MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 730 this week

American Splendor (2003)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  12 September 2003 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 40,152 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 224 user | 178 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...

Watch Now

From $14.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 01 Jul 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 20 Jun 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 01 Feb 2014
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 3 weeks 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 & 39 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hero Tomorrow (2007)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

David, a struggling comic book creator from Cleveland, spends his days cutting grass and his nights smoking it while desperately trying to keep his superhero fantasies alive. When Robyn, ... See full summary »

Director: Ted Sikora
Stars: Perren Hedderson, Jocelyn Wrzosek, Bryan Jalovec
Crumb (1994)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Hollywood Memorial Park cemetery was run down and bankrupt. Tyler Cassity, a young visionary from St. Louis, bought it for a song. Not only did he renovate the cemetery (the burial ... See full summary »

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Stars: Tyler Cassity, Jay Boileau, Peter Bart
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
The Extra Man (2010)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A man who escorts wealthy widows in New York's Upper East Side takes a young aspiring playwright under his wing.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Stars: Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, Katie Holmes
Genuine Nerd (Video 2006)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Wayne Alan Harold
Stars: Toby Radloff, Judah Friedlander, Wayne Alan Harold
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Wanderlust (TV Movie 2006)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A documentary on road movies and their effect on American culture.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Stars: Allison Anders, Jeanine Basinger, Robert Benton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In this tale of sexual dysfunction and unhappiness, a lady tries her best to manage her comic book business and her most unusual marriage. The daily grind is sometimes too much as eccentric... See full summary »

Director: Shayne Barker
Stars: Mike Adkins, Matthew Belville, Jim Branham
Cinema Verite (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first American family to be the subjects of a reality TV show.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Stars: Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, Lolita Davidovich
Wilder Days (TV Movie 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After Chris's grandfather took a nasty fall down some stairs he was sent to an old folks home. He did not want to be there so he took Chris on a trip without asking his dad first. His dad went through a lot of trouble trying to find them.

Director: David M. Evans
Stars: Peter Falk, Tim Daly, Josh Hutcherson
Comedy

An estranged couple encounter each other in a alternate universe after they both separately fall into comas.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Ambrose ...
Joey Krajcar ...
...
Cameron Carter ...
...
...
Housewife
...
...
...
Interviewer (voice)
Larry John Meyers ...
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:

$159,705 (USA) (15 August 2003)

Gross:

£306,630 (UK) (9 January 2004)
 »

Company Credits

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

When the real Harvey Pekar is recording his voice-over, someone fills his "orange soda" to the top of his glass. When he picks it up, there is less than half a glass of soda. See more »

Quotes

Harvey Pekar: [looking at himself in the mirror] Well, there's a reliable disappointment.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Anatomy of a Scene: American Splendor See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditonal
Sung a cappella by Toby Radloff
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!)


36 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?