Promotional release poster
|Directed by||Mike Nichols|
Mike Nichols |
|Written by||J. J. Abrams|
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Edited by||Sam O'Steen|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$43,001,500 (US)|
Regarding Henry is a 1991 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols and written by J. J. Abrams. The film stars Harrison Ford as a New York City lawyer who struggles to regain his memory and recover his speech and mobility after he survives a shooting.
The supporting cast includes Annette Bening, Mikki Allen, Bill Nunn, Rebecca Miller, Bruce Altman, and Elizabeth Wilson. The film received mixed reviews, but was nominated in 2006 by the American Film Institute for their 100 Years...100 Cheers list.
Ambitious, callous, narcissistic, and at times unethical, Henry Turner is a highly successful Manhattan lawyer whose obsession with his work leaves him little time for his prim socialite wife, Sarah, and troubled preteen daughter, Rachel. He has just won a malpractice suit in which he defended a hospital against a plaintiff who claims, but is unable to prove, that he warned the hospital of an existing condition that then caused a problem.
Running out to a convenience store to buy cigarettes one night, Henry is shot when he interrupts a robbery. One bullet hits his right frontal lobe, while the other pierces his chest and hits his left subclavian vein, causing excessive internal bleeding and cardiac arrest. He experiences anoxia, resulting in brain damage.
Henry survives but initially he can neither move nor talk and he suffers retrograde amnesia. He slowly regains movement and speech with the help of a physical therapist named Bradley. Upon returning to his apartment, he, almost childlike, is impressed by the surroundings he once barely noticed. As he forges new relationships with his family, he realizes he does not like the person he was before the shooting.
As Sarah thinks it is best for all of them, Rachel is put into an out-of-town elite school for girls, as had been planned but now that she and her father are closer than ever, she is not happy to go. At orientation, he tells her a fib to encourage her to enjoy the new surroundings and people. He and Sarah become much closer, as they had been when they first met. He also misses Rachel dearly.
His firm allows him to return to work out of deference to his previous contributions to its success. Sarah suggests they relocate to a smaller, less expensive residence. As his firm takes away his old assignments and large office and essentially assigns him only busy work, he begins to realize he does not want to be a lawyer anymore either. While he and Sarah are at a dinner party, they overhear several of their "friends" making derogatory comments about him.
He finds letters to Sarah from a former colleague disclosing an affair they had, becomes angry and upset, and leaves home. He is confronted by Linda, a fellow attorney at his firm, who reveals that they were also having an affair and that he had told her he would leave Sarah for her, making him have second thoughts about himself and his relationships.
He gives documents from his last case that were suppressed by his firm to the plaintiff who was in the right all along and apologizes. He then goes back to the firm and resigns, says goodbye to Linda, and realizing that (as Sarah had said) everything had been wrong before but was now so much better, returns to her and they reconcile. They go to Rachel's school and withdraw her and she is overjoyed to be with her parents. As they leave the building, she tosses her school-uniform hat away.
Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Soundtrack album by Hans Zimmer|
|Released||August 6, 1991|
|Recorded||Mid 1990 - Early 1991|
Media Ventures Studio |
(Los Angeles, California)
Right Track Recording
(Manhattan, New York)
|Genre||Film score, instrumental pop, doo-wop, soft rock|
|Producer||Hans Zimmer, Jay Rifkin|
Initial critical reception was mainly lukewarm to negative. Vincent Canby of The New York Times described the film as "a sentimental urban fairy tale" that "succeeds neither as an all-out inspirational drama nor as a send-up of American manners."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated the film two out of four stars and commented, "There is possibly a good movie to be found somewhere within this story, but Mike Nichols has not found it in Regarding Henry. This is a film of obvious and shallow contrivance, which aims without apology for easy emotional payoffs, and tries to manipulate the audience with plot twists that belong in a sitcom." Ebert also described the way it makes a connection between Ritz Crackers and the Ritz-Carlton hotel (which reveals that Henry's affair had in fact been deeply embedded in his apparently lost memories) as "especially annoying", apparently regarding it as comic.
Rita Kempley of The Washington Post called the film "a tidy parable of '90s sanctimony" while Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described it as a "slick tearjerker" that "has a knack for trivializing the big issues it strenuously raises." However, he praised Ford's performance.
The film currently holds a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 reviews.
The film opened in 800 theaters in the United States on July 12, 1991 and grossed $6,146,782 on its opening weekend, ranking #7 at the box office. It eventually earned $43,001,500 in domestic markets.
The film was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Family Motion Picture - Drama, and Mikki Allen was nominated Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
The film was released on Region 1 DVD on September 9, 2003. It is in anamorphic widescreen format with audio tracks in English and French and subtitles in English.