5.8/10
1,659
12 user 6 critic

Harry & Son (1984)

Harry Keach has been widowed for two years and works as a demolition crane operator on a demolition crew.

Director:

Writers:

(screen story and screenplay) (as Ronald L. Buck), (screen story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In New York, South Bronx's main police precinct is nicknamed Fort Apache by its employees who feel like troopers surrounded by hostiles in a wild west isolated outpost.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Paul Newman, Edward Asner, Ken Wahl
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of a union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A big-city private detective travels to the Deep South to help out an old girlfriend who is worried that her husband will find out that she is cheating on him.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa
Certificate: GP Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggle to keep the family business alive amidst changing times.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A member of British Intelligence assumes a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Vinegaroon, Texas, former outlaw Roy Bean appoints himself the judge for the region and dispenses his brand of justice as he sees fit.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Roy Jenson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Saundra McClain
Blaze (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A middle-aged Louisiana governor falls in love with a young stripper, which jeopardizes his political career and the radical policies which have made him a controversial figure.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Paul Newman, Lolita Davidovich, Jerry Hardin
Drama | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Carol Ann MacKay is a fine, popular nurse at a retirement home, and spends her free time with her hunky athletic husband Wayne MacKay, who was the star of her school's football team when ... See full summary »

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Paul Newman, Linda Fiorentino, Dermot Mulroney
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A son longs to escape from his stifling home, where his genteel mother worries about the future prospects of his lame, shy sister.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich, Karen Allen
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

An active volcano threatens a south Pacific island resort and its guests as a power struggle ensues between the property's developer and a drilling foreman.

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden
Harper (1966)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lew Harper, a cool private investigator, is hired by a wealthy California matron to locate her kidnapped husband.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Katie Wilowski
...
Tom Keach
...
Sally
...
Raymond
...
Siemanowski
...
Nina
...
Lawrence
...
Lilly
Michael Brockman ...
Al
Cathy Cahill ...
Waitress
Robert Goodman ...
Andy
...
Jimmy
Claudia Robinson ...
Nurse
Edit

Storyline

Harry Keach has been widowed for two years and works as a bulldozer operator on a construction crew. Despite having a strong work ethic, that working life is cut short when health issues lead to him no longer being able to do the job. Harry has a strained relationship with his two grown children: Nina, who, with her insurance salesman husband, seems more concerned about what they can receive in material possessions through her relationship with Harry; and Howard, who still lives with Harry. Howard is an aspiring writer, but as a person who lives in the here and now would rather hang out having fun than find work in a steady job when he isn't writing. Despite Harry loving Howard and Howard loving Harry, the strain in their relationship is brought to the fore as Howard can work but won't while Harry wants to work but can't. Especially while they still live together, the two have to come to a new understanding as they move into the next phase of their respective lives, Howard's which ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only a hard-nose writes off his kid-- Only a hero has the courage to change. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harry and Son  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman performed a few roles on this picture. Newman was the top-billed actor, one of the screenwriters, one of the producers, and the director. See more »

Quotes

Howard Keach: You know, looking for working can be a real gas.
Harry Keach: You got something?
Howard Keach: Yep, hope it ain't the clap.
[goes inside the house]
Harry Keach: [shouting] What are you talking about?
Howard Keach: [peeking out the door] I got lucky. I also got a job.
[goes back inside]
Harry Keach: [muttering] The clap?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Suggested by the novel "A Lost King" by Raymond DeCapite. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kicking and Screaming (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A mess
20 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Harry and Son" must have meant a lot to Paul Newman because he not only played Harry, but co-wrote the story and screenplay, as well as co-produced and directed the film. His wife, Joanne Woodward, also got dragged into this mess in a small supporting role.

Before Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, and Newman's buddy Robert Redford stepped behind the camera and won Oscars for directing, Newman won a lot of praise and some awards for his 1968 directorial debut, "Rachel, Rachel," for which Woodward received an Oscar nomination. The film was also nominated for best picture, but Newman was passed over by the director's branch who nominated Stanley Kubrick for "2001: A Space Odyssey" instead (although it might be more accurate to say the Academy gave the best picture nomination that "2001" deserved to the Newman-Woodward film). Whatever promise Newman showed behind the camera wasn't fulfilled, however, and Newman directed only a handful of other films, the best of which, in my opinion, was 1971's "Sometimes a Great Notion" from Ken Kesey's novel about a logging family in Oregon that featured a remarkable scene involving a drowning.

"Harry and Son" suggests that, as a director, Newman was spent. His first mistake was in casting himself as a construction worker, an ornery guy who would have been more suitable for George C. Scott, but made his biggest misstep by casting Robby Benson as his son. Robby Benson!? There was a time in the '70s before the Brat Pack era of the next decade when the soft-voiced, overly pretty, and annoyingly coy Benson seemed to get all the major male roles between the ages of 16 and 25. Fortunately, until the Brat Pack era of which he was not a part, there weren't too many major roles in movies for males aged 16 to 25. Movie audiences, even the 18-25 year olds said to represent the demographic Hollywood covets most, preferred stories with adult characters played by middle-aged actors, whether it was Sean Connery (or Roger Moore) as James Bond, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, or any of the roles played by Newman, Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, Burt Reynolds, and the other box-office draws of that era.

Benson was awful in just about everything he did, and always too goody-goody and sensitive to be believed. He's not convincing as Newman's son, nor does he believably portray a writer which the construction worker's son aspires to be. He sits grimacing at his typewriter, aggressively pounding the keys, and when his father asks why the stories he writes are always being rejected, he calmly says, "It's part of the ritual." That sounds like a remark that a neophyte writer would write for a character who is a writer. It's not what a writer would likely utter while watching the rejection slips piling up, suffering a crisis of confidence on one hand, and feeling defensively superior on the other.

Newman isn't much better. I guess he couldn't help it if he looks too handsome and physically fit for a 58-year-old laborer, but that's because he wasn't a laborer. He was a 58-year-old movie star who kept himself in tip-top shape and resembles a male model more than a construction worker even in his snug jeans and flannel shirt. Newman would convincingly play a blue collar guy a decade later in the excellent "Nobody's Fool," but he didn't write the script for that and left the directing to Robert Benton. As for Benson, he went on to voice the beast in Disney's animated "Beauty and the Beast," and has mercifully remained behind-the-camera ever since. Sorry, Robby, but as an actor, you stank.

Brian W. Fairbanks


4 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page