7.4/10
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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

When Norman (Josh Mostel) tells Shirley (Ellen Burstyn) that he thinks she's a "bitch", he is actually saying the word "cunt" (dubbed over with "bitch"). See more »

Goofs

When Stephanie drops Harry off at the casino in Las Vegas, a huge silhouette of the entire filming crew is visible on the side of the car. See more »

Quotes

Leroy: You all right, Harry?
Harry: I was mugged.
Leroy: White boy or black boy?
Harry: What the hell difference does it make?
Leroy: I'd just like to know, that's all.
Harry: White.
Leroy: Hot damn.
Harry: If it makes you feel any better, the last one was Puerto Rican.
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 »


Soundtracks

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Heard on soundtack while Harry is with hooker
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A simple and real tale of travel (inner as well as outer)
15 August 2007 | by polyprufrockSee all my reviews

Every good fish-out-of-water story has a hook. In this film, it's not excitement or glamour or derring-do (well, no more derring-do than an aging retiree can muster) that moves events along, but the very real strength of human connection based on the frailty of human nature.

Harry is literally carried out of his NY apartment slated for demolition, and must learn to re- define home by going on an odyssey he never would have planned. He begins as an unwilling participant -- but because he has one remaining link to the life he knew (the tail-waving Tonto), he remains able and willing to see what's around the next bend.

Encountering children and grandchildren, bus drivers and prostitutes, old flames and old farts, each with their own agenda, Harry stays true to the notion of not reaching home until he knows he's truly arrived -- and that requires letting go of his need to matter to someone, as well as accepting the importance of his mattering to himself. It is one of the sweetest and most human (non-mythical) journeys you'll encounter on film.


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