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Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? (2010)

Harry Nilsson , John Scheinfeld  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Harry Nilsson
  • Directors: John Scheinfeld
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,644 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Additional interviews
  • Music video for "Loneliness" with introduction by Yoko Ono

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? is a wildly entertaining, star-studded documentary that tells the story of one of the most talented and versatile singer-songwriters in pop music history and the man The Beatles dubbed their favorite American musician. The Grammy® Award-winners Everybody s Talkin and Without You ... the quirky Coconut ( Put de lime in de coconut... )... the whimsical Me And My Arrow, and the poignant One ( the loneliest number )... these recordings are all the work of Harry Nilsson. The documentary, which Ain t It Cool News said, is everything a great documentary needs to be, reveals his spirited relationship with John Lennon and close bond with Ringo Starr, as well as Harry the legendary bad boy party animal who was at the same time a devoted husband and father. Director John Scheinfeld brings added emotion and intimacy to the story with over 50 Nilsson recordings, rare or never-before-seen film clips, home movies and personal photos. To this are added compelling interviews with top music and movie personalities who knew Harry well. They include Micky Dolenz, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Al Kooper, Randy Newman, Yoko Ono, Van Dyke Parks, The Smothers Brothers, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, Robin Williams, Brian Wilson and many others. As film critic Leonard Maltin noted, Who Is Harry Nilsson? is a vivid portrait of a gifted man...what a great reminder of his talent. The DVD also contains 93 minutes of Bonus Material Deleted Scenes, Extended Sequences, an Alternate Ending and more.


    If you see one rock doc this year, make it HARRY NILSSON... Close to genius, in fact. --Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

    A lively documentary... exposure to the film should cause audiences to make room on their iPods for some serious downloading. --The Hollywood Reporter

    Entertaining, informative and incredibly emotional. --Aint It Cool News

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Definitive and Moving Portrait of a Complex Man August 15, 2010
    I have seen the final version of this film, having been to a screening at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans.

    I am simply blown away by this documentary. I'd been waiting to see it for four years, and I was convinced that because I had such high expectations, that it would disappoint. I am thrilled to say that the film not only met my expectations, but actually exceeded them.

    This film is a brutally honest look at the man, Harry Nilsson. It shows how beautifully talented he was, and how everyone around him truly loved him, but it did not shy away from the wild antics that were ultimately Harry's downfall. One interviewee made the statement, "Harry was like a big bunny rabbit with really sharp teeth." I think that the film shows just how appropriate that statement is.

    There were times that I laughed out loud and times that I came close to openly sobbing. I have a feeling that if I had not been at a public viewing, I would have been openly sobbing.

    The director mentioned that this final version has a different ending than what he originally screened several years ago. I have not seen that first ending, but I can say that if Harry was able to comment on the version I saw, that he would approve. It was funny, sad, and poignant, all rolled into one. I don't think Harry would have wanted it any other way.

    This is a vivid portrait of a very complex man. There was the raw talent and potential, the self-destructive behavior, the loving father and husband, the alcoholic, the activist. All of these were Harry Nilsson. Even someone who didn't know of Harry before this film would be moved.

    NOTE ADDED ON 10/17/10: I want to try to write quality reviews that are helpful to people.
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    43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Coming To DVD!!! July 21, 2010
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I saw this superb documentary that brings Harry Nilsson to vivid life in a theatre in Santa Monica several years ago and am delighted that it is finally coming to DVD. You really get a sense of the manic, wild ride that was the life of Nilsson in this film told by the people who loved him. I can't wait to see it again and it sounds like there is some great bonus material as well. The story of his close friendship with Ringo is quite touching. Even the stories of his funeral, taking place during the roaring aftershocks of the Northridge earthquake, are heartfelt and hilarious.
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    29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Film! October 18, 2010
    I can't say enough good things about this movie. It's reverent without being obsequious; moving without being melodramatic; insightful, thorough, funny- they really did such a wonderful job.

