Mrs. Harris

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,192
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Movie Info

The sensationalistic murder of diet guru Dr. Herman Tarnower is explored in this stylized take on the tabloid cover story from first-time director Phyllis Nagy. As the inventor of the popular "Scarsdale Diet," Dr. Herman Tarnower (Ben Kingsley) became an overnight success during the peak of the early '80s diet craze. Despite the popularity of the Dr. Tarnower's revolutionary "lose one pound per day" diet, the womanizing ways of the Casanova cardiologist would soon come to a brutal end at the hands of his jealous, prescription drug-addicted lover Jean Harris (Annette Bening). Driven to despair after their 14-year romance failed to result in marriage and enraged by Dr. Tarnower's shameless status as a ladies' man, Harris confronts her former lover in one violent, final act of desperation.


Annette Bening
as Jean Harris
Ben Kingsley
as Dr. Herman Tarnower
Ellen Burstyn
as Former Tarnowner `Steady'
Frances Fisher
as Marge Richey Jacobson
Philip Baker Hall
as Arthur Schulte
Cloris Leachman
as Pearl Schwartz
Mary McDonnell
as Vivian Schulte
Chloë Sevigny
as Lynne Tryforos
Bill Smitrovich
as Joel Arnou
Frank Whaley
as George Bolen
Michael Gross
as Leslie Jacobson
Brett Butler
as Tarnower `Ex' No. 1
Lee Garlington
as Tarnower `Ex' No. 2
Nan Martin
as Mama Tarnower
Larry Drake
as Harris Defense-Team Psychiatrist
Caroline Lagerfelt
as Madeira School Administrator
Robert Cicchini
as Det. Siciliano
Michael Paul Chan
as Dr. Louis Roh
Lisa Edelstein
as Forensic Psychologist
John Patrick Amedori
as Young David Harris
Brad McCoy
as Young Jimmy Harris
John Rubinstein
as Tarnower's Best Friend
Jessica Tuck
as Wife No. 1
Dean Norris
as Sporting Goods Clerk
Lauren Storm
as Favorite Madeira Student
Kirsten Nelson
as TV Interviewer
Jessica Johnson
as Madeira Alumna
Vicki Davis
as Madeira Senior
Margaret Easley
as Carol Potts
Tim Rettley
as David Harris
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News & Interviews for Mrs. Harris

Critic Reviews for Mrs. Harris

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (4)

  • What [director Phyllis Nagy] has done is tailor this tabloid material to several different narrative tastes, which alternate as the movie shifts from love affair to temper tantrum to gunfire to murder trial and back again...

    Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Playwright Phyllis Nagy's film directorial bow is an uneven affair.

    Sep 20, 2005

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • The film was 'inspired' by Shana Alexander's book, but the tone comes straight out of the tabloids. This tone lies somewhere south of smugness but north of pure derision.

    Sep 18, 2005
  • It might not be up to the level of, say, Reversal of Fortune, but it's also far above your typical movie-of-the-week network filler.

    Aug 2, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The story is interesting, the characters are interesting, and while never boring, the picture never greatly impresses nor has much in the way of insight.

    Mar 21, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Another shrill, irritating performance from Annette Bening.

    Sep 16, 2005

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Harris

  • May 15, 2010
    I found this movie a bit boring because the storyline wasn't all that interesting. Bening stars as Mrs. Harris, a troublesome woman who is being accused of murdering Herman after being in a relationship with him for 14 years. Herman had asked her to marry him but later backed out from this. This movie shows Mrs. Harris' suffering from mental illness. She may even have been suicidal at the time of the murder. The acting was fine but I thought that the movie was a bit too boring at times.
    Naughtia N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2009
    The film is loaded with fine performers doing good work but the people that are the subjects of this piece are either unlikable (Tarnower) or pathetic (Jean Harris) so it's hard to become too involved in the whole thing.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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