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Harry and Tonto (2005)

Art Carney , Ellen Burstyn , Paul Mazursky  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn, René Enríquez, Herbert Berghof, Michael McCleery
  • Directors: Paul Mazursky
  • Writers: Paul Mazursky, Josh Greenfeld
  • Producers: Paul Mazursky, Anthony Ray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X75O2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,148 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Harry and Tonto" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Original theatrical trailer and TV spots

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the DVD!! March 21, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is an update of a previous review pleading for a DVD release of this film. Thanks to 20th Century Fox for the release. Excellent transfer of an marvelous film.

Evicted (literally carried) from his New York apartment, Harry Coombes (Carney) and Tonto, his cat, undergo a series of encounters that move them slowly, inevitably west. Harry stays briefly with each of his three children, and reinforced by casting choices, we feel that we're moving backward in time, eldest to youngest. Harry, too, seems to move backward in time. Through a series of other encounters - an Indian healer, a young girl running away from home, and others - Harry sheds his past, piece by piece, and moves toward an open future in which anything might happen.

There are memorable character portraits by Ellen Burstyn, Larry Hagman, Arthur Hunnicutt, Chief Dan George, and others. And of course Harry, whose acceptance of loss and refusal to indulge in sentimentality or self-pity show us it is possible to age with dignity and suppleness. This is a gem of a movie, from a time when Hollywood was not afraid to tell real stories about real people.

Would someone, PLEASE, release this on DVD!? Forget the special features, forget the cast & crew bios, the filmographies, the frills and trills. Just remaster this and put a good, clean copy on DVD. It's too good a movie to lose to tape rot!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry and Tonto DVD - Get It For Posterity February 12, 2006
Format:DVD
A truly magnificent film that is forgotten, even though it displays independence, sentimentality, masterful acting and pure entertainment. If for no other reason, you need to get the DVD version to hear Paul Mazursky's commentary version of the film. It is fascinating to learn the details that went into making this classic! The one criticism is that Mazursky makes a couple of references to "Art Carney being only 59 when the

movie was made." Since the movie was shot in the fall of 1973, Art was actually only 54 at that time, and he plays Harry at

age 72 perfectly. With all apologies to Jack Nicholson, Al

Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and Albert Finney, their work in 1974 cannot compare to Art Carney's Oscar-winning performance. You owe it to yourself to purchase this film!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very touching and sometimes difficult film to watch... January 5, 2006
Format:DVD
Art Carney renders an amazing performance as Harry Coombs, a 70 year old schoolteacher who is forced along with his 11-year-old cat Tonto from his lifetime home when developers want to plough under his apartment building to make way for a parking garage. When he realizes that living with his son in the suburbs isn't working, Harry and Tonto opt to take to the road and see the world that a career and family kept Harry from doing so long ago. The one aspect of this film that shone through is that Harry never forgot his friends. He never abandoned Tonto, though if he had he'd have had more options on living space. This is definitely a touching 'coming of age' film.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie That Will Break Your Heart! November 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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Well, I'll agree Art Carney was certainly the unlikely Oscar winner in 1975 for his role as gallivanting, cat toting septuagenarian Harry Coombes in the film Harry and Tonto (1974), especially given his competition including Jack Nicholson (Chinatown), Al Pacino (The Godfather: Part II), Dustin Hoffman (Lenny), and Albert Finney (Murder on the Orient Express), but that shouldn't overshadow the fact that this is just a really wonderful film, one worth checking out. Produced, co-written, and directed by Paul Mazursky (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Down and Out in Beverly Hills), the film stars, as I mentioned, Art Carney (W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood), probably best know for his role of Ed Norton, the world's most famous sewer worker, on the 1950s series "The Honeymooners". Also appearing is Philip Bruns (The Great Waldo Pepper), Cliff De Young (F/X), Josh Mostel (City Slickers), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Wuthering Heights), Melanie Mayron (My Blue Heaven), Chief Dan George (The Outlaw Josey Wales), Larry Hagman ("I Dream of Jeannie"), and Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist), who won an Oscar for another film she appeared in released the same year titled Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Carney plays Harry Coombes, a widowed, 72 year old retired teacher who's recently found out that he and his orange tabby named Tonto, are soon to be among the homeless throngs as their NY apartment building is slated for destruction, to be replaced by a parking lot. Harry reluctantly moves in with his son Burt (Bruns) in his suburban home, but quickly realizes living with a group isn't his (or Tonto's) bag. Harry begins looking for a new place in the city, but it's difficult, especially when you've got a cat in tow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love some of the characters
Instead of a "coming of age" picture with a road trip, this is a "supposedly past your prime" with a road trip picture. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Paul R. Muenchow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I love this old movie. The DVD you sent me was in great shape. I lost my wife last August, sold my house last month, retired at age 74 and am living with my son and his family. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Roland J.Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish they still made films like this
When Art Carney won the Oscar for Best Actor, there were some who chalked it up to sentimentality. Don't you believe it! Read more
Published 4 months ago by William Timothy Lukeman
5.0 out of 5 stars cry cry cry ...every time I watch this move
This movie is so poignant and I can only imagine from where I am today the stress of growing older, become a single and with only a charming feline for real company.... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Softpaww
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry and Tonto -- A Review
I saw this film when it was first released, was moved by it and never forgot it, and so when the DVD became available I had to own it, especially now, when I am Harry's age in the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by David A. Sermersheim
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
It really shows you what matters in life. I would recommend this DVD,, if you enjoy family moves and pets, or have an elderly relative
Published 5 months ago by K. Shorter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Overlooked Classic!!
Excellent movie..very nicely done. Art Carney in a great role for him...he was very talented! You will enjoy his cat "Tonto" also.
Published 8 months ago by W P Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry and Tonto
The touching story of a retired teacher who has been recently evicted from his long time home in order to build a new high rise apartment complex. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amador Cepeda
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous classic film!
I missed this film when it first came out. It is a great story. Art Carney is great in it( I remember him as Ed Norton,so it was hard to make the transition from comedian to... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jazzcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
Art Carney shows here that he was a lot more than Ed Norton. Definitely an Academy Award level film. Sad and funny at the same time.
Published 14 months ago by Edward J. Kast
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