Harry & Tonto

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  • Harry & Tonto

    I was tempted to title this thread "Hairy & Tonto", but I wanted people to be able to find the thread via the search engine. VMFs been recommending this film to me for a while and I finally got around to seeing it this afternoon.

    First off, it was nothing like what I expected. I'm usually careful about hearing or reading too much about a movie before I see it and this was no exception. Given the title I expected a buddy pic, and it was, but not at all like I'd imagined.

    I felt like the first 35-40 minutes dragged a little bit ... it took them that long to get on the road and for a road trip movie that's a long time. I also found the bits between Harry and his family to be the least interesting scenes in the film. I found myself waiting for him to meet his next interesting traveling companion along the way rather than unloading all the family baggage.

    For me Chief Dan George stole the show. His 5 minute scene in a Las Vegas jail cell was a true gem. Amazing writing and amazing delivery from both actors.

    The film brought tears to my eyes several times (not always hard to do) and gave me a number ideas for my own screenplays. Very glad I saw it and I'm sorry I waited so long.

    Thank, vmf!
    http://confoundedfilms.com

    http://www.myspace.com/confoundedfilms

  • #2
    Re: Harry & Tonto

    Harry & Tonto is one of my favorites and has been for years. Yeah, there are a few lulls here and there, but not enough to make me get up and do something else. The scenes that grabbed me most were the ones with Hagman, the dinner scene with his other son's family, and the "the different air" dialogue at Venice Beach. Well written, well acted. And
    the Maz commentary on DVD ain't bad.

    Got it for 5 bucks at Amoeba in Hollywood brand new!
    "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
    - Screenwriting Friend

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    • #3
      Re: Harry & Tonto

      Glad you finally got around to seeing it Hairy, and I agree on most of your points. I personally liked the start, with him jabbering with his old Polish friend ("capitalist bastard!") and establishing the status quo. But that whole segment at his son's place was really slow, and I too was hoping he'd take to the road earlier.

      But the road trip part was awesome, and like you, I felt that Chief Dan George was really good, and as many have said, he was just a natural. A lot of scenes stuck with me, and that " Roamin' in the gloamin' on the bonnie banks o' Clyde" part at the end was really nice, as was Harry's "letter to Leroy" at the end.

      And one part I really liked, that I don't see anyone commenting on, is the score. It fit the movie and the mood perfectly, and Mazursky rightfully gives Oscar-winner Bill Conti kudos a few times in his DVD commentary.

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      • #4
        Re: Harry & Tonto

        Yes, I liked the beginning up until getting to his son's house. All the stuff with him in his neighborhood and in his apartment was great. I even liked the relationship between his grandsons at his son's house, but the son and daughter-in-law were just meh.

        Haven't seen Scarecrow. I'll put it on my list.
        http://confoundedfilms.com

        http://www.myspace.com/confoundedfilms

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        • #5
          Re: Harry & Tonto

          Let me second SCARECROW, even though I haven't seen it in over 20 years. It's all about Hackman and Pacino acting naturally.

          Also, has anyone here seen I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER? Hackman and Melvyn Douglas as father and son at war.

          - Bill
          Free Script Tips:
          http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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          • #6
            Re: Harry & Tonto

            Ah, SCARECROW. That little known film Pacino made in between THE GODFATHER and SERPICO. Gotta check it out.

            As non action buddy films go, I keep hearing things about RANCHO DELUXE with Sam Waterston and Jeff Bridges. Saw it, didn't think much of it.
            Will probably see it again.
            "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
            - Screenwriting Friend

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            • #7
              Re: Harry & Tonto

              Harry and Tonto - nearly as good as The Late Show.
              Craft maximises talent

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              • #8
                Re: Harry & Tonto

                Originally posted by wcmartell
                Let me second SCARECROW, even though I haven't seen it in over 20 years. It's all about Hackman and Pacino acting naturally.
                I really wanted to like this movie, and thought that Hackman put in an incredible performance, but I never *got* the whole friendship/connection between him and Pacino. I just didn't see Pacino's character do anything to deserve Hackman's friendship, loyalty or trust.

                In a movie like Midnight Cowboy, these were two guys living on the fringes who formed a bond and it made sense, but in Scarecrow, I kept wanting Hackman to lay a beating on Pacino and head off on his own. Especially that scene in the prison/work farm, where Pacino is taunting and insulting Hackman about working, while he's "trying to get in show business".

                Then to make matters worse, Hackman later stands up for his "friend" and seeks retribution?

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                • #9
                  Re: Harry & Tonto

                  Hackman mentioned that SCARECROW was his favorite movie of the many he starred in.
                  "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
                  -Maya Angelou

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                  • #10
                    Re: Harry & Tonto

                    Robert Anderson's I Never Sang for My Father is very good... the Hackman/Douglas version is quite moving... I think there was a 1988 TV version to (in the UK)
                    Craft maximises talent

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