American Splendor
American Splendor film
Directed by Shari Springer Berman

Robert Pulcini

Produced by Ted Hope

Christine Kunewa Walker
Julia King
Declan Baldwin

Written by Shari Springer Berman

Robert Pulcini

Music by Paul Giamatti

Hope Davis
Judah Friedlander

Cinematography Terry Stacey
Studio Robert Pulcini
Release date August 15, 2003
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States

American Splendor is a 2003 American biographical comedy-drama film about Harvey Pekar, the author of the American Splendor comic book series. The film is also in part an adaptation of the comics, which dramatize Pekar's life. The film was written and directed by documentarians Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who share writing credit with Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner. The film stars Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as Brabner. However, it also features appearances from Pekar and Brabner themselves (along with Toby Radloff), who discuss their lives, the comic books, and how it feels to be depicted onscreen by actors. It was filmed entirely on location in Cleveland and Lakewood in Ohio.


  • Paul Giamatti as Harvey Pekar
  • Hope Davis as Joyce Brabner
  • Judah Friedlander as Toby Radloff
  • James Urbaniak as Robert Crumb
  • Harvey Pekar as himself
  • Joyce Brabner as herself
  • Toby Radloff as himself
  • Josh Hutcherson as Robin


American Splendor won the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival, in addition to the award for Best Adapted Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. At the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, the film received the FIPRESCI (critics) award. It was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2003 Academy Awards. The film has a 94% fresh rating of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Columnist Jaime Wolf wrote a laudatory review of the film in Slate, also drawing attention to formal parallels with Woody Allen's Annie Hall and other Allen films. Pekar wrote about the effects of the film in American Splendor: Our Movie Year.