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:

They're two men with nothing in common. They're father and son. 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

The last film, in which Paul Newman was seen, before he turned sixty, on January 26, 1985. 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

The movie's closing credits declare: "PAN AM is pleased to have been of assistance on this film". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Violence (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Hemingway was rejected 97 times before he was ever published." .. "You're out to break his record?"
16 September 2017 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Harry was once an ace crane operator for a construction company, but failing health in his older years has weakened his eyesight and, after a near-miss on the job, he's unceremoniously canned. Harry's son, Howard, in his early 20s and still living with "Pa," has a goof-off job detailing and washing cars, which leaves him most of the day to surf at the beach or type his short stories. Unable to hold a steady job with regular hours, the kid eventually gets the boot by Harry; meanwhile, the best friend of Harry's deceased wife--who works in a bird store and talks to her parrots--has a pregnant daughter with eyes for Howard (she doesn't seem to notice or care that he's unemployed, so naturally the kid wants to marry her). Co-written, co-produced, directed and starring Paul Newman, "Harry & Son" can't help but be a disappointment. Where has Newman's artistry gone? It's as absent here as his talent handling actors. This is a one-dimensional family drama with unconvincing characters and arguments and situations. Harry pecks at his son like a jealous lover, which is rendered even more unpleasant by Robby Benson's penchant for acting without his shirt on. Benson gives a wet, mildewy performance, the kind of plastic acting that cancels out all interest in a performer. Directing himself, Newman doesn't fare much better. Joanne Woodward, Ellen Barkin, Ossie Davis and Judith Ivey should be a strong supporting ensemble but the baleful writing doesn't help them. Playing a warehouse supervisor producing cardboard boxes, Morgan Freeman (shouting over the machines) has the most ridiculous sequence--who wouldn't walk away after a nightmare like this? There's another scene involving cardboard boxes (that's two too many), wherein vindictive Newman tries making his daughter and her husband look foolish by packing dishes in a wet container. There are no conclusions to these episodes; Newman is only interested in setting up the circumstances and then bulldozing his way to the next chapter. It's a depressingly pedestrian piece of work. *1/2 from ****


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