6.0/10
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29 user 13 critic

Mrs. Harris (2005)

TV-MA | | Drama | TV Movie 25 February 2006
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

The Tarnower bedroom depicted in this movie is an exact replica, down to the smallest detail, of Herman Tarnower's bedroom as it was in 1980. As was the Tarnower dining room and trophy room. However, in this movie, more animal heads cover the walls. See more »

Quotes

Jean Harris: I realize that you are just a secretary and weren't as fortunate as I in graduating magna cum laude from Smith, but surely any well-read 10-year-old knows the meaning of the word "bizarre".
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Connections

Edited from Pandora's Box (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Him
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User Reviews

 
Disappointing Film with a Fine Cast
26 February 2006 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

MRS. HARRIS is an HBO dud movie, and that is primarily because of the content of the story, the writing, the direction, and the waste of some fine actors' time. Based on a book by Shana Alexander adapted for the screen and directed by Phyllis Nagy, the story relates in fractured pieces between a murder scene, a trial and flashbacks the pathetic story of the death of Dr. Herman Tarnower (a wasted Ben Kingsley) the Scarsdale Diet author/doctor/womanizer at the hands of Mrs. Jean Harris (Annette Bening) a upwardly climbing school marm who becomes Tarnower's live in lover and addicted to his prescribed drugs. Her life is plagued by Tarnower's inability to keep his apparent elephantine genitals (this is made clear in an extended ridiculously inane segment in a locker room!) in his pants and eventually her own shaky self perception leads her to a suicide attempt that results in Tarnower's murder. The story is based on fact so there is no giving away an ending.

The only reason to watch this bit of tripe is Annette Bening who is such a gifted actress that she can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - and this screenplay is definitely the latter. A surprising squandering of money is obvious in the casting of bit parts to fine actors such as Cloris Leachman, Brett Butler, Ellen Burstyn, Mary McDonnell, Phillip Baker Hall, Chloë Sevigny, etc. Many have only one line! Otherwise this is a one of those films that relies on media blitz spectacle posing as a worthy story to create a movie. A must miss - except for Bening. Grady Harp, February 06


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