Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writer:

Nora Ephron
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Popularity
1,771 ( 377)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Crystal ... Harry Burns
Meg Ryan ... Sally Albright
Carrie Fisher ... Marie
Bruno Kirby ... Jess
Steven Ford ... Joe
Lisa Jane Persky ... Alice
Michelle Nicastro ... Amanda
Gretchen Palmer ... Stewardess
Robert Alan Beuth ... Man on Aisle
David Burdick David Burdick ... 9 Year Old Boy
Joe Viviani Joe Viviani ... Judge
Harley Jane Kozak ... Helen (as Harley Kozak)
Joseph Hunt Joseph Hunt ... Waiter at Wedding
Kevin Rooney Kevin Rooney ... Ira
Franc Luz ... Julian
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Storyline

Harry and Sally meet when she gives him a ride to New York after they both graduate from the University of Chicago. The film jumps through their lives as they both search for love, but fail, bumping into each other time and time again. Finally a close friendship blooms between them, and they both like having a friend of the opposite sex. But then they are confronted with the problem: "Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?" Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Can men and women be friends or does sex always get in the way? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nora Ephron supplied the structure of the film with much of the dialogue based on the real-life friendship between Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal. For example, in the scene where Sally and Harry appear on a split screen, talking on the telephone while watching their respective television sets, channel surfing, was something that Crystal and Reiner did every night. See more »

Goofs

When Harry and Sally drive from the University of Chicago to New York, they should drive on the Lake Shore Drive heading to the south (to the direction of Gary), not to the north (to the direction of downtown). So they should not be on the Lake Shore drive on the north of downtown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Documentary Couple: I was sitting with my friend Arthur Kornblum, in a restaurant, it was a Horn and Hardart cafeteria. And this beautiful girl walked in and I turned to Arthur and I said Arthur, you see that girl? I'm going to marry her. And two weeks later we were married. And it's over fifty years later and we are still married.
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Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: PeTerminator (2021) See more »

Soundtracks

Our Love Is Here To Stay
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Published by Chappell & Co.
Performed by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a Division of PolyGram Records Inc.
Performed by Harry Connick Jr.
Courtesy of CBS Records
By Arrangement with CBS Records Music Licensing Department
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User Reviews

 
the perfect modern take on a classic idea
20 September 1999 | by eastieSee all my reviews

Aside from freer language and more explicitly sexual humour, When Harry met Sally is a very traditional romantic comedy, very much in the mould established in 1934 by It Happened One Night. Two very different but evenly-matched people are thrown together by circumstance. They are initially hostile to one another, but over the course of the film, this hostility turns to love as their personalities are softened by exposure to their opposites. Indeed, the central traits of Harry and Sally correspond very directly to those of Peter and Ellen in IHON - he worldly-wise and cynical, she spoiled and certain of what's what. Neither of them, it turns out, is as right or as self-confidant as they believe. What's very modern about WHMS is its attitude to long-term relationships. It's no longer enough for the couple simply to fall in love and live happily ever after. They must have a full and real understanding of exactly what, or who, they're letting themselves in for. They must also be sexually compatible (hence the importance of their having slept with one another before they finally get together). Within this framework of traditional romance in an unromantic world, WHMS is almost perfect. Structurally, there are no gaps or implausibilities. Even the central coincidence of these people running into each other under these circumstances is answered. The short but affecting intermissions of successful old couples describing their relationships are not only crucial to the pacing of the film, they also make the point that Harry and Sally are just another couple with an unusual and interesting story. There's an element of luck and coincidence in every successful relationship. The effectiveness of the film's structure is perhaps best highlighted by the soundtrack. There's a perfectly selected Louis Armstrong track for every phase of their relationship - the soundtrack not only complements the mood of the film, it comments on the action. The acting is superb, with the two main protagonists as well as their two foils (Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher) all giving career-best comic performances. Without such fantastic performances, it's very possible that the film could have failed: these are essentially self-indulgent people, that we sympathise with them and recognise them is in great measure down to the stars. Finally, the script is fantastic. Of course nobody really speaks like that, but like all great scripts it distills emotions and points of view into a few lines. And it's funny. The one-liners are still sharp and amusing on the twentieth viewing, and the set-pieces are beautifully realised (the orgasm scene is only the most famous - check out Harry's olympic sex-dream speech - "Must have been the dismount" - or the "I'm through making a schmuck out of myself" phone call). All this, and a dinner party talking point about male and female relationships. Can we ever be just friends? Not even with an ugly girl? "Nah, you pretty much want to nail them too."


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harry, This Is Sally See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,094,453, 16 July 1989

Gross USA:

$93,075,866

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$93,232,006
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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