IMDb > American Splendor (2003)
American Splendor
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American Splendor (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

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7.5/10   38,685 votes »
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Writers (WGA):
Harvey Pekar (comic book series American Splendor) and
Joyce Brabner (comic book series Our Cancer Year) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for American Splendor on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 September 2003 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.
Plot:
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 33 wins & 38 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Paul Giamatti See more (223 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Chris Ambrose ... Superman
Joey Krajcar ... Batman

Josh Hutcherson ... Robin
Cameron Carter ... Green Lantern

Daniel Tay ... Young Harvey

Mary Faktor ... Housewife

Paul Giamatti ... Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar ... Real Harvey

Shari Springer Berman ... Interviewer (voice)

Larry John Meyers ... Throat Doctor (as Larry John Myers)
Vivienne Benesch ... Lana

Barbara Brown ... Nurse

Earl Billings ... Mr. Boats

Danny Hoch ... Marty

James Urbaniak ... Robert Crumb
Eli Ganias ... Pahls

Sylvia Kauders ... Old Jewish Lady
Rebecca Borger ... Cashier
Nick Baxter ... Mattress Guy #1
Allen Branstein ... Mattress Guy #2
Dick Prochaska ... WW II Patient
Charles Eduardos ... Doctor

Judah Friedlander ... Toby Radloff

Robert Pulcini ... Bob The Director
Toby Radloff ... Real Toby

Bianca Santos ... Counter Girl
Maggie Moore ... Alice Quinn

Hope Davis ... Joyce Brabner

Mike Rad ... Rand

Amy K. Harmon ... Cheery Waitress
Joyce Brabner ... Real Joyce

Donal Logue ... Stage Actor Harvey

Molly Shannon ... Stage Actor Joyce
Eytan Mirsky ... Guitarist
Rob Grader ... Stage Manager
Terrence Sullivan ... Letterman Regular

Ebon Moss-Bachrach ... MTV Director

Patrick Lafferty ... Yuppie

Jesse Perez ... Miguel

Jeff Peters ... Talk Show Host
Ola Creston ... PA #1
Robert J. Williams ... Cancer Doctor

James McCaffrey ... Fred

Madylin Sweeten ... Danielle
Danielle Batone ... Real Danielle
Jason Stevens ... Letterman Regular Voice (voice)
Todd Cummings ... Talk Show Host Voice (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Rae Sunshine Lee ... Cashier (uncredited)
Marcus Wynnycky ... Comic Book Fan (uncredited)

Directed by
Shari Springer Berman 
Robert Pulcini 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Harvey Pekar  comic book series American Splendor and
Joyce Brabner  comic book series Our Cancer Year

Shari Springer Berman (written by) &
Robert Pulcini (written by)

Produced by
Declan Baldwin .... line producer: New York
Ted Hope .... producer
Julia King .... associate producer
Christine K. Walker .... line producer (as Christine Kunewa Walker)
 
Original Music by
Mark Suozzo 
 
Cinematography by
Terry Stacey (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Pulcini 
 
Casting by
Ann Goulder 
 
Production Design by
Thérèse DePrez  (as Thérèse Deprez)
 
Set Decoration by
Robert DeSue  (as Robert Desue)
 
Costume Design by
Michael Wilkinson 
 
Makeup Department
Luisa Abel .... makeup department head
Deanna .... hair department head (as R. Deanna)
Deborah Lilly .... hair swing (as Deborah R. Lilly)
Deborah Lilly .... makeup swing (as Deborah R. Lilly)
Kathy Madison .... additional hair
Kathy Madison .... additional makeup
 
Production Management
Janet Fries Eckholm .... post-production supervisor: Los Angeles (as Janet Eckholm)
Chip Signore .... unit production manager: New York
Andy Wheeler .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eric Richard Lasko .... second second assistant director (as Eric Lasko)
Matt G. Sheets .... additional second assistant director
Chip Signore .... first assistant director
Meryl Stavitz .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Doug Allen .... original artwork
Greg Budgett .... original artwork
John Alan Champion .... swing gang (as John Champion)
Robert Crumb .... original artwork (as R. Crumb)
Gary Dumm .... original artwork
Jack Gardener .... swing gang (as Jack Gardner)
Jason Gerstein .... original artwork
Mindy Harris .... property master
Dean Haspiel .... original artwork
Matt Hausmann .... art department intern
Todd Heckeler .... art department intern
Kenneth J. Kellers .... leadman (as Kenneth Kellers)
Lynn Kramer .... props assistant
Donald Leigl .... swing gang (as Donald J. Liegl)
Dustin Lucien .... art department intern
Dean Macur .... props assistant
Shaina Malkin .... art department intern
Deborah Marsh .... art department coordinator
David W. Mooney .... swing gang
Beth O'Brien .... art department intern
Mike O'Neill .... art department intern
Erika Rice .... swing gang
Joe Sacco .... original artwork
Gerry Shamray .... original artwork
Frank Stack .... original artwork
Tema L. Staig .... assistant to production designer (as Tema Levine)
Diana Stoughton .... on-set dresser
Matthew T. .... art department production assistant
James E. Todd .... swing gang
Joe Zabel .... original artwork
Mark Zingarelli .... original artwork: "Our Movie Year"
 
