MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 175 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 38,208 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...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: August

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for August 2014.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 30 Nov 2010
 
a list of 27 titles
created 04 Mar 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 30 Apr 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 30 May 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 9 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 & 38 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
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
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

Ted Hope:  voice on answering machine from Late Show with David Letterman (1993). See more »

Goofs

In the establishing Manhattan skyline shot before one of the David Letterman sequences, what was then (the 1980s) the Pan Am building is shown with its current "Met Life" signs (which didn't replace the "Pan Am" signs until 1992) shining from the top. See more »

Quotes

Joyce Brabner: I'm a self-diagnosed anemic.
See more »

Connections

References Nixon (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time
(1920)
(Published as "Apple Blossom Time")
Music by Albert von Tilzer
Lyrics by Neville Fleeson (as Neville Flesson)
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A modern classic of successful innovation
25 August 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Successfully innovative, American Splendor combines fiction and reality in a spellbinding and amusing way, winning awards at Cannes and Sundance, and proving its maxim that life is pretty complex (and endlessly fascinating) stuff . . .

The story features Harvey Pekar, as himself, as the played by actor Paul Giamatti and as the comic book persona that he has created based on himself. Pekar is downbeat, depressed, in a dead end filing job, rather bitter. His best friend is a self-confessed nerd. Yet when the events of his life are epitomized in comic book snapshots they are intensely poignant, they seem to reach the disenfranchised, the dysfunctional within each of us. We follow him into a marriage that is as weird as he is. The originality of the material is reflected in its postmodern style of presentation, self-awareness of audience-manipulation blending seamlessly with entertainment and artistic delivery. Scenes are introduced and blended with comic book taglines, storyboarding, and even transitions from interloping set discussions with the real Pekar to the actor playing the scene under discussion. If it sounds pretentious, it's not – simply because it works so well and in an unpretentious way. Lovingly created and very moving. Probably the first real classic of 2003 and not to be missed, and for lovers of jazz/blues a soundtrack collectors item.

(Seeing it at the Edinburgh International Film Festival I also had the privilege of seeing the real life Pekar, his wife and adopted daughter together with Paul Giamatti, truly topping off a multi-media experience haha!)


35 of 43 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:
?