HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Harry and Tonto On The Road
Year: 1974
Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Larry Hagman, Chief Dan George, Arthur Hunnicutt, Melanie Mayron, Herbert Berghof, Philip Bruns, Cliff De Young, Josh Mostel, Dolly Jonah, Cliff Norton, Michael Butler, Clint Young, Barbara Rhoades
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Widower Harry Coombes (Art Carney) lives alone except for his cat in a New York City apartment, but his peaceful existence is about to be disrupted when he learns the block where his home is will soon be demolished to make way for a new car park. Harry isn't going without a fight, and he likes living in this neighbourhood with his dwindling circle of friends, but perhaps he would be better off out of there considering he has been mugged four times already this year. So the time has come to move out, or rather move in - with one of his sons, which he's not happy about, but he has to settle down somewhere...

It wasn't Jack Nicholson who won the Best Actor Oscar in 1975, nor was it Albert Finney, Dustin Hoffman or Al Pacino so who was the titan of big screen acting who did walk away with the prize? That's right, it was Art Carney from T.V.'s The Honeymooners for his understated and unassuming performance in Harry and Tonto, a major upset at the time and cause of much disbelief ever since. It could be that the Academy were feeling sentimental about their favourite T.V. shows, but if you haven't seen the film, or at least not for a while, it's easy to forget the winning charm that the star carried here.

Even though it takes in an epic journey, this is a low key work for the most part, with its emotions only occasionally bubbling up to the surface, preferring a lightly humorous angle on its septuagenarian hero. Although for the first forty minutes or so before Harry finally his the road, it's easy to feel despondent at his situation, thrown out of his apartment and stuck with the arguing and dysfunctional family of his son (Philip Bruns). As if that weren't bad enough, his old pals are dying off around him, and in these early stages it looks as if we're in for a morose time - that cat isn't getting any younger, either.

Then Harry decides to take Tonto the moggy to see his daughter Shirley (Ellen Burstyn), but when it's made clear in no uncertain terms that he cannot be allowed to have his cat accompany him on the plane, he opts to take the bus. It's at this point that the film begins to wake up from under its grey cloud, and when Tonto wishes to relieve himself Harry has to persuade the driver to stop and then Tonto runs away so... Basically the old man takes his cat and his luggage to a used car salesman and buys a little blue vehicle to drive all the way to Chicago in. And as he goes, he encounters a cross section of America in easy to handle pieces, a teenage hitchhiker (Melanie Mayron) here, a Native Indian medicine man (the priceless Chief Dan George) in prison there.

But although director and writer (with Josh Greenfeld) Paul Mazursky can rightly be accused of tending towards the precious in these meetings, even corny in places (as when Harry goes to visit a now-senile past girlfriend - played by Geraldine Fitzgerald - in a retirement home), he never resorts to going over the top in big tearjerking or laughter-inducing sequences. Carney was not the first choice (James Cagney turned the role down), and you could admit he was too young to play Harry (he was picked in case the film flopped so it could be sold to television instead: T.V. star, see?), but he does a marvellous job, illustrating dramatic skills that might have gone unrecorded otherwise. As road movies go, it grows on you the more characters we meet, whether they be a cheerful hooker (Barbara Rhoades) or Harry's less than cheerful other son (Larry Hagman, great in the ten minutes he appears), and casts a beguiling spell that you may not notice until the story is over. Music by Bill Conti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2653 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: