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Dreams with Sharp Teeth (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 4 June 2008 (USA)
1:59 | Trailer

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A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.


Erik Nelson


Erik Nelson



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Credited cast:
Harlan Ellison ... Himself
Robin Williams ... Himself
Neil Gaiman ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edie Adams ... Trina Yale in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Haskell Barkin Haskell Barkin ... Himself
Tony Bennett ... Hymie Kelly in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Stephen Boyd ... Frank Fane in 'The Oscar' (archive footage)
Michael Cassutt Michael Cassutt ... Himself
Peter David ... Himself
Stu Levin Stu Levin ... Himself
Ronald D. Moore ... Himself
Josh Olson ... Himself
Nicholas Podbrey Nicholas Podbrey ... Himself
Dan Simmons Dan Simmons ... Himself
Tom Snyder ... Himself (archive footage)


A documentary on speculative fiction writer and essayist Harlan Ellison.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated






Release Date:

4 June 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Creative Differences See more »
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Did You Know?


Director Nelson was only 24 when he first videotaped Ellison at a typewriter for a March 1981 PBS documentary about science fiction and fantasy writers - footage that is included in this film See more »


Harlan Ellison: Most writers I know run that idiotic number about "Oh, I like to have written but I don't like to write. It's hard work."... Of course it's hard work. If it weren't hard work, everybody would be doing it. And the better you do it, the harder the work is... Art is supposed to be hard.
See more »


Featured in An Evening with Sharp Teeth (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Solid Documentary
22 November 2009 | by BoschSee all my reviews

DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH is a low-budget documentary about Ellison made by Erik Nelson that dates back to 1981, when Nelson interviewed Ellison for TV. Various friends and associates provide on-camera commentaries about Harlan Ellison's fiction, career, romances, personality, and how he affected their lives and world views. However, the majority of screen time is taken up by Ellison himself: reading passages from stories, telling jokes, relating childhood memories, showing us around his amazing house (nicknamed The Lost Aztec Temple of Mars), talking candidly about social issues and writing projects, or just bumming around Los Angeles. Even though there's about 60 clips of Ellison on YouTube, fans should grab DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH because it's a priceless distillation of the phenomenon that is Harlan Ellison, warts and all.

The only problem is that at 96 minutes, the documentary is too brief. Maybe that's a compliment? For example, the archive clips could have run a few minutes longer without tormenting people's bladders and taxing the film's editor. The US DVD includes snippets of story readings, footage of the premier in LA, and an extended chat with Neil Gaiman over pizza.

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