    As for the subject himself- what a truly compelling character! Even if you are only nominally familiar with Nilsson and his music, this movie is pretty much guaranteed to make you a fan.
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    15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Without understanding November 25, 2010
    The documentary WHO IS HARRY NILSSON (AND WHY IS EVERYBODY TALKIN' ABOUT HIM)? says it all in its title. Although it sounds like a query of purpose, I think that question - "Who is Harry Nilsson and why is everybody talking about him?" - is the film's conclusion. The most esteemed talents in the arts are Harry Nilsson fans, but does anyone understand the man?

    Director John Scheinfeld does not give himself a head start, making WHO IS HARRY NILSSON? over a decade after the singer-songwriter's untimely 1994 death. The best Scheinfeld can do is present original discussions with the artist's family, friends, and admirers while relying on film archive and audio recordings of Nilsson for the rest of the story.

    I own half a dozen Nilsson albums, having picked up on him from both his music on the radio and being a Beatles fan noting Nilsson's contributions to Ringo Starr's and John Lennon's records and theirs to his. WHO IS HARRY NILSSON? leaves me thinking Nilsson's association with the Beatles may have been both a blessing and a curse to his career. John Lennon's and Paul McCartney's late 1960s public admiration of Nilsson help his songs get on the radio. But being the pal of the biggest band in history, Nilsson lets music fans forget what he's all about. Had the Beatles kept their appreciation private, Nilsson's talent probably would have led to commercial success on it own terms anyway, maybe even greater than it was with a little help from those friends. We'll never know.

    Nor may we ever find out what happens when Harry Nilsson visits the Beatles in England, as according to his record producer Rick Jarrard, he returns home to America a changed man. WHO IS HARRY NILSSON?
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    15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Just Amazing- September 24, 2010
    This is the kind of documentary I always look for. It's such a great journey. The influence he had over the music world, both personally and artistically, is just staggering. More than that, it delves into the man himself. He had such heart, spirit, and talent that I was totally blown away. It's an incredible examination of a very wonderful and creative time in music history and one of it's biggest, yet unknown, players. I couldn't help but revisit my modest Nilsson collection, and pursue some more...I'm very glad I did. What a cool movie.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    great bio on Nilsson.
    Published 8 days ago by daviddelrosario
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very informative.
    Published 13 days ago by Sonoran Pete
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Lots of interesting information about a little known but important and connected musician, but plodding pace and scattered direction
    Published 1 month ago by Joseph M. Seda
    3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Production Values and Stock Footage
    It made me very sad to watch.

    Such a talent.

    I suggest it to others with tougher skins than me. The production values and content material are very well done.
    Published 1 month ago by Michael Sherrer
    5.0 out of 5 stars watch this
    well produced Doc. that took me a couple years to catch. It was worth the wait. Interviews were edited with a good pace and the info invaluable.
    Published 1 month ago by Douglas L. Coffland
    1.0 out of 5 stars omg! still luv ya harry
    poor quality picture, sound and nothing at all interesting or new to any nilsson fan. it could have been so much better if they had tried just a little bit. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by mohatmas
    5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Nilsson is Amazing
    This documentary, through commentary by his many close friends, coworkers, and business associates, gives an excellent view of Harry Nilsson's life, adventures, loves and failures. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Tim Frisk
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Wonderful Harry Nilsson
    I enjoyed the biography of Harry Nilsson. Over the years tidbits about this musician, singer and songwriter have been written, but never a definitive piece. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by KMC
    4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised
    I remember Nillsons songs and his great voice but I had no idea that his life story was so complex
    Published 4 months ago by Ron Giberti
    5.0 out of 5 stars Madman
    One of the best docs I've ever seen. His difficult childhood, rise to success and decline were remarkably portrayed. I particularly loved the sequence with Mickey Dolenz. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Herman W Rego
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