The Plot Against Harry (1989)
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as Harry Plotnick
as Jimmy Hong
as Telethon MC
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A slice of life film along the lines of movies like "Shadows", "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie", and "Killer of Sheep". The story is fairly loosely structured, though with a more clear beginning, middle, and end then the aforementioned movies. It really hinges on the performance of Martin Priest as Harry, a Sad Sack of a second-tier Jewish mobster, who slowly and mostly accidentally ingratiates himself back into the life of his estranged family. It's really Priest's performance that makes this so enjoyable. His hang-dog "Why me?" expression makes you root for him even though he is a bit of a heel. It's also another great example of the great independent filmmaking of the '60's and '70's that Harry's moment of clarity is a subtle one; in a modern movie, it would probably be accompanied by a swelling score and over-the-top waterworks to make it beyond obvious that we're seeing Harry's redemption, but thankfully here the filmmakers trust the audience to make that discovery on their own. A quick, satisfying watch.
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