acting is generally pretty impressive, particularly from Paul Giamatti as Harvey. Given the real Harvey features in the movie (Hence the blending of fact and fiction) we are able to compare them, and it must be said Giamatti gets it spot on. He does a great job of portraying a grump with a heart. By no means is Pekar ever shown as a mercenary worker, but it's pretty obvious he's one of the good guys; hence another strength here. Because he's shown as wysiwyg, you feel like you either know him, or are him. He's the epitome of your average man, and not even just American.

It's a quirky subject for a movie, but it certainly works and entertains. It's so ordinary yet surreal that it demands your attention, and it's a worthwhile journey to go on.

For many people, this movie is a mirror.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this this best Comic Book related movie? MovieRevolt
RIP Harvey Pekar Guy-Montag
top 250 cappiello
Revenge of the Nerds question..... lugosi-11
Isn´t it sad ? Rectangular_businessman
Best psuedo-documentary black comedy-drama biopic comic adaptation ever? Scottie_Burnham
Discuss American Splendor (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?