“The Plot Against Harry” Film Screening

May 15, 2024 Brookline $15.00
The Plot Against Harry, The Film Desk
"The Plot Against Harry" (Courtesy: The Film Desk)

Don’t miss this rare screening of one of cinema’s singular showstoppers. Revealing too much of the plot of Michael Roemer’s 1969’s The Plot Against Harry would spoil all the fun, satire, and surprises. All you need to know is that Harry Plotnick (Martin Priest), a New York racketeer just out of prison, tries to regain his lost neighborhood turf all while juggling his estranged ex-wife, grown children and ex-brother-in-law. What follows is a verité but slightly surreal world of mafia barbecues, kosher catering, call girls, bar mitzvahs, lingerie fashion shows, Cuban-Chinese mobsters, and much more.

“A high-water mark of American cinema. A jewel found in the grime of New York City.”
—A.S. Hamrah, Screen Slate

“One of the great unsung masters of American cinema.”
—Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

“Neglected masterpiece…should have become an instant classic—of American Jewish cinema, of gangster movies, of film comedy, and of bold creativity on a low budget… An incisive portrayal of an era and its byways that also propounds a compelling world view.”
—Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Gives rampant ethnic nuttiness a distinctively wistful vulgarity… At once gritty and ethereal… Although The Plot Against Harry has been compared to John Cassavetes’s work, the director’s sensibility is far closer to Elaine May’s. Roemer’s satire of the Jewish urban middle class has its corollary in May’s The Heartbreak Kid.”
J. Hoberman, Premiere

“An ode to urban Jewish life and the joy and pain in the ass that is family. Robert Young, an experienced documentary cinematographer, gives the film a vérité feel, capturing the noisy, vernacular comedy in all its exuberant specificity. In moments, he lends the circus surrounding its protagonist a Fellini-esque grace.”
—Chris Shields, Screen Slate

Directed by Michael Roemer, USA, 1969, 81 minutes, in English.

This screening includes a Q&A with Brandeis University professor Thomas Doherty. It features new 4K restoration for its 55th anniversary screening.

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Coolidge Corner Theater
290 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446
$15.50 adult

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