Dreams with Sharp Teeth

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Dreams with Sharp Teeth
DVD cover
Directed byErik Nelson
Written byErik Nelson
Harlan Ellison
Produced byErik Nelson
Randall M. Boyd
StarringHarlan Ellison
Robin Williams
Neil Gaiman
Peter David
Ronald D. Moore
Josh Olson
Tom Snyder
CinematographyWes Dorman
Edited byRandall Boyd
Music byRichard Thompson
Creative Differences
Release date
  • June 4, 2008 (2008-06-04)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States

Dreams with Sharp Teeth is a 2008 biographical documentary film about writer Harlan Ellison. It is composed of original and archive footage of Ellison and talking head segments from colleagues and fans including Robin Williams, Peter David, and Neil Gaiman.


In 1981, then-24-year-old producer Erik Nelson began shooting footage of Ellison while the author was at work on his typewriter. The footage was meant for a PBS segment set to air in March of that year. Ellison allowed Nelson to repeatedly film and interview him over subsequent years, stating that he thought Nelson to be "a fan working on a student project", and has stated that he never suspected that the film would amount to a serious production on such a professional level.

The result of those sessions, and subsequent sessions spanning decades from the original, have been culled and edited, with additions from contemporaries of Ellison into what has become a documentary following a rough arc of Ellison's life and activities.

The film's name was taken from the title of a three-volume omnibus of Ellison's works that was published in 1991.[1][2]

Dreams with Sharp Teeth received its first public screening Thursday, April 19, 2007, at the Writers Guild Theatre in Los Angeles.[3] In September 2007, the film was screened at Ellison's last public appearance in his hometown of Cleveland for the Midwestern debut of the documentary at Cleveland Public Library.[4][5]

The DVD version was released on May 26, 2009. Additional materials on the DVD include a short feature on the film's debut screening, a conversation over pizza between Ellison and Gaiman, and readings of extracts from a number of short stories.


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 21 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10.[6]


  1. ^ Rae, Graham (May 24, 2007). "Eternally Angry Eye Candy". Film Threat. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  2. ^ "Harlan Ellison". Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library. November 9, 2017. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  3. ^ Loftus, David (May 6, 2007). "Dreams with Sharp Teeth". DocumentaryFilms.net Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (28 June 2018). "Harlan Ellison, fiery and brilliant writer from Cleveland, dead at 84". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  5. ^ Isabella, Tony (17 September 2007). "Tony's Online Tips". World Famous Comics. Retrieved 29 June 2018. I have a busy social calendar in the remaining weeks of this month. On Friday, September 21, my dear friends Harlan and Susan Ellison will be in Cleveland for A Tribute to Harlan Ellison at the main library of the Cleveland Public Library: Join us in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed with a Midwestern debut screening of Dreams With Sharp Teeth, a documentary on the writer and native Clevelander, Harlan Ellison. Screening will be followed by special guests with a special appearance by Harlan Ellison.
  6. ^ "Dreams with Sharp Teeth". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 12, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata

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