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Mrs. Harris (2005)

Based on the sensational 1980s media event, famed cardiologist Herman Tarnower meets a particularly brutal end at the hands of his jilted lover, Jean Harris.

Director:

Phyllis Nagy

Writers:

Shana Alexander (book), Phyllis Nagy (screenplay)
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Annette Bening ... Jean Harris
Ben Kingsley ... Herman Tarnower
Cloris Leachman ... Pearl 'Billie' Schwartz - Tarnower's Sister
Lawrence O'Donnell ... Judge Leggett (as Lawrence O'Donnell Jr.)
Frank Whaley ... George Bolen
Bill Smitrovich ... Joel Arnou
Frances Fisher ... Marge Richey Jacobson
Michael Gross ... Leslie Jacobson
Ronald Guttman ... Henri
John Patrick Amedori ... Young David Harris
Brad McCoy ... Young Jimmy Harris
John Rubinstein ... Tarnower's Best Friend
Brett Butler ... Tarnower Ex #1
Lee Garlington ... Tarnower's Ex #2
Ellen Burstyn ... Former Tarnower Steady
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Storyline

Fact-based story about Jean Harris (Annette Bening), a woman who was accused of murdering famed Scarsdale Diet Dr. Herman (Hi) Tarnower (Ben Kingsley) after being in a relationship with him for 14 years. Depicted as a womanizer, Dr. Tarnower had earlier asked Mrs. Harris, a divorced school teacher, to marry him. But when faced with upcoming nuptials, he backed out. The story depicts Mrs. Harris as a distraught and obsessive woman who may have been suffering from some mental illness and based on a note sent to the doctor, may have been suicidal at the time of the murder. She contended that Dr. Tarnower was shot while the two wrestled with a gun she was going to use to kill herself. Contains profanity and sexual situations, including implied masturbation. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Loved Him, So She Shot Him.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 February 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doamna Harris See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Last appearance of Nan Martin See more »

Quotes

Vivian Schulte: I know a lot of women who'd like to do to their husbands what Jean did to Hy. Fortunately, not a lot of women carry around pistols in their purses.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Gambling with Souls (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Him
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User Reviews

 
Unique Style and Fresh take on the Stale "Bio-Pic" Genre...
25 January 2007 | by bdh18See all my reviews

...Kingsley and Bening's performances are stellar. Like the Film itself, their portrayal of the idiosyncratic/intellectual characters and script is amazing. I'm usually not very psyched to see a Bio-pic because a film's length cannot squeeze the complexities of a life and often only the really good or bad is portrayed, neither giving the full story.

Mrs.Harris and "Hy" remind me of people from that niche of society I've known,especially in the way some intellectuals repress emotion w/logic. While for the most part I respect people who process feelings before acting out, but like in the film, too much repressed emotion can be a ticking time-bomb.

Props to the Film-makers and actors for an entertaining, unique,smart,& funny film that like most good/great films get better upon each viewing as details,layers are revealed. I'd recommend to those who seen it once, or didn't watch the film in its entirety to hold judgement until the 2nd viewing.

The film is well cast down to the smallest roles. And while Ellen Burstyn is a great actress(she played role of Mrs Harris in made-for-TV film soon after actual events in the early 80's)its amazing that she was nominated for an Emmy for her 15 seconds of screen time(she plays an ex-lover of Hy's that is being interviewed in a sort of "mock"umentary w/different characters who know the main characters in some way that threads its way throughout the film. The main plot is told through flashbacks from the trial of Mrs.Harris). It makes me wonder if whomever votes for the Emmy's owed her something, or it was pay-back for a past snubbing? While her 15seconds are solid, after seeing it three times I don't see them as worthy of an award or any more recognition than any of the other small roles(Brett Butler,Phillip Baker Hall, and Mary McDonald also give good short performances in the mock-doc thread)?? IMO ALL awards for art are irrelevant anyway(in comparing arts quality) because art is a subjective medium thats quality(sans technical proficiencies)and comparisons are up to an individuals personal taste and preference. Award shows are really just vehicles to promote stars, films, and the industries as a whole(music and/or Film). I'm not naive to the awards relevance and value to the individuals nominated or those involved w/a nominated project. Obviously the Financial gains and opportunity from the exposure and critical recognition is very important to an industry thats goal is to attract as many customers as possible(errr business). Too often people begin to believe that awards are fact,or a true gauge. Like a sporting competition. I've heard competent adults say things like..."that film should've won best picture because it was BETTER than that film..."??).

As a dark comedy Mrs Harris IMO is an excellent film, thats characters and script resinate later. I've laughed several times upon remembering certain lines by Bening and Kingsley. Kinglsey's portrayal of "Hy's" laugh is Hysterical


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