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- Commentary by Annette Benning, Ben Kingsley, and writer/director Phyllis Nagy
- "Mrs. Harris For the Record: Firsthand Accounts"
Top Customer Reviews
This film, made for HBO takes a rather moribund look at the events with the director Phyllis Nagy inserting some dark, almost off beat humor into the proceedings. The movie jumps around a bit, combining statements from the trial and interviews with friends and family to launch into the retelling of events that lead up to that fatal outcome.
Was it murder or accidental death? The film opens with the drugged out Jean turning up to Tarnower's house one stormy night and shooting him, but was it an accidental shooting, and was she so emotionally wrought that she didn't know what she was doing? Her defense says yes, but whether she was really responsible or not is up to you, though history states that Mrs. Harris was found guilty.
The suspense is a bit spoilt from showing us what actually happened that fateful night, but the film is still an entertaining and somewhat cautionary tale of a relationship that has gone terribly wrong. Both Kinsley and Bening are perfect as the respective couple, he manipulative, icy and dispassionate, and she the victim, not only of the prescription drugs he constantly doles out to her, but also of his emotional abuse.Read more ›
Jean Harris was a well brought up woman who had been the head of a private girl's school, having worked her way up from running a pre school out of her home to the upper crust of school administration. Although she seemed to have everything you could ever want, she was unraveling. As covered in the movie, Jean (played with great aplumb by Annette Benning) was under some serious pressure. Four students at her school had been busted for pot smoking (to be known as the Madieira Four). She had angry parents, student and staff screaming at her about what was or wasn't to be done, her rocky relationship with her long term boyfriend Herman Tarnower was at its rockiest patch, and she had run out of the prescription speed that he had prescribed to her in order to keep up with her already demanding schedule. She broke, descending down a mental illness path, and decided to commit suicide. Instead of killing herself, she ended up killing Herman in a "freak accident". And all the time, she was jealous of one of the many women that Herman was being unfaithful with, his receptionist Lynn Tryfornos (played in a very cute nurse's outfit by Chloe Sevengy). This movie did not do a great job of covering the alleged screaming matches that went on (face to face or on the phone) between Jean and Lynn.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The acting was terrific, but the story would go back and forth between past and future events that made it a little difficult to watch at times. Read morePublished 17 months ago by patrice k.
Another wonderful doumentery movie.. very tastfully done. Another great Annette Benning movie same said of Ben Kingsley. They both hit it out of the park in this one!Published 23 months ago by Rebecca
I live in New York at the time and worked just around the corner from Purchase where Dr. Tarnower lived. I remember the whole thing and I was glad to get the movie.Published on July 7, 2013 by Sam J. Morris
a lady's movie. my wife loves it. she has watched it a few time and lent it to friends to see.Published on March 9, 2013 by Neale J. Marlow
The two leads, Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley, both give a great performance. Cloris Leachman has a few scenes, and is a riot. I always enjoy fact based movies.Published on March 3, 2013 by Tammy Mcbride
This was bought for a friend who had followed the trial of Jean Harris, and didn't know there was an HBO movie based on the trial with lots of flashbacks. Read morePublished on January 10, 2013 by Estrellaita
I absolutely love this movie. I am so happy Amazon had it available for purchase. It never comes on HBO anymore.Published on July 3, 2011 by T.E.