7.4/10
40,460
134 user 76 critic

Deconstructing Harry (1997)

R | | Comedy | 2 January 1998 (USA)
Trailer
0:29 | Trailer
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter seeks out the boy's birth mother: a ditzy porn star and prostitute.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mira Sorvino, Pamela Blair
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the 1930s, jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute woman.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Woody Allen
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In New York in 1928, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When their best friends announce that they're separating, a professor and his wife discover the faults in their own marriage.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Sydney Pollack
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Téa Leoni, Bob Dorian
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Bill Bernstein
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a troubled marriage while her stepsister gets engaged.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Greg Stebner, Woody Allen, John Tormey
Zelig (1983)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

"Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Patrick Horgan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While attending a retrospective of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In New Jersey in 1935, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello
Edit

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
Edit

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 wrote a bestseller about his best friends. Now, his best friends are about to become his worst enemies. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$356,476, 14 December 1997

Gross USA:

$10,686,841

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,686,841
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen originally wanted Elliott Gould to play his part as Harry Block. See more »

Goofs

Harry invites Lucy to take off her coat a moment after she does so. See more »

Quotes

Cookie: How come you got all this money?
Harry Block: I always keep hooker money around, you know, 'cause I once paid by check years ago and the I.R.S. killed me.
See more »

Connections

References Wild Strawberries (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
(1867)
Written by Modest Mussorgsky
Performed by Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (as L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande)
Conducted by Ernest Ansermet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Allen at his best
22 August 1999 | by PrimtimeSee all my reviews

Regardless of what Woody Allen may do in real life, he surely shines through his films. Just like the main character in this film who can't seem to get personal matters resolved, Allen faces the same predicament each day. He lets his films do the talking and stays away from the limelight. Deconstructing Harry does him justice in a few sequences as to what he feels and how the media treats him.

This film showcases some of Allen's better quirks when it comes to storywriting and directing. The much used "jump cut" effect helps to create a world that is disjointed from all else. When things are going fine, there are no jump cuts. However when things are less than opportune jump cuts add confusion to the scene and are used more often as the tension increases. The "out of focus" effect is the first of its kind and is very funny. The Robin Williams cameo didn't have much meaning, but his scene was one of the funniest due to him losing his touch. The same effect is used on Allen himself later in the film in another hillarious scene.

The storyline has many layers and isn't at all confusing (as others may have you believe) to the viewer. The use of actors portraying actors in this film is pure Allen genius and is another way that this film differs itself from the crowd. It is not so much that one follows along to see what happens to Harry, but rather to see what is going to happen next. When Allen needs an entourage to go to his alma mater honouring, he ends up taking a very unlikely group. The humour is at times crude and pokes fun at his usual groups (ie - ultraorthodox jews, hookers, WASP's and just about everyone else).

Allen uses his interesting techniques and smart plot to make this such a good film. One can only wonder how he always gets the foxes. At least he got Billy Crystal to play the devil. How fitting.

8/10 stars.


44 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed