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Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

  NR Closed Captioning

John Scheinfeld

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About the Movie

The documentary explores the enigmatic life and music of Harry Nilsson in an attempt to answer the question, "Who is Harry Nilsson?" The film includes new and archive audio and film including interviews with Robin Williams, Yoko Ono, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Ray Cooper, the Smothers Brothers, and Micky Dolenz. "Who is Harry Nilsson?" uses promotional films, music videos, and home movies; segments from the unreleased documentary made during the recording of Son of Schmilsson (Did Somebody Drop His Mouse?); and excerpts from Nilsson's rare TV appearances in his BBC specials, the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour", "Playboy After Dark", and in an episode of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir".

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 11
  • Fresh: 10
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The point of it is not, in the end, to explain him or solve the mystery of his life, but rather to spend time in his company and understand why he is someone to be missed. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Sep 10, 2010

Fresh: A personal, generous tribute reel designed to keep a musical master's legacy very much alive. – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, Sep 17, 2010

Fresh: Sticking closely to the archival footage and talking-heads formula, it's the quality of the former and the sense of personal involvement in the latter that elevates the film above the run-of-the-mill rockumentary. – Andrew Schenker, Village Voice, Sep 7, 2010

Fresh: There's been so little written about Nilsson or archiving of his work that Who Is Harry Nilsson is a godsend just for bringing together so much rare footage. – Noel Murray, AV Club, Sep 9, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great Film

Just saw this documentary....I had a few of Harry's records before I saw this, but ran out and got everything after seeing this great movie. Nice look at an insanely talented artist.

I love Harry!

I've listened to Harry Nilsson since he began making music. I've always loved his music but was always curious to know more about him. This film did not disappoint. It was such a pleasure to watch and learn more about this talented artist.


I discovered Harry while I was reading a book titled The Beatles. I learned that Harry was a good friend of John Lennon's. And since I loved all the Beatles, I had to learn more about Harry. I found out that Harry grew up in Brooklyn, and I was sold. Since then, I have purchased the book titled Nilsson The Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton. The book goes into more detail about Harry; so much detail that I still haven't finished it. But I am determined. I own some of Harry's music too, and I love his style. I can't say enough about how beautiful his voice was - Heavenly. Just Heavenly.