MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 24 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 38,091 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 26 titles
created 18 May 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 08 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 39 titles
created 22 Jul 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 09 Aug 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 8 months ago
 

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
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
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
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
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
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 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

NBC would not lease out the actual Late Night with David Letterman (1982) footage where Harvey Pekar finally lashed out at David Letterman, so the scene had to be recreated with actors. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in Shay's restaurant, the level of the soda in Harvey Pekar's cup fluctuates between half full and completely full at least twice. See more »

Quotes

Toby Radloff: I'm not going to be eating dinner until very late and this has got to hold me over.
Harvey Pekar: Yeah? Whaddya got? A church function?
Toby Radloff: No. I'm driving to Toledo to see a movie. Wouldya like to come?
Harvey Pekar: No. Nah. I'm goin to Delaware tonight. I'm getting married.
Toby Radloff: Oh. Why Delaware?
Harvey Pekar: Well, you know, chick I'm marryin' is from Wilmington. Plus I gotta help her move her stuff back here. Why are you driving to Toledo to see a movie, Tob'?
Toby Radloff: It's not playing at the Mapletown. I didn't know you had a girlfriend Harvey.
Harvey Pekar: ...
See more »

Connections

References Annie Hall (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't That Peculiar
(1965)
Written by Bobby Rogers (as Robert Rogers), Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson Jr.),
Marvin Tarplin and Warren Moore
Performed by Chocolate Genius
Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Paul Giamatti
29 January 2005 | by (Oak Brook) – See all my reviews

I'm sorry, but I just saw this movie this week on cable, and went out and bought the DVD immediately thereafter. I have since watched it about 15 times, so far. I'm not a comic book fan (at all), and I've never heard of Harvey Pekar (though perhaps vaguely remember his appearances on David Letterman, since seeing this film). Giamatti's performance alone is worth the time in watching this film. I don't think anything Brando, Pacino, or DeNiro has done, to name a few, compares to what Giamatti pulls off in this film. And with that said, perhaps I'm still too new and enthusiastic a viewer to be reviewing his performance. However, PG's every nuance, from his eyebrow twitches and raises, to the shrug of his shoulders, to his speech pattern, to the manner in which he says "OK, OK" early on to his doctor when he's getting his throat checked to his walk...EVERYTHING is just so wonderfully "channeled". He offers such a natural character, and whether or not he is Pekar spot on, I don't know. However, he created his own wonderful big little character. (The scene in which he is talking to Joyce (Hope Davis' character) on the phone, urging her to meet him in Cleveland, is quietly hysterical).

Hope Davis was also great, and it's amazing how much her natural voice and speech pattern resemble that of Pekar's wife. Full of laughs and pathos, in addition to wonderful jazz scores (I haven't checked if there's a soundtrack for the film...I hope that there is one)....this is a must-see film...absolutely brilliant! I don't even know if P. Giamatti was nominated for his performance, but he should have won every award that year, including the Oscar (or at least tie with Sean Penn). I know I have spent all this time commenting on just the two main characters, because they are both so breathtakingly brilliant in their interpretations. Therefore, I'll offer a note about the film overall as well.

First, the film is brilliantly executed. Combining both actors and original screenplay material along with some real-life footage of Harvey Pekar himself was very inventive. And, the use of this approach never bordered on being "cutesy" or clever, as Pekar's perspective and ongoing commentary truly validates the entire film. As I mentioned before, P. Giamatti seems to inhabit Pekar....and provides a very endearing portrait in the process. I have for so many years far preferred quieter, character-driven films, which happen to typically fall within the "indie" category. This film has simply solidified my love for character-driven stories. It is insightful, very droll, and full of pathos. I am now even contemplating subscribing to the comic book "American Splendor", and I am someone who ABSOLUTELY ABHORS all forms of animation. I particularly despise animated films, and only read "Cathy", "Dilbert", and "Doonesbury" from the strips. However, I might just start subscribing to "American Splendor". Because I missed this film when it first came out, I am not certain how large an audience it originally attracted, quite frankly. However, watching it has made me shun, just a little bit more, larger, Hollywood productions, including typical, cookie-cutter romantic comedies (as for another mass-produced Hollywood genre....action/adventure films...I've always hated them and never watch them). I won't turn into a snob and completely shun all Hollywood films, but there certainly is something to be said for quiet, thoughtful pieces that are accompanied by a refreshingly wonderful jazz soundtrack (too many films today appear to have been written around x number of popular songs...it can be quite annoying). As for this film, it's a treasure. Please rent it and ENJOY!


29 of 40 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:
?