7.4/10
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132 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 3 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:

$10,569,071, 8 March 1998
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

Some critics, including Roger Ebert, have suggested that the character of Harry Block is based on real-life author Philip Roth and not on Woody Allen himself. 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: I'm a guy who can't function well in life but can in art.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Scene by Scene: Woody Allen (2000) 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

 
Allen's most underrated film
4 August 2001 | by elf67See all my reviews

It isn't as lovable as "Annie Hall" or "Hannah and Her Sisters," and it's not as overtly philosophical as "Crimes and Misdemeanors." And that's probably why "Deconstructing Harry" is underrated by film/Allen fans. Still, it ranks among the Top 5 Allen films. Woody plays a Philip Roth-like fiction writer who is lecherous, unlikable, and disloyal; in dropping his "cute loser" shtick, the performance rings with more honesty than he's had in years. In a nod to Bergman's "Wild Strawberries," Allen's character has a chance to reflect on his life as he travels to a university for an honor. Memories mix with scenes this writer's fiction, providing opportunities for the large and excellent ensemble cast. Many of Allen's later films seem tired, but the neurotic jumpiness he brings to "Deconstructing Harry" reinjects energy into his work. If you loved "Husbands and Wives," try this. I rate it 9.


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