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Henry & June (1990)

NC-17 | | Biography, Drama | 5 October 1990 (USA)
In 1931 Paris, Anais Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Intrigued by them both, she begins expanding her sexual horizons with her husband Hugo as well as with Henry and others. June ... See full summary »

Director:

Philip Kaufman

Writers:

Anaïs Nin (book), Philip Kaufman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Ward ... Henry Miller
Uma Thurman ... June Miller
Maria de Medeiros ... Anaïs Nin
Richard E. Grant ... Hugo
Kevin Spacey ... Osborn
Jean-Philippe Écoffey Jean-Philippe Écoffey ... Eduardo (as Jean-Philippe Ecoffey)
Bruce Myers Bruce Myers ... Jack
Juan Luis Buñuel Juan Luis Buñuel ... Publisher / Editor (as Jean-Luis Bunuel)
Féodor Atkine ... Spanish Dance Instructor (as Feodor Atkine)
Sylvie Huguel Sylvie Huguel ... Emilia
Artus de Penguern Artus de Penguern ... Brassaï
Pierre Étaix ... Henry's Friend No. 1 (as Pierre Etaix)
Pierre Edernac Pierre Edernac ... Henry's Friend No. 2 - Magician
Gaëtan Bloom Gaëtan Bloom ... Henry's Friend No. 3 - Magician (as Gaetan Bloom)
Alexandre De Gall Alexandre De Gall ... Henry's Friend No. 4 - Clown
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Storyline

In 1931 Paris, Anais Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Intrigued by them both, she begins expanding her sexual horizons with her husband Hugo as well as with Henry and others. June shuttles between Paris and New York trying to find acting jobs while Henry works on his first major work, "Tropic of Cancer," a pseudo-biography of June. Anais and Hugo help finance the book, but June is displeased with Henry's portrayal of her, and Anais and Henry have many arguments about their styles of writing on a backdrop of a Bohemian lifestyle in Paris. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A True Adventure More Erotic Than Any Fantasy

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Henry y June See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,032,942, 5 October 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,567,449

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,472,449
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) flips through the stack of erotic postcards in the beginning of the film, one of them is of a woman propped up in a chair with a hat on and is shown hiking up her skirt with one hand. The image is the same one used on the first edition cover of Anais Nin's short story collection titled, "Delta of Venus." See more »

Quotes

Hugo Guiler: You fall in love with people's minds.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.58 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Barnacle Bill The Sailor
Composed by Frank Luther
Performed by Fred Ward
See more »

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User Reviews

Almost without plot, but brimming with mood and atmosphere...and characters
22 October 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Henry & June (1990)

There is something both magical and grating about watching a group of bohemian artists have fun without you. And that's the goal here, to create (re-create) the world of early 1930s Paris where we join artists like Henry Miller (and his wife June), Anais Nin (whose writings the movie is based on), Brassai (the photographer who makes a brief entrance), and others. It actually does that pretty well, overall. Is this enough for a movie? Is the lack of plot and of a driving force to keep you in it for over two hours an issue when it's engaging to just watch? Maybe.

There's a scene were two characters go to a whorehouse to watch two women as lovers, and they, like the audience, merely watch. And watch sex, and erotic suggestions of sex, in a huge array of situations. Yes, this is intended to work not only as a view of the erotic world of these artist but to be erotic somehow on its own, and yet to avoid being pornography. It got an NC-17 and not an X on purpose.

This is the complicated and taste-driven situation we find ourselves. And so is it any good, is it a "good" movie?

Sometimes very much yes. For one thing, the woman who plays Nin, the Portuguese actress, Maria de Medeiros, is fabulous. She's complex, intriguing, and rather like the appearances we have in photographs of the real Nin. She steals the movie. Certainly the title characters are also meant to be interesting, especially Fred Ward playing Henry Miller, but I found him affected, a little like a dull Peter Falk, meant to be the gauche New Yorker in Paris and working too hard at it. June is played by Uma Thurman and her role is quite small and a bit two-dimensional compared to the others. Brassai? Played by an actor I've never heard of, Artus de Penguern, and we leave it there, even though Brassai's photographs certainly are the basis for some of the key public scenes.

This is a Paris after the Crash, when the economy isn't rosy, when some of the famous 1920s glory with Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Stein has rubbed off (or moved back to America). And Miller, who is a brilliant prose writer ("Tropic of Cancer" really is masterful, style and content both), is living a very low, poor, almost deliberately crude life. He sponges off of his roommate and off of Nin, who has money for everyone it seems, and love for everyone, too.

The movie's largest liberty and most disturbing, is making Nin bisexual when it's been shown pretty thoroughly that she was not. Her affairs, on screen, with several women are utter fiction, and they therefore become a kind of lesbian showmanship pandering to a male movie audience, which I think is fair enough in some contexts but a bit dishonest and self-serving here. It made me hate other aspects of the movie, too, like the use of Brassai's flash powder when the photo (shown in black and white) is clearly not shot with flash.

So you have to get back to where we started--enjoying being there, not worrying that there is no plot, but joining in, vicariously, in a loose, fun, sexually liberated underground of Paris before the Nazis put an end to even that.


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