7.4/10
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58 user 37 critic

Harry and Tonto (1974)

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

Director:

Paul Mazursky
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Art Carney ... Harry
René Enríquez ... Grocery Clerk
Herbert Berghof Herbert Berghof ... Rivetowski
Michael McCleery ... Mugger
Avon Long ... Leroy
Rashel Novikoff Rashel Novikoff ... Mrs. Rothman
Philip Bruns ... Burt (as Phil Bruns)
Cliff De Young ... Burt Jr.
Josh Mostel ... Norman (as Joshua Mostel)
Dolly Jonah Dolly Jonah ... Elaine
Sybil Bowan Sybil Bowan ... Old Landlady
Joe Madden Joe Madden ... Panhandler
Bette Howard Bette Howard ... Morgue Clerk
Patricia Fay Patricia Fay ... Airport Security Woman
Muriel Beerman ... Taxi Driver
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Storyline

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 of his life. When the building, in which he lives, is torn down to make way for a parking garage, Harry and his beloved cat Tonto begin a journey across the U.S., 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

Taglines:

Get a Lift See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1975 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Harry & Tonto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$980,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-Writer and Director Paul Mazursky was taking a cab to meet the casting director, and his cab driver talked so much, he thought she might be good in the movie. He had her park at the casting director's office and leave the meter running while she came inside and read for the part. She, Muriel Beerman, got the part as the taxi driver. See more »

Goofs

Leaving Harry's apartment, in the first shot, the trailer carrying his furniture is uncovered, in the second shot it's covered with a tarp. See more »

Quotes

Jacob Rivetowski: You can't fight capitalism in the courts. You got to go to the streets. Man the barricades, plant the dynamite. Blow up the cesspool.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tonto is billed "and TONTO" See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original theatrical version, Norman (Josh Mostel) says to Shirley (Ellen Burstyn), "I like you too, Aunt Shirley, but you're a c**t." When the ratings board gave the film an R rating because of this line, Mazursky changed the line to "But you're a bitch." All subsequent prints after the initial theatrical release contain this line, and the original has since disappeared. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Danny DeVito/Sparks (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Roamin' in the Gloamin'
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Lauder
Sung by Art Carney
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memorable Story Which Stays With You
28 April 2009 | by ccthemovieman-1See 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.


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