Art Carney is a spirited senior (the Harry of the title) who is evicted from his home (the building is going to be torn down to make way for a parking lot). He sets out with his cat Tonto on a cross-country journey that sees him bouncing off family members and strangers on their own journeys.
Some of these encounters are less believable than others (the Hooker With The Heart of Gold, for example), but the tone of the film is a gentle, wry, observational humour. Carney is excellent,…though clearly playing someone older than he really is, and it’s hard to buy the Oscar claim that this was the best performance by an actor in 1974 of all years. This is a road movie, of which there seemed to be so many in that era, but its protagonist marks this one as being a bit different.
The audio track is a 2.0 stereo, but not surround. There is, thankfully, no bleed or other wraparound into the rear speakers. The sound is decent, then, if unspectacular, but this isn’t a film that requires a deep and enveloping sound design.
The trailer is in rather rough shape, but the print of the feature looks good. The colours are natural and strong, and the contrasts are good too. There are no grain or edge enhancement issues. A good-looking transfer.
Paul Mazursky’s commentary is informative, and there are some rather affecting moments as he looks back on a film about aging now that he is much older himself. There are also, however, some long pauses, and he spends a bit too much time describing what we can see for ourselves. Also here are the trailer, the teaser, and some TV spots. The menu is basic.
This wasn’t a ground-breaking road movie, but it remains a very watchable one.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots