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Dreams with Sharp Teeth (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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Dreams with Sharp Teeth -- Crackling with infectious energy, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH pays homage to the dark prince of American letters, Harlan Ellison. Master of his craft, Ellison has heroically produced over 75 books and more than 1,700 classics of fiction and non-fiction on one of his Olympia manual typewriters, including the single most popular Star Trek episode ("City on the Edge of Forever") and brilliant, award-winning short stories, some written in bookstore windows, on very public display. Wildly imaginative writer, flame-tongued provocateur, unholy fusion of Lenny Bruce and Mark Twain, Ellison's remarkable personal journey is lovingly rendered by director Erik Nelson. The film draws on over 25 years of exclusive video footage that captures Ellison at his most inspiring and irritating, curmudgeonly and lovable. See Ellison rant about the idiocies of geekdom, confess to mailing a dead gopher to an executive at a publishing house, recall his rebellious childhood, and speak about the joy (and craft) of writing. The film features candid interviews with famous and surprising friends, including actor Robin Williams, author Neil Gaiman and Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica), who flesh out Ellison's prodigious contributions to the worlds of literature and popular culture, as well as their very personal encounters with this unique Force Of Nature. Whether a die-hard Ellison fan or someone tragically uninitiated, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH will amuse, inspire, infuriate, and edify.
Dreams with Sharp Teeth -- Trailer for Dreams With Sharp Teeth


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Erik Nelson (writer)
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Release Date:
4 June 2008 (USA) See more »
A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison. | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
The Man, The Myth, The Misanthrope... See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)

Harlan Ellison ... Himself

Robin Williams ... Himself

Neil Gaiman ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Edie Adams ... Trina Yale in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Haskell Barkin ... Himself

Tony Bennett ... Hymie Kelly in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)

Stephen Boyd ... Frank Fane in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Michael Cassutt ... Himself

Peter David ... Himself
Stu Levin ... Himself

Ronald D. Moore ... Himself
Josh Olson ... Himself
Nicholas Podbrey ... Himself
Dan Simmons ... Himself
Tom Snyder ... Himself (archive footage)

Elke Sommer ... Kay Bergdahl in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)

Jill St. John ... Laurel Scott in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Connie Willis ... Herself

Directed by
Erik Nelson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Erik Nelson  writer

Produced by
Randall M. Boyd .... co-producer
Amy Briamonte .... executive producer
Erik Nelson .... producer
Original Music by
Richard Thompson 
Cinematography by
Wes Dorman 
Film Editing by
Randall M. Boyd 
Makeup Department
Lorraine Martin .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Glenn Bates .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Douglas Martin .... visual effects supervisor
Editorial Department
Bartholomew Burcham .... assistant editor
Herrianne Cayabyab .... assistant on-line editor
Terence Curren .... colorist
Terence Curren .... on-line editor
Colin Hatton .... post-production coordinator
David W. Ryan .... assistant editor
Other crew
Colin Hatton .... post-production coordinator

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

USA:96 min

Did You Know?

Director Nelson was only 24 when he first videotaped Ellison at a typewriter for a March 1981 PBS documentary about science fiction and fantasy writers - footage that is included in this filmSee more »
Harlan Ellison:Are
[other writers]
Harlan Ellison:any less the media whore than I? I think not. Nobody's offered to buy their soul. I sell my soul, but at the highest rates.
See more »


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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
The Man, The Myth, The Misanthrope..., 5 March 2010
Author: Christopher T. Chase ( from Arlington, VA.

If you are, or ever have been, an avid reader of fiction, especially the SF/Fantasy genre, you can probably recall at least one author whose work was so vivid, potent and visceral, it changed the way you looked at everything - not just reading, or writing, but your entire world view - for the rest of your life. I recall that very moment well: I wasn't even into my teens yet, when I picked up a copy of DEATHBIRD STORIES and read "The Whimper Of Whipped Dogs." Whatever sense of true naiveté I had gasped its last breath that day, when I read the last page of that story.

Not necessarily a bad thing, either. So when I heard about this documentary all these years later, I had to know if the man responsible for that story and that book, was every bit as cynical, angry, vitriolic, nihilistic and insanely brilliant as the reputation that preceded him. I can now verify: he is that and so, so much more.

Perhaps it's most telling that at the opening of DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, we are introduced to Harlan through the eyes, perception and quicksilver wit of one of the author's closest, long-time friends: Robin Williams. Harlan is at his calmest (if the word can be applied to him) and most amiable when he is in the company of like-minded, intelligent and especially famous people, many of whom chime in here to help tell his story: Neil Gaiman, Ron Moore, Dan Simmons and his own fifth wife, Susan among them (and she gets not nearly enough screen time, more's the pity.)

Through rare home movie footage, recited excerpts of his work, various rants, tirades, anecdotes and reveries, we get a sense of who the man is apart from the author, and it's certainly a complex, perplexing, funny and often times very sad picture. For long-time fans, it will be a validation of everything you've heard over these many years since he began writing pulp paperbacks under a pseudonym barely out of his teens.

If you're not a fan or haven't read a single thing by him, I would suggest you pick up an anthology like DANGEROUS VISIONS or even just a story or two if possible. That way, he'll look a lot less like just one more short, angry old man screaming "YOU KIDS GET THE F*** OFF MY LAWN!!!"

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My Video Tribute To Mr. Ellison... jlrucilez
Long overdue hellpepper
No subs? kustor
When/Where available? sdribble
DVD is coming.. qrter
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