Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Harry and Tonto

I saw the movie Harry and Tonto (1974) the other night. Starring Art Carney as Harry, it is the story of an elderly man who travels across the USA with his cat Tonto. Tonto’s aversion to riding in buses prompts Harry to buy a clunker in which they continue their journey. Various adventures ensue until they arrive at land’s end in Venice, California. There Tonto dies and Harry begins a new life. It is a movie of real humanity unlike so much of the robotic crap