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Deconstructing Harry Details


Woody Allen wrote, directed, and stars in this very dark comedy about a novelist, Harry Block, who says with admirable honesty, "I'm a guy who can't function well in life, but I can in art." So far, Harry has made his way through six psychiatrists and three marriages (one, conveniently enough, with one of his psychiatrists), and he has precious few friends whom he hasn't alienated or betrayed. Harry uses the chaos of his life as fodder for his writing, angering his friends, lovers, and family, who find thinly veiled (and rarely flattering) portraits of themselves in his work. Drowning his growing misery in pills and sex, Harry finds himself invited to receive an award at a college in upstate New York which he attended, but never graduated from. However, he has a hard time finding anyone who will attend the weekend-long symposium with him: his girlfriend Fay (Elisabeth Shue) has just left him to marry his friend Larry (Billy Crystal); his best friend Richard (Bob Balaban) is afraid he's about to have a heart attack; his former wife/analyst Joan (Kirstie Alley) refuses to let him take their son, and his one-time sister-in-law Lucy (Judy Davis) is literally ready to kill him. Undaunted, Harry hires a hooker, Cookie (Hazelle Goodman), kidnaps his son, forces Richard to come along, and heads upstate, where disaster awaits. A stellar cast appears in small roles and episodes from Harry's stories, including Robin Williams, Demi Moore, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eric Bogosian, Amy Irving, Richard Benjamin, Mariel Hemingway, and Julie Kavner. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:August 26, 1997


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Woody Allen Best Original Screenplay 1997 Nominee


Woody Allen
as Harry Block
Kirstie Alley
as Joan
Bob Balaban
as Richard
Richard Benjamin
as Ken
Billy Crystal
as Larry
Eric Bogosian
as Burt
Judy Davis
as Lucy
Hazelle Goodman
as Cookie
Caroline Aaron
as Doris
Mariel Hemingway
as Beth Kramer
Amy Irving
as Jane
Julie Kavner
as Grace
Eric Lloyd
as Hilly Block
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
as Leslie
Tobey Maguire
as Harvey Stern
Demi Moore
as Helen
Elisabeth Shue
as Fay
Stanley Tucci
as Paul Epstein
Robin Williams
as Mel
Annette Arnold
as Rosalee
Philip Bosco
as Professor Clark
Stephanie Roth
as Janet
Gene Saks
as Harry's Father
Viola Harris
as Elsie
Jennifer Garner
as Woman in Elevator
Robert Harper
as Harry's Doctor
Shifra Lerer
Robert Harper
as Harry's Doctor
Jennifer Garner
as Woman in Elevator
Viola Harris
as Elsie


Woody Allen
Jean Doumanian
Woody Allen
Carlo Di Palma
Susan E. Morse
Santo Loquasto
Production Designer
Richard Brick
Letty Aronson
Executive Producer
J.E. Beaucaire
Executive Producer
Charles H. Joffe
Executive Producer
Suzy Benzinger
Costume Designer
Les Lazarowitz
Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Patrick
First Assistant Director
Juliet Taylor