Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Harry and Tonto..............Catman

Harry and Tonto

A road trip film with old people.  I think I am in love.  Seriously, this is a good movie.  Harry is on old man that has lived his entire life in New York City.  When his apartment building is torn down, he sees the end of life as he knew it.  Instead of giving up, in a round about sort of way, he decides to embrace it and reinvent his life.

Art Carney, who plays Harry, did win an Academy Award for this performance so you might think I should have heard of this film before.  It was, however, in 1974.  I was six at the time and it somehow escaped my attention. (I do however remember the Barbie house with an elevator I got for my birthday that year.) The supporting cast is terrific and some familiar faces show up along the way including Ellen Burstyn and Larry Hagman though nobody shoots him here and there is no genie involved.

Now, I must tell of my favorite thing about this film.  The open scene.  It shows old people going about their business.  Shopping, walking, sitting on benches.  And here is the kicker, they look old.  They look old like my grandparents looked old.  They had gray hair, buns on their head, side burns, and hats.  I hadn't realized how much I missed this and it made me sigh inside.  I went back and watched it twice I liked it so much.  Now mind you, I don't plan to look like that in 30 years but it sure did bring me back.

Things to know before viewing

1) Art Carney deserved that Oscar.  You won't be scratching your head and thinking "Really? For this?"

2) Unlike some other films from the 1970s that have become caricatures of themselves, this one holds up. It feel like a slice out of time in a good way.

3) All points Kleenex alert.

What about the kids?

I'm going to say no.  Even though I am not certain it would receive and R today, there is a scene with a hooker, one very brief shot of a topless female,  and fair amount of sex talk.  It was the 70's after all.

Currently available on Netflix Instant Viewing and on DVD

4 1/2 Stars- "Really Liked It" (plus)

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