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Henry & June

92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Philip Kaufman's brilliant film explores the erotic life of two individuals who became 20th Century literary giants. Upon meeting American author Henry Miller (Fred Ward) in Paris, 1931, a young writer named Anais Nin (Maria de Medeiros) embarks on a voyage of self-discovery, and faithfully records every experience in her diary.In their search for new truths, Anais and Henry are tantalized by Henry's hauntingly sensual wife, June (Uma Thurman).Henry and June is an unforgettable journey into the uncharted territory of human relationships, based on the suppressed sections of Anais Nin's diaries.

Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) is a young woman in 1930s Paris whose husband is slowly defecting from art to working in a bank, leaving her very bored. When the then-unpublished Brooklyn writer Henry Miller (Fred Ward) enters her life, she embarks on a journey of seduction and sexual exploration that eventually leads from the writer to his wife, June (Uma Thurman), who finances her husband's life in Paris so he may praise her beauty in his writing. Unhappy with her husband's writing and her lovers' affair, June enters a jealous rage, forcing Henry into suffering-artist mode and Nin back to her husband. Despite having one of the more erotic scenes of the 1990s, between Nin and June, the film does not live up to its subject, largely due to a mediocre screenplay and flawed direction. The strength of the original material and Medeiros's decidedly unflawed performance, however, make it worth viewing. --James McGrath

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros
    • Directors: Philip Kaufman
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: NC-17
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: February 23, 1999
    • Run Time: 137 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783230559
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,472 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Henry & June" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    111 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 26, 2002
    Format: VHS Tape
    This 1990 film, directed by Philip Kaufman, is set in Paris in 1931. This was a time and place between the two world wars that attracted writers and artists to a bohemian lifestyle, a time of discarding old conventions and embracing experimentation. Here, Henry Miller, an American expatriate wrote his wildly erotic books, which were banned in the United States. And Anais Nin, known for her extensive diaries about her sensory experiences, began her literary career here. It's no wonder that the two of them would meet and couple. They were both married at the time and this film is about the complex relationships between Henry, Anais, and their respective mates, all searching of a kind of liberation which was endemic at the time.
    Fred Ward plays Henry as a crass American with a Brooklyn accent that makes native New Yorkers, such as myself, cringe. He's all man though and it's easy to see why Anais Nin, played by the large-eyed petite Portuguese actress Maria de Medereiros, is attracted to him. Her own husband, Richard E. Grant, is attractive as well, and it's clear that they have a good romantic life together, but he's willing to look the other way at his wife's desire for others. When Miller's wife, June, played by Uma Thurman, a fiery androgynous mother-earth figure, comes on the scene, Anais Nin finds herself attracted to her as well. This sets the scene for some interesting complexities.
    The video is two hours and 16 minutes long and I expected to watch only half of it one evening and the rest of it the next night. However, from the moment it started I was completely captured by the story and just had to watch it all the way through.
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    35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Daniel S. on April 27, 2000
    Format: DVD
    At least two movies of Philip Kaufman will stay in movie history, THE RIGHT STUFF and HENRY & JUNE. Produced by Philip Kaufman's son, co-written with his wife Rose Kaufman, HENRY & JUNE is a family affair. One could say that it is a european movie filmed in an american manner. Don't get me wrong, it's a compliment !
    Fred Ward as Henry Miller, portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros as Anais Nin and Uma Thurman as the woman inspiring the two writers, Richard E. Grant and Kevin Spacey in smaller parts, the whole cast gives a superb performance. Don't expect pornographic scenes in HENRY & JUNE, sex is more suggested than showed. Philip Kaufman is interested in the relation between Henry and Anais and doesn't follow Henry Miller in his multiple adventures in Paris' brothels.
    Henry Miller lives in a Paris that Federico Fellini could have created : enjoy this carnaval full of fellinian faces or Henry Miller's neighbors (you can recognize among them french clown Pierre Etaix in one of his last performances). Philip Kaufman has recreated the Paris which was the center of such movies as Marcel Carné's LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS or LE JOUR SE LEVE. Poetic realism was the name of this french movement of the 1935-1945 period.
    Average extra-features but over the top audio and video transfers.
    A DVD for your library.
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    33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Moira D. Russell on April 12, 2001
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    One of the most underrated movies of the 90s. (It also marks a disappointing moment when the studio _could_ have backed up an NC-17 film not porn but meant for _real_ adults....but caved to puritanism instead). The top two reasons to see it are the performances of Maria de Medeiros as Anais Nin (it's almost a reincarnation) and Uma Thurman as June, two of the sexiest, most intelligent, passionate portrayals of women in recent cinema. Forget Thelma and Louise -- these two are a combustible pair. Fred Ward's performance as Henry Miller, too low-key, is pretty much lost in the shuffle, without any of the dynamic magnetism Miller had in spades. The movie explores the nature of desire, infatuation, obsession, and real love, and is pretty faithful to the actual events -- but some elements (such as the significance of June's puppet Count Bruga, made for her by her lesbian lover, Jean) are lost in the translation to the screen. For people bored to tears by the dichotomy of soulless porn on the one hand and Hollywood mush on the other, this is an intelligent and _sexy_ movie. Two lovely companion books are Anais Nin's diary "Henry and June," on which the movie was based, and Nin's and Miller's unexpurgated letters, "A Literate Passion." That title sums up both their lives and the movie based on them.
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    82 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cairene on May 6, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    Most veiwers who seek out Philip Kuafman's Henry & June will be curious about the sexual content of the film which made the MPAA invent the NC-17 rating, they will be disappointed. The sex in Henry & June is not groundbreakingly explicit, but there sure is a lot of it. For those viewers I would reccomend Jean-Jacques Beineix's spectacularly bad (and Oscar nominated) 1986 film Betty Blue.
    Henry & June tells the story of American writer Henry Miller(Fred Ward) and his wife June(Uma Thurman) as seen through the eyes of Anais Nin(Maria de Medeiros), and here is the film's biggest problem, it is told from the wrong prespective. Anais is a spoilt emotianlly immature woman who seeks sexual exprementation for no reason other then lust in the guise of artful reasoning like "I need to know people who are alive." The film would have much more involving had it been told from Henry's point of view. As played by Fred Ward he is brutish, easy going, funny and exhilerated by the sexual liberty in 1930s Paris. He is a man who cries when watching his actress wife in an erotic film. Unlike Anais he actually has feelings that the audience can identify with. Perhaps this was unavoidable as the film is adapted from Anais Nin's diaries.
    The most interesting character in the film is Henry's bisexual wife June. Played by Uma Thurman with a deep throaty voice, we see her at first as an opportunistic woman who uses sex to advance her interests, but as the film progrsses we learn that a real pain and self loathing is hidden under her sleak exterior. She is alaways emotionally blackmailing Henry and Anais, to make her a more noble figure in their books.
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