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 from a dysfunctional family who struggles to regain his memory and recover his speech and mobility after he survives a shooting, inadvertently restoring his family's integrity in the process.
Promotional release poster
|Directed by||Mike Nichols|
|Produced by||Mike Nichols |
|Written by||Jeffrey Abrams|
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Edited by||Sam O'Steen|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$43 million|
The supporting cast includes Annette Bening, Mikki Allen, Bill Nunn, Rebecca Miller, Bruce Altman, and Elizabeth Wilson. The film received mixed reviews with praise for the cast and Ford's performance but criticized for its sentimentality and manipulativeness. The film garnered U.S. revenues of $43,001,500 at the box office on a production budget of $25 million.
Ambitious, callous, narcissistic, and at times unethical, Henry Turner is a wealthy successful Manhattan lawyer whose obsession with his work leaves him little time for his socialite wife, Sarah, and troubled preteen daughter, Rachel. He has just won a malpractice suit, defending a hospital against a plaintiff who claims, but is unable to prove, that he warned doctors about a pre-existing condition.
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 hits his left subclavian vein, causing excessive internal bleeding and cardiac arrest. He experiences anoxia, resulting in brain damage.
Henry survives but can neither move nor talk and he suffers retrograde amnesia. While in a nursing facility, he slowly regains movement and speech with the help of a physical therapist named Bradley. Henry's recovery creates a financial burden for the family. Upon returning home, Henry is almost childlike. As he forges new relationships with his family, he realizes he does not like who he once was.
Sarah enrolls Rachel into an out-of-town elite school, though she is now reluctant to go. At orientation, Henry tells Rachel a lie to help her adjust to the new school. He and Sarah grow closer, as they were when they first met. Henry also misses Rachel.
Henry's firm allows him to return out of deference to his previous contributions. Sarah suggests they relocate to a smaller, less expensive residence. As his firm essentially assigns him only low-level work, he realizes he no longer wants to be a lawyer. While at a dinner party, they overhear several "friends" making derogatory comments about him.
Henry, finding a former colleague's letters to Sarah disclosing they had an affair, becomes angry and leaves home. He is confronted by Linda, a fellow attorney, who reveals they were having an affair and that he was going to leave Sarah. Henry has second thoughts about himself and his relationships.
Henry gives the hospital documents that his firm had suppressed to the plaintiff that proves his case, and he apologizes. He then resigns from the firm. He realizes that (as Sarah had said) everything had been wrong before but it is now so much better. They reconcile, then go to Rachel's school and withdraw her. She is overjoyed to be with her parents. As they leave the building, she tosses her school-uniform hat away.
- Harrison Ford as Henry Turner
- Annette Bening as Sarah Turner
- Mikki Allen as Rachel Turner
- Bill Nunn as Bradley
- Rebecca Miller as Linda
- Bruce Altman as Bruce
- Elizabeth Wilson as Jessica
- Donald Moffat as Charlie Cameron
- John Leguizamo as Convenience Store Robber
- Robin Bartlett as Phyllis
- James Rebhorn as Dr. Sultan
- J. J. Abrams as Delivery Boy (as Jeffrey Abrams)
Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||August 6, 1991|
|Recorded||Mid 1990 - Early 1991|
|Studio||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|
- "Walkin' Talkin' Man"
- "A Cold Day In NY"
- "Henry Vs Henry"
- "Ritz Part II"
- "I Don't Like Eggs"
- "Gotta Get Me Some Of That"
- "Central Park, 6PM"
- "Buddy Grooves"
- Hans Zimmer: composer, arranger, keyboards, synthesizer, programming (Akai, Yamaha DX Series, Steinberg)
- Kathy Lenski: violin
- Kirke Godfrey: drum programming, percussion
- Bruce Fowler: arranger [strings], percussion
- Kyle Eastwood: bass guitar, synthesized bass
- Walt Fowler: horns
- Bobby McFerrin: background vocals
- Jay Rifkin: recording engineer, mixing engineer
- Mike Stevens, Nico Golfar: assistant recording engineers
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.
Variety, however, called the film "a subtle emotional journey impeccably orchestrated by director Mike Nichols and acutely well acted."
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a "Rotten" 43% rating based on 30 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Although Harrison Ford makes the most of an opportunity to dig into a serious role, Regarding Henry is undermined by cheap sentiment and clichés." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average 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:
- 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
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.
- "Regarding Henry". Box Office Mojo.
- "Regarding Henry (1991)" The New York Times
- "Regarding Henry" Chicago Sun-Times
- "'Regarding Henry' (PG-13)" The Washington Post
- "Regarding Henry"Rolling Stone
- "Regarding Henry" Variety
- "Regarding Henry (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
- "Regarding Henry Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.