5.8/10
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13 user 7 critic

Harry & Son (1984)

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

Director:

Paul Newman

Writers:

Ronald Buck (screen story and screenplay) (as Ronald L. Buck), Paul Newman (screen story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Harry Keach
Robby Benson ... Howard Keach
Ellen Barkin ... Katie Wilowski
Wilford Brimley ... Tom Keach
Judith Ivey ... Sally
Ossie Davis ... Raymond
Morgan Freeman ... Siemanowski
Katherine Borowitz ... Nina
Maury Chaykin ... Lawrence
Joanne Woodward ... Lilly
Michael Brockman Michael Brockman ... Al
Cathy Cahill Cathy Cahill ... Waitress
Robert Goodman Robert Goodman ... Andy
Tom Nowicki ... Jimmy
Claudia Robinson Claudia Robinson ... Nurse
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harry and Son See more »

Filming Locations:

Broward County, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many film critics, writers, and reviewers likened the movie to being a male/men's version of Terms of Endearment (1983), which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Keach Family Values
13 May 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For a kid from the posh suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio Paul Newman has a remarkable affinity for playing blue collar men. This is a guy who knows the value of hard work and it's his greatest disappointment in life is that he hasn't passed on that value to his children, Katherine Borowitz and Robby Benson.

It's Benson who Newman worries the most about. He wants to be a writer, but that just doesn't happen over night. One has to get out into the world and acquire a little life experience to learn what one wants to write about. The only one that didn't apply to was Emily Dickinson. Benson cites Hemingway as getting rejected 300 times before getting some money for his thoughts. But there certainly was a man who had himself a lot of life experience and earned a few dollars to pay his own way.

I could understand Newman very well since I came from a family of uncles just like Newman on my mother's side. I could understand Benson less so since all he wants is surf and sex. He tries working at some dead end jobs, his scenes with Morgan Freeman at a cardboard box factory and trying to repossess Ossie Davis's car are his best in the film.

In fact Newman's tragedy is that health issues cause him to stop working and he won't acknowledge them.

But it's Newman and Benson that's the heart of Harry&Son. Father and son Keach come to a kind of understanding toward the end. The film is not the best from either Newman or Benson, but nothing to be ashamed of here.


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