Harry and Tonto (1974)

R  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  15 January 1975 (France)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,570 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 30 critic

When his apartment building is torn down, a retired lifelong New Yorker goes on a cross country odyssey with his beloved cat Tonto.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grocery Clerk
Herbert Berghof ...
Avon Long ...
Rashel Novikoff ...
Mrs. Rothman
Philip Bruns ...
Burt (as Phil Bruns)
Burt Jr.
Norman (as Joshua Mostel)
Dolly Jonah ...
Sybil Bowan ...
Old Landlady
Joe Madden ...
Bette Howard ...
Morgue Clerk
Patricia Fay ...
Airport Security Woman
Muriel Beerman ...
Taxi Driver


Harry is a retired teacher in his 70s living in the Upper West Side of New York City where his late wife and he raised his children--where he's lived all his life. When the building he lives in is torn down to make way for a parking garage, Harry and his beloved cat Tonto begin a journey across the United States, visiting his children, seeing a world he never seemed to have the time to see before, making new friends, and saying goodbye to old friends. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 January 1975 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Harry e Tonto  »

Box Office


$980,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Pieces of liver were placed around Art Carney in order to attract the cats that played Tonto into cuddling with Carney in pivotal scenes. See more »


When Tonto dies, Harry mentions that he died at 11 human years old, which is somewhat young for a cat. However, he also mentions that Tonto was 77 years old, which would be in dog years, since the cat-to-human ratio is five cat years to one human year. The dog-to-human ratio is seven dog years to one human year. See more »


Harry: When did you last have a woman, Jacob?
Jacob Rivetowski: What?
Harry: When did you last sleep with a woman?
Jacob Rivetowski: Saturday night.
Jacob Rivetowski: March.
Jacob Rivetowski: 1951. Yeah, it was about ten o'clock at night.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tonto is billed "and TONTO" See more »


Referenced in The Omen Legacy (2001) See more »


Tea for Two
Music by Vincent Youmans
Lyrics by Irving Caesar
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User Reviews

Memorable Story Which Stays With You
28 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every once in a while - but less and less these days - a movie comes around that has some impact, in that you find it hard to get it out your mind for awhile. That's what "Harry and Tonto" did to me, recently.

It wasn't the world's greatest film but it was great storytelling, sometimes a lost art among filmmakers in recent decades. "Harry" is a retiree and "Tonto" is his cat. The movie follows the two around as the pair travel from the East Coast to the West. It all begins when Harry's building is demolished as part of "urban renewal." He quickly finds out he doesn't want to live with his quirky son and his even-stranger kids, so he hits the road to Chicago to seek out other relatives. It goes from there.

The movie is filled with little vignettes. For instance, how the cat adapts for doesn't adapt to some modes of travel and the interesting and very diverse people Harry meets on the way (which winds up going all the way to Los Angeles).

Art Carney as "Harry Coombes" got the Academy Award for best actor. My vote might have gone to the cat. If you've ever owned a cat, you can appreciate how unbelievably-trained this feline was in the film. Tonto was amazing! Almost everyone in this film is a good person who tries to befriend Harry and Tonto, so you get a good feel throughout this almost-two-hour movie. It's one memorable short story after another - some funny, some sad.

I hate to use this cliché, but it's the kind of slow-moving, human-interest story movie you don't see anymore. That's a shame, because these kinds of films you don't forget.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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