The Plot Against Harry

Director: Michael Roemer
Screenwriters: Michael Roemer

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


Just out of prison, Harry Plotnick (Martin Priest) discovers that he is no longer the big deal he was twenty years earlier; now he has little influence, and faces a changed neighborhood that he no longer controls. Harry had once managed to make his mark in the numbers racket as a small-time Jewish hood. But time and the elements have softened him.

Harry attempts to make amends with his estranged wife, the daughter he has never met, and the Jewish culture he was born into but has never participated in. A glum Harry learns that the techniques he used to buy influence and respectability from the mob don't work with these people, and this knowledge leaves him seriously off balance. Harry is a deadpan alien in his own world, discovering with the eyes and face of an innocent the rules of the middle class. Then, with the looming possibility of death due to what is believed to he an enlarged heart, Harry Plotnick embarks on the straight path in preparation to meet his maker.

It has been said that director Michael Roemer has pulled off the ultimate coup by filming an independent period piece: he shot the film in 1969, shelved It for twenty years, and pulled It out earlier this year to finish it. However The Plot Against Harry has gracefully survived the test of time by blending Its deadpan comedy and colorful cast of characters, many of whom are nonprofessionals, with beautiful black-and-white photography by Robert Young. Michael Roemer captures the wonderful settings in New York City with the look of a documentary.. . However the narrative is carefully controlled and laced with wit to make The Plot Against Harry a laughable portrait.

Saturday, January 20 7:00 p.m.
Prospector Square Theatre

Tuesday, January 23 10:00 p.m.
Prospector Square Theatre

Wednesday, January 24 4:00 p.m.
Egyptian Theatre

Friday, January 26 4:15 p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema II


Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]