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.

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

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Stars: Donald Sutherland, Ellen Burstyn, Meg Mazursky
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Harry
... Grocery Clerk
Herbert Berghof ... Rivetowski
... Mugger
... Leroy
Rashel Novikoff ... Mrs. Rothman
... Burt (as Phil Bruns)
... Burt Jr.
... Norman (as Joshua Mostel)
Dolly Jonah ... Elaine
Sybil Bowan ... Old Landlady
Joe Madden ... Panhandler
Bette Howard ... Morgue Clerk
Patricia Fay ... Airport Security Woman
... 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:

An Original Mazursky See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1975 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Harry & Tonto  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Art Carney initially told Paul Mazursky that he loved the script, but felt that he was too young in his mid fifties to play Harry, Mazursky pointed out to Carney that he already had a natural bow-legged walk due to his World War II injuries, and could easily pass as an older man. See more »

Goofs

During Harry, Ginger and Norman's cross-country trip they stop at a railroad crossing. As the car comes to a stop (camera in front, ground level), there is no car behind them and none visible coming up the road. When the scene shifts to inside the car for Norman's violin performance (camera now at about dashboard level), what appears to be a white or light-color van is visible out the back window. As they pull away after the train has passed and Norman has finished playing (camera angle now above and behind their car), a brown car follows. See more »

Quotes

Burt Coombes Jr.: I know you think you're really far out. You smoke a couple of joints, and you think you're into something, right? No... hey, I know. I mean, I took 32 trips, you ninny. Pure stuff. Pure rainbow! I had more coke stuffed up this nose than you could breathe air. I was into heavy Tibetan meditation for two years, you jimbo!
Harry: You're not very tolerant, Junior.
Burt Coombes Jr.: The heaviest thing I can do for him is to-...
[shouts]
Burt Coombes Jr.: wake him up!
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Crazy Credits

Tonto is billed "and TONTO" See more »

Connections

Featured in 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Roamin' in the Gloamin'
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Lauder
Sung by Art Carney
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User Reviews

 
Memorable Story Which Stays With You
28 April 2009 | by 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.


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