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Deconstructing Harry (1997)

R | | Comedy | 2 January 1998 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer

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Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Davis ... Lucy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ... Leslie
Stephanie Roth Haberle ... Janet (as Stephanie Roth)
Dan Frazer ... Janet's Dad
Joel Leffert Joel Leffert ... Norman
Lynn Cohen ... Janet's Mom
Richard Benjamin ... Ken
Joe Buck ... Yankee Announcer (voice)
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ... Grandma
Woody Allen ... Harry Block
Tobey Maguire ... Harvey Stern
Annette Arnold Annette Arnold ... Rosalee
Frederick Rolf Frederick Rolf ... Harvey's Doctor
Elisabeth Kieselstein-Cord ... Rosalee's Sister
Lortensia Hayes Lortensia Hayes ... Jennifer
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Storyline

Harry Block is a well-regarded novelist whose tendency to thinly-veil his own experiences in his work, as well as his un-apologetic attitude and his proclivity for pills and whores, has left him with three ex-wives that hate him. As he is about to be honored for his writing by the college that expelled him, he faces writer's block and the impending marriage of his latest flame to a writer friend. As scenes from his stories and novels pass and interact with him, Harry faces the people whose lives he has affected - wives, lovers, his son, his sister. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Harry Block has written a best seller... bout his best friends... he revealed their deepest secrets... and they're not pleased... now Harry Block is going to Hell... See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line Features

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

2 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Meanest Man in the World See more »

Filming Locations:

Tuxedo, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$356,476, 14 December 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,686,841

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,367,935
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (Mono)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is similar to (1963), in that it is about an artist struggling with his current relationships and remembering his old ones, interspersed with dream sequences, as well as his work being based on events from his life. See more »

Goofs

In Harry's line "I once almost ran over a book critic..." the word "book" doesn't match his lips; "book" is dubbed over what looks to be "film." See more »

Quotes

Harry Block: Between air-conditioning and the Pope, I'll take air-conditioning.
See more »

Connections

References Wild Strawberries (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way You Look Tonight
(1936)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Performed by Erroll Garner
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Allen's Best
8 November 2002 | by ES-IIISee all my reviews

Just as I've found a newfound appreciation for Elvis Costello, I've likewise opened my heart to Woody Allen (my New Year's resolution: be nicer to nerdy art-types). I even saw Deconstructing Harry twice, (after which I read a Woody Allen collection of short pieces and rented both Bananas and Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex). Hey, what can I say – I thought The Purple Rose Of Cairo might've been a fluke, but I guess I'm just a Woody Allen fan now.

Deconstructing Harry is laugh-out-loud funny, tracing the steps of Harry Block, a neurotic, foul-mouthed, Jewish, self-hating, pill-popping, womanizing alcoholic (three wives and six therapists later) that oddly enough, resembles Woody Allen and his own life (give or take a few things). Block has (giggle) writer's block, and can't write about his life. As a result, he becomes `unfocused,' entangling himself in fact and fiction (i.e. he interacts with his own characters). `You expect the world to adjust to the distortion you've become,' Harry's analyst tells him. What follows is a series of skits that interact with the past and present and the real and imagined – it's kind of like watching a Kurt Vonnegut story edited by Quentin Tarentino.

The all-star cast is phenomenal: Robin Williams is hilarious, Kirstie Alley is hysterically funny, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is super-sexy and Elizabeth Shue is as sweet as sugar. Billy Crystal even pulls off a good role as the Devil. But other than the characterization, Woody's new flick is witty, cold-hearted, extremely vulgar, often tasteless and perfectly profane with enough catch-lines to keep film buffs cracking for years (`I always keep a little hooker money around'). Hannah And Her Sisters this ain't!


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