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Mrs. Harris (2005)

TV-MA | | Drama | TV Movie 25 February 2006
Based on the sensational 1980s media event, famed cardiologist Herman Tarnower meets a particularly brutal end at the hands of his jilted lover, Jean Harris.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pearl 'Billie' Schwartz - Tarnower's Sister
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Judge Leggett (as Lawrence O'Donnell Jr.)
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Tarnower's Best Friend
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Tarnower Ex #1
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Tarnower's Ex #2
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Former Tarnower Steady
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Storyline

Fact-based story about Jean Harris (Annette Bening), a woman who was accused of murdering famed Scarsdale Diet Dr. Herman (Hi) Tarnower (Ben Kingsley) after being in a relationship with him for 14 years. Depicted as a womanizer, Dr. Tarnower had earlier asked Mrs. Harris, a divorced school teacher, to marry him. But when faced with upcoming nuptials, he backed out. The story depicts Mrs. Harris as a distraught and obsessive woman who may have been suffering from some mental illness and based on a note sent to the doctor, may have been suicidal at the time of the murder. She contended that Dr. Tarnower was shot while the two wrestled with a gun she was going to use to kill herself. Contains profanity and sexual situations, including implied masturbation. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Loved Him, So She Shot Him.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eglima pathous  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Harris served her prison term at the Bedford Hills Correctional Institute. It still functions as a women's prison. In a strange coincidence, the name of the road that leads to the main gate is Harris Road. See more »

Quotes

Jean Harris: I realize that you are just a secretary and weren't as fortunate as I in graduating magna cum laude from Smith, but surely any well-read 10-year-old knows the meaning of the word "bizarre".
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Connections

Featured in The 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Him
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User Reviews

 
Bening's Performance as Harris ...
12 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... Is among her best work: it is nuanced, studied and whip-smart. She has a flair for bone-dry humor that is on full display here.

HBO continues to show that it is the go-to network for actresses over a certain age, providing them with some bravura roles.

Jean Harris could have easily descended into caricature and vapidness, but Bening finds her heart.

When I first saw that the film was being made (it was first made for television with Ellen Burstyn as Jean in 1980), I thought "why again?" but the filmmakers have proved their case: the film works on every level, but especially the performances. They are compulsively watchable.

Her performance is expertly modulated and as the film unwinds she becomes very human: her crime is not such a surprise and her motives seem justified.

The actresses interplay with Kingsley is a wonder to behold.

If you are a fan of singular acting, this will be worth your while.

Mary McDonnell, Philip Baker Hall, Brett Butler, Frances Fisher, Cloris Leachman and the original Harris, Burstyn, all show up for great cameos.

This is not a film you will ever see in a theater, HBO has cornered the market on interesting, vital character studies.


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