Sound Department
Ron Bochar .... re-recording mixer
Mick Davies .... boom operator (as Michael B. Davies)
Chris Fielder .... transfer assistant
Albert Gasser .... dialogue editor
Ruth Hernandez .... first sound assistant
George A. Lara .... foley supervisor
Whit Norris .... sound mixer
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Anne Pope .... dialogue editor
Nicholas Renbeck .... supervising sound editor
Jeffrey Stern .... adr editor (as Jeff Stern)
Allan Zaleski .... sound effects editor
Alexa Zimmerman .... first sound assistant
Rick Ash .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Jamie Baker .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Glen Marullo .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Unsun Song .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
John Kuramoto .... animator: Twinkle
John Kuramoto .... compositor: Twinkle
Gary Leib .... animator: Twinkle
Gary Leib .... designer: Twinkle
Patrick Clancey .... digital opticals (uncredited)
John R. Ellis .... digital cleanup artist (uncredited)
Steven J. Scott .... digital intermediate colorist: EFilm (uncredited)
Michael J. Williams .... digital opticals: Heavy Light Digital (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ian Axilrod .... camera loader
Ian Carmody .... camera intern
Ian Carmody .... stills photographer: credit sequence stills
Oliver Cary .... first assistant camera
Joe Cassano .... dolly grip
John Clifford .... stills photographer
Chuck Cocita .... additional electric
Kiely Cronin .... camera operator: "b" camera (as W. Kiely Cronin)
Kiely Cronin .... second assistant camera (as W. Kiely Cronin)
Steve Drellich .... camera operator
Alex Esber .... camera operator: "b" camera
Alex Esber .... second assistant camera
Dan Jarrell .... key grip
Matthew Jennings .... best boy grip (as Matthew E. Jennings)
Julie 'Doc' Lindstrom .... company electric (as Julie Ann 'Doc' Lindstrom)
Alex Mangen .... camera loader
Joseph L. McDermott .... additional grip
George McDougal .... additional electric (as George McDougall)
Frank McKeon .... additional electric
Pat Meehan .... 24 frame playback
Jonathan Meyer .... additional grip
Keith Nickoson .... company grip
Lester Parker .... company electric
Steve Ramsey .... gaffer (as Steven Ramsey)
Christy Taddeo .... additional electric
Michael F. Taylor .... additional grip
John Turk .... additional electric
Adam N. White .... additional grip (as Adam White)
Russ Wulf .... best boy electric (as Russell O. Wulff)
Jack Yager .... company grip
Ron Zabarsky .... additional electrician (as Ronald Zabarsky)
Rebecca Venezia .... assistant camera: New York (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Elizabeth Baird .... principals casting assistant (as Liz Baird)
Sarah Katherine Christie .... casting assistant
Kendall Embrescia .... extras casting assistant
Marcy Ronen .... extras casting: Cleveland
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kim Andrews .... costume assistant (as Kimberly Andrews)
Robin Fields .... key costumer (as Robin K. Fields)
Murshel Lewis .... costume supervisor (as Murshel C. Lewis)
Sarah Silver .... wardrobe intern
Adrienne Brown .... wardrobe production assistant (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Alfredo Frasson .... color timer
Mitchell Gutman .... post-production intern
Linus Hume .... post-production coordinator
Julia King .... post-production supervisor
Catherine Rankin .... negative cutter
Tim Streeto .... additional editor
Mila Patriki .... colorist: dailies (uncredited)
Andrew Seklir .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sanford Allen .... featured musician: violin solo/concertmaster
John Beal .... featured musician: bass
Linda Cohen .... music supervisor
Dave Douglas .... featured musician: trumpet
Butch Jones .... additional music recordist: Back Pocket Recording Studios
Evyen Klean .... music consultant
Bob Malach .... featured musician: tenor sax
Josh Rosenblum .... additional conductor
Derek Smith .... featured musician: piano, organ, celeste
Ted Spencer .... music recordist-mixer
Dale Stuckenbruck .... featured musician: musical saw
Mark Suozzo .... conductor
Mark Suozzo .... music producer
Mark Suozzo .... orchestrator
Ronnie Zito .... featured musician: drums
Jamie Baker .... music recordist (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Wayne Conway .... transportation captain
Cheryl Dennis .... driver
Tom McCue .... transportation coordinator (as Thomas Titus McCue)
Russ A. Minerd .... driver
Larry Spencer .... additional driver
Roman Wlaszyn .... picture car wrangler (as Roman A. Wlaszyn)
Andy Bethke .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jeremy Bailey .... assistant location manager
William Ball .... additional craft assistant
Andy Bethke .... set production assistant
Chad Bronson .... set production assistant
Brian Cantaldi .... bookkeeper
Alison Cohen .... production counsel: Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein
Paula Collins .... craft service assistant
Joe Cortese .... location production assistant
Rob Fegen .... production administrative supervisor (as Robert Fegen)
Janell Fletcher .... facility manager: Avid
Jennifer Zolten Freed .... post-production accountant (as Jennifer Freed)
Jason Gerstein .... office production assistant
Elisabeth Giglio .... office manager: C 5
Lamia Guellati .... assistant: Ted Hope
Jason Cooper Hall .... assistant: Christine Walker
Virginia M. Herdman .... craft service
Derrick Kardos .... clearance assistant
Billy Lalor .... clearance assistant
Robert Langhorst .... assistant chef: Premiere Caterers
David Lemoyne .... additional set production assistant (as David Lemoyne Jones)
Sara Lieberth .... craft service
Eric Muss-Barnes .... production assistant: cast
Jen O'Neal .... additional production secretary
Chris Petro II .... production assistant: cast
Ryan Polack .... set production assistant
Amanda L. Preputnik .... additional set production assistant
Michael Rochford .... location manager (as Michael M. Rochford)
Elizabeth Rohrbaugh .... set production assistant
Michael Santeramo .... chef: Premiere Caterers
Michael Taylor .... script supervisor
Melinka Thompson-Godoy .... production executive: Good Machine
Lesley Ward .... production secretary (as Lesley Ward-Zickefoose)
Becky Woodward .... additional location production assistant
Devon Zeigler .... set production assistant
Brian Dickson .... production assistant (uncredited)
Jason Cooper Hall .... assistant to cast (uncredited)
Kelly Lofstrom .... contract administrator (uncredited)
Charles Moore .... production assistant (uncredited)
Rebecca Thornell .... clearance (uncredited)
Daniel Villagomez .... credits administrator (uncredited)
Andy Wheeler .... production accountant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Norman Barr .... special thanks: The Detroit Theatre
Jude Brennan .... special thanks
Paul Brennan .... special thanks (as Paul Brennan Esq.)
Bernt Amadeus Capra .... the producers would like to thank (as Bernt Capra)
Chris Carmody .... special thanks
Debra Greico .... special thanks
Wayne Alan Harold .... special thanks (as Wayne Harold)
Robert Katz .... special thanks
Walt Kelly .... acknowledgment: the filmmakers acknowledge the creative work of
Anne Kuenzel .... special thanks: Lakewood Hospital
Matt Loeb .... special thanks
Lewis Payton .... special thanks
Carla Raij .... special thanks
Alicia Sams .... special thanks
Adam Shulman .... special thanks
Mary Jane Skalski .... special thanks
Pam Smith .... special thanks
Jim Stark .... the producers would like to thank
Vince Waldron .... the producers would like to thank
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language
Runtime:
101 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG | Chile:TE | Germany:6 | Iceland:LH | Mexico:B | Netherlands:AL | Norway:A | Peru:PT | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:TV-MA (TV rating) | USA:TV-14 (cable rating) | USA:R (certificate #39761)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Cameo: [Ted Hope]voice on answering machine from "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993).See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: When Joyce Brabner is running through her personality disorder diagnoses, before she says her "delusions of grandeur" line, we see the phone and an open Fruit Cup near it. The scene is set in the 1980s, and the plastic fruit cups weren't on store shelves until the late-'90s or early 2000s.See more »
Quotes:
Harvey Pekar:So... what are you worried about then?
Joyce Brabner:Well, it's the way... it's the way all the different artists draw you.
Harvey Pekar:What?
Joyce Brabner:You know, I don't really know what to expect. Sometimes you look like a younger Brando... but then the way Crumb draws you, you look... like a hairy ape, with all these wavy, stinky lines undulating off your body. I don't really know what to expect.
Harvey Pekar:No, those are motion lines. I'm an active guy!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in "The Hour: Episode #7.40" (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Silent MorningSee more »

FAQ

How does it end?
See more »
29 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Paul Giamatti, 29 January 2005
Author: mmitsos-1 from Oak Brook

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!

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