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Deconstructing Harry (1997)

R | | Comedy | 2 January 1998 (USA)
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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Janet (as Stephanie Roth)
...
Janet's Dad
Joel Leffert ...
Norman
...
Janet's Mom
...
Ken
...
Yankee Announcer (voice)
Jane Hoffman ...
...
...
Annette Arnold ...
Rosalee
Frederick Rolf ...
Harvey's Doctor
...
Rosalee's Sister
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 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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

2 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Meanest Man in the World  »

Filming Locations:

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), this is the second film in which Caroline Aaron plays Woody Allen's sister. 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: Between air-conditioning and the Pope, I'll take air-conditioning.
See more »

Connections

References Alice (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Out of Nowhere
(1931)
Music by Johnny Green (as John W. Green)
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
Performed by Django Reinhardt
Courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
An American Classic!
13 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry is a great movie. It is a Classic. The script is inspired and the Camera is assured. The performances and Direction are faultless. If we are all intelligent people then the swearing should count for nought.

There is nothing to compare to a Woody Allen film. He is unique and should be regarded as one of America's great living film Directors but he is not. I find it incredible yet unsurprising that right now he is having to make films in Europe because the American Studio's won't produce him. It is not that his films are expensive long drawn out super-productions like those of the late David Lean or Ridley Scott. His productions are tight small affairs with a minimal crew and a cast that usually work for a lot less than their normal fee. I honestly feel that the American film going public is sourly losing out.

Because of Allen's prodigious output the Dollar obsessed studios have tapped at their calculators and realised that his films do not make enough money. Art they might be but who wants art? The American general public just don't go and see his films. In England, Allen's last Movie "Scoop" was not even given Cinematic release! That is because all the English language distribution companies are American. What we watch in Europe is dictated by the American Studios and that accounts for the poor quality and lack of diversity that is offered in our charmless multiplex factories.

It seems that American Movies are becoming less and less intelligent. They even seem to peddle a political agenda. "Live Free or Die Hard" for example. The title says it all.

Films with unrelenting action, minimal script, pounding percussive scores and appalling Camera work, such as The Bourne Ultimatum are what the public want. The Bourne Ultimatum is currently at #81 according to the Internet Movie Data Base Top 250 films.

The Jewish lobby in America has never really liked Allen's films and it is easy to see why. He is the only American Director that seriously questions faith and the purpose of religion in his films. What is worse is that his jibes are funny.

I don't see what is wrong with films that allow the audience to think freely. They can still be exciting and violent, as Films by Takashi Miike or Zhang Yimou have proved. Woody Allen's Films always leave you with something to ponder. His films might not all be Classics but he has made his fair share of those and that is the mark of a great Director.


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