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Harry & Tonto

Art Carney , Ellen Burstyn , Paul Mazursky    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 11.98
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Harry & Tonto + A Fish Called Wanda (Widescreen Collector's Edition) (2DVD) (Bilingual)
Price For Both: CDN$ 17.83


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Product Description

Amazon.ca

In 1974, the Oscar nominees for Best Actor included Jack Nicholson (Chinatown), Al Pacino (Godfather Part II), and Dustin Hoffman (Lenny). And the winner? Art Carney for this Paul Mazursky comedy about a retired schoolteacher evicted from his apartment to make way for urban redevelopment. So he takes his cat, Tonto, and heads cross-country to live with one of his children. But the trip is an eventful one, involving encounters with an assortment of friends and strangers. Carney is a game and canny old pro and he helps this film rise above its occasionally sentimental excesses; the result is consistently entertaining. But honestly--the Oscar over Nicholson, Pacino, and Hoffman? You be the judge. --Marshall Fine

Product Description

Art Carney shines in this poignant drama about an aging widower's determined search for a better life. Harry (Carney), who lives in New York with his pet cat, Tonto, is having a rough time of it. Not only does he keep getting mugged, but the huge wrecking ball outside his window is about to demolish his apartment. So Harry bids farewell to the city and sets out for life in the suburbs with his son's family. But son Burt is too stuffy and his wife is too bossy. When a stay with Harry's single daughter doesn't work out either, man and cat head West in a second-hand car, meeting bizarre characters along the way. Finally they reach L.A., where Harry moves in with his other son Eddie (Larry Hagman). But by now Harry's realized he likes being on the road and hasn't yet had his fill of adventure. Highlighted by Carney's outstanding performance. This moving story lights up the screen with a wit and wisdom that is rare and beautiful.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Paced Human Interest Story from 1974 March 31 2004
Format:VHS Tape
What can you do if you're a senior citizen, retired and living on a small fixed income, when the apartment building in which you've lived for the past 30 years or so is about to be demolished to make way for an upscale high-rise? What can you do if your best friend, who promised to take you in, then up & dies? What can you do if you are then taken in by your son and his family who pretend that they want you but, all the while, you know in your gut that you are an absolute burden to them? What can you do if your only true friend is yourself--and your cat? Would you have the courage to uproot yourself for the first time in your life and to discover new places, new experiences and yourself?
Such is the predicament of Harry Coombes (Art Carney, in his Oscar-winning performance), who sets out in search of a new, better life after the old, comfortable existence he always knew is unceremoniously cast by the wayside. In his quest across America, which takes him from New York City to Southern California, he occasionally hooks up with family members--his neurotic son Burt (Philip Bruns) and his dysfunctional family, cold-hearted daughter Shirley in Chicago (a well-cast Ellen Burstyn, who won her much-deserved Best Actress Oscar in the same year for Martin Scorsese's ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE) and philandering son Eddie (an earnest Larry Hagman)--but it's his experiences with others such as hippy chick Ginger (Melanie Mayron), Native American healer Sam Two Feathers (an unforgettable Chief Dan George) and possible new love interest Celia (Sally Marr) that truly guide him to his destination; perhaps his destiny.
Also memorable is the earlier-mentioned dysfunctional family of eldest son Burt, consisting of wife Elaine (Dolly Jonah) and their two grown sons, the ingrate Burt Jr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie That Will Break Your Heart! Nov. 24 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This movie came out in 1974, when I was 16 years old, but I don't recall ever hearing of it until I read about Art Carney's death a couple of weeks ago. I promptly ordered the video, watched the movie for the first time last night, and wow! it was so sad it ripped my heart out! It's a great movie, with an outstanding performance by Art Carney (yes, I do think he deserved the Oscar). The thing that most prompted me to get it was the fact that I love cats. If you love cats, I guarantee you'll love this movie, but I also guarantee you'll cry at the end. You'll also feel sorry for Carney's character, an old man who feels he's lost all his old friends and doesn't know his place in the world. He sets out with his cat Tonto trying to find roots, and along the way he meets some strange characters. That's one thing that makes the movie interesting. This movie also took me back to the 1970's and made me realize that life was actually simpler then, when we didn't have the Internet, cell phones, and computerized cars. Watching the movie will give you a feeling of nostalgia (if you can remember the 70's), as well as humor, sadness, and sympathy. A lot of emotions are wrapped up