7.4/10
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131 user 74 critic

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 cast includes two Oscar winners: Woody Allen and Robin Williams; and seven Oscar nominees: Judy Davis, Stanley Tucci, Elisabeth Shue, Mariel Hemingway, Bob Balaban, Amy Irving and Paul Giamatti. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Harry Block: Can I be honored and then arrested?
See more »

Connections

References Alice (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing)
(1936)
Written by Louis Prima
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

One of his better movies, where you can see the possibilities of true cinema
19 May 2004 | by daanbolderSee all my reviews

I'm sure some people wouldn't agree with me, but this movie is a great piece of art on film. Like Hitchcock, Coppola, and others, Woody Allen is a real cinema artist. He makes great use of the possibilities of cinema without losing himself in expensive special effects.

Of course cinema is a medium to create a near-perfect realism on a fictional story. But it can also be an artistic medium. Playing with the possibilities. An example in this film is Robin Williams. A men who is 'out of focus'.

The story is, like most films, not very original. A character that struggles with his personality and social life. But unlike most movies, you can see an artist made this film. It's a Woody Allen creation. His own style, his own characters, his own humor. Not a collection of an expensive scriptwriter with an expensive director, an expensive special effects team , an expensive director of photography etc. to make a total non-personal creation for the big public. Of course the whole crew did a perfect job, but it is surely a Woody Allen film!

A great movie with a nice plot. Some nice switching in timeline and fiction / reality (for the story that is) makes it more interesting then the story really is. Also the jumpcuts, the camera movement, the cast and the humor are making this film a must see! Even if you are not a Woody Allen fan you will like this movie. If you are a fan of big blockbuster movies (standard Hollywood confention movies) this movie is a must see as well! Not only to see the real art of cinema (something different then perfect special effects) but also just for a nice evening and some good humor.


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