Episode 21 – Deconstructing Harry (1997)

The Woody Allen Pages Podcast
The Woody Allen Pages Podcast
Episode 21 - Deconstructing Harry (1997)

Deconstructing Harry is the 27th film written and directed by Woody Allen, first released in 1997.

Woody Allen stars as Harry Block, a cantankerous writer who is accused by the people in his life of using them in his work. Those in his life, many of them women, are also portrayed as their fiction selves. Together they form one of the biggest casts Allen has ever assembled. When Harry is honoured at his old school, he goes on a strange journey with his kidnapped son and a prostitute.

This is one of Allen’s harshest films. There’s prostitution, kidnapping, infidelity, nudity and more explicitness. There’s even the casual use of the “c” word. But that harsh surface obscures some pretty astute comedy, deft directing and a pretty fantastic film.

Welcome to the Woody Allen Pages podcast. This week – episode 21 – we look at 1997’s Deconstructing Harry. How it was conceived, how it was made and how it is really quite rude. Spoilers are everywhere so watch the film and then come back.

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  1. Great deconstruction of Deconstructing Harry!! DH definitely ranks in my Top Ten of Woody’s films. You might have mentioned it earlier, but I think the rumor is Woody cast Richard Benjamin in DH because Richard had starred in two of Philip Roth’s early film adaptations, Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint. Kinda interesting. Does anyone have any idea why Deconstructing Harry and Wild Man Blues weren’t included in this last bluray collection of Woody’s films? Just curious.

    GO WOODY!!!!!!!
    GO WILLIAM!!!!!!!

  2. One of the best Allen films it’s great! A change in pace a lot more raw than a lot of the recent stuff very much of a piece with Husbands and Wives. In these films Woody is working in a style he never quite did before and never really did again. One of my favorite Woody films!

  3. I’m gonna take a guess and say the next episode will be sweet and lowdown which is based on a script called the jazz baby which woody wanted to make right after Take The Money and Run

  4. Ya gotta love a movie that features a Star Wars themed Bat Mitzvah ! Hmmmm…. could the next episode be the script he dusted off for MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY ??? (My personal favorite Woody film)

  5. Sweet and Lowdown is another great 90s Woody Film. Featuring a great soundtrack and terrific Performances by both Sean Penn and Samantha Morton who should have won an Oscar for her beautiful role. This is one of my grandfathers favorite films he loves this era of music. Up there with the best of Woody and I think Deconstructing Harry is too in a different way both great!

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