in this movie, and I couldn't believe how real it seemed to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally memorable, sweet movie Nov. 11 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Hearing the sad news that Art Carney passed away today, it immediately made me think of Harry and Tonto - even before any of his other excellent work. This is a movie (yes, it has comedic moments but is not a 'comedy') that provokes thought, evokes an era, and sticks with you even many years later. I urge anyone with a heart (and a few hankies) to see this. The reviewer who mentioned the R rating had it exactly right - a reasonable mature youngster sees and hears far more on television than what appears in this movie! Let's hope it appears on DVD before too long - I'm in line for a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Film Nov. 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is not a comedy, by any stretch of the imagination, and Art Carney deserved his Oscar. There are some very funny moments but they are mainly bittersweet-this is a sad story. I saw it for the first time today and will be thinking about both Tonto and Harry for a long time. This is a movie that takes you in immediately, makes you care about its characters and relies on a great story to carry it through. If you have a heart this excellent film will touch you. It was much too short.
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Format:VHS Tape
This is not a conventional movie review (even though I do say that I like the movie a lot). There is a certain aspect of this movie that I find interesting and unique, and would like to point out: this movie was rated R back in 1974, and I am not really sure if it deserved this rating. Whereas most R rated movies are filled with gratuitous [physical activity], profanity, drug use, violence, gore, etc., HARRY & TONTO is plainly not. Granted, there are a few cuss words, [physical] references and drug references spaced throughout the movie, but it still maintains a sentimental family tone that is most prevalent in PG movies. The most memorable scene that one might find objectionable is the scene where Harry's young female travel companion (Ginger) exposes some cleavage in the motel room. However, the shot is really far and nothing is really revealed. There is also a scene with a [street walker] going to Las Vegas. Other than that, and the aforementioned language, I find that it still is a family movie. The relationship between Harry and Tonto the cat is purely "G" rated, and children will definitely relate to it. I've never seen something so cutesy and wholesome as this cat in an R rated film. To this day, I wonder why the producers decided to add in the occasional objectionable material. It could have been easily removed, and the film would lose none of its emotional power. The bottom line is that this is the most family-oriented "R" rated movie ever released.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Art Carney is great
and I think he deserved the oscar but it was somewhat spoiled by the obligatory rudeness. Someone felt the story would be improved by mooning us with an unattractive bottom and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by queenie monk
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry and Tonto
This is such a heartwarming love story. Its nice to watch something about love and kindness. You certainly don't need any sex, violence and phony special affects to keep you in... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2010 by warmhearted
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry and Tonto
Harry reminded me of a good Canadian friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. His views to the world were often cynical but always clear and in point. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2009 by Masaharu Ono
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This a wonderfully unusual and beautifully touching tale about an old man and his cat traveling across the United States. It will truly make you laugh and cry.
Published on Sept. 4 2004 by jskinner
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, Art Carney at his best !!!
I purchased this movie after Art Carney passed away last year based on reviews I had read about it. It is one of the nicest movies I have ever seen. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw this in the theatres in 1974!
My brother took me to see this- its nothing like Born Free with the big cats, but the house cat plays a big part of this film, along with the theme of the displaced elderly, who... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, brings back the promise and pace of 1970s
For me, this film is extremely bittersweet, because it is so much of its time, the mid-seventies, when hippies could hitchhike off to communes in Colorado and not be worried about... Read more
Published on March 9 2003 by Beautiful Dreamer
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but often sentimental--and not exactly a comedy
I thought the movie was moving but it definitely veered into sentimentality at times. Also sometimes it's a little too self-conscious about showing what free-spirited oddballs some... Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2002 by Martha Spizziri
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