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Deborah Kara Unger,
They call him "Handsome" Harry Sweeney. At 52, the Vietnam veteran has kept his rugged good looks. Everyone likes Harry, an electrician by trade who loves to sing but for some reason he never lets anyone get too close. He's been divorced for a long time, has a son whom he rarely sees, and, although he's engaged in a long-term flirtation with the waitress at the diner, seems destined to remain alone. One day, Harry gets a call from a former Navy buddy, Tom Kelly, whom he hasn't seen in some thirty years. On his deathbed and terrified of going to Hell, Kelly convinces Harry to seek forgiveness on his behalf from a comrade they betrayed long ago, David Kagan. At first, Harry wants nothing to do with Kelly, Kagan or the remnants of his murky past. But guilt and memories have a mysterious grasp on Harry, and he finally relents, driving down the East Coast to call on his old comrades. As he confronts the three other men involved in a long-ago crime, he observes how each man has dealt with ... Written by
William Porter, a university professor of philosophy, mispronounces the name of Anaxagoras, a major early Greek philosopher and astronomer. See more »
Thanks to "Lewis Cole May 25, 1946 - October 10, 2008." Dr. Cole was professor and chair at Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program. He died of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called, "Lou Gehrig's disease") at age 62. He was highly influential in film and made a profound impact on his students. He was survived by his wife, Valerie, children, and grandchildren. See more »
A Vietnam veteran, Harry Sweeney, goes on a quest to help a dying ex-Navy buddy. Instead, Harry unravels a deep, dark, dormant secret that brings understanding and maybe hope to two friends who never should have parted ways.
Handsome Harry is a perfect example of lean and tight writing. Every frame tells a story. Kudos to director Bette Gordon for taking Nicholas T. Proferes' ponderable screenplay and providing a highly polished and realistic story.
This film has nothing to do with the military. It has to do with ignorance, intolerance, and fear. Ignorance, intolerance, and fear exist everywhere.
Yet, one man, affectingly played by Campbell Scott - the only man who exudes love - lived his life the way he started it, true to himself. I can only say, "Wow, what a powerful statement director and writer make in the final scene."
Here's hoping viewers catch Profere's lessen: Don't wait until you're middle-aged and look back and say, "I wish I had done it differently." Life's too short to be under the thumb of ignorance, intolerance, and fear. Love should guide us all. Never be afraid to love someone.
I bow to all the actors, blow a kiss to Ms. Gordon, high-five Nick, and enthusiastically clap to the music creator/director.
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