6.0/10
1,326
30 user 13 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ironweed (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, NY after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

Director: Vadim Perelman
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Henry is a lawyer who survives a shooting only to find he cannot remember anything. As if that weren't enough, Henry also has to recover his speech and mobility, in a life he no longer fits... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, Michael Haley
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

This family drama examines a controlling mother through the eyes of her three deflated children, each of whom has sought therapy for the grief she's put them through

Director: Shimon Dotan
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Amanda Plummer, Ted Levine
Being Julia (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Set in '30s London, the film involves stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge.

Director: István Szabó
Stars: Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Maury Chaykin
The Trap (2018)
Crime | Thriller

A well-known writer becomes a recluse after her sister is murdered, and devises a plan to catch the killer after she thinks she sees him on television.

Director: Mark Pellington
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doamna Harris  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellen Burstyn, who appears in a minor role in this movie, played Jean Harris in The People vs. Jean Harris (1981). See more »

Quotes

Vivian Schulte: I know a lot of women who'd like to do to their husbands what Jean did to Hy. Fortunately, not a lot of women carry around pistols in their purses.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Him
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Best movie I saw at Toronto Film Festival
25 September 2005 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

My husband and I sat through 20 films this year and this one, along with Michael Haneke's "Cache," was by a long way the best and the most surprising we saw. You go to a gala at a film festival and you're prepared for mostly safe stuff chock full of movie stars, so many of them, like curios in cabinets ("Walk the Line" and "North Country" are two such examples; there are others), that you lapse into a deep sleep just looking at the credits, knowing the exercises in taste and decorum that will follow. I wasn't encouraged by the cast list of "Mrs. Harris" but was really interested in the whole Jean Harris story so along we went to the screening.

For those of you who are not familiar with the tale, this is the murder of the Scarsdale Diet doctor saga in 1980. Jean Harris was an uptight headmistress who, so the media spun it at the time, in a fit of jealous rage drove from Virginia to New York in a blinding rainstorm and pumped the doctor full of bullets because he wanted to marry another woman.

What seems like a pretty straightforward narrative turns out to be anything but that, principally because of the way the story is told in this version and the incredible performances, not just from Annette Bening, though I have never seen such subtlety from this actress but also from Ben Kingsley, Cloris Leachman, Frances Fisher, Mary McDonnell and a host of others in truly perfectly judged cameos.

The first-time writer and director of "Mrs. Harris" never judges the characters and thus wisely puts the responsibility for making any judgments solely in the laps of the audience. The tonal shifts in this film are dizzying but never confusing and perhaps the most brilliant thing about it is the way in which you're seduced into laughing at or with all the insanity and then immediately are shown something that makes you question why you laughed in the first place.

It's not an easy ride or the most comfortable of films to watch, but it's one of the finest depictions of obsession, dependency and love gone wrong I've seen in a long time. It's not for everyone. My husband, who also loved it, had a heated debate with another couple we saw it with who hated it and mostly hated it because of the way it refuses to score easy victim versus villain points. It's divisive and from time to time you wonder about certain shots or the juxtaposition of certain scenes but these are minor quibbles. This is a debut feature that outclasses most of what I've seen in multiplexes this whole year. Go if you want to think and feel as a result of that thinking.

I heard a rumor that the film is not going to be released in movie theaters but will air on HBO. That, if true, is a pity because it's something that should be seen and the performances, writing and direction are first rate.


31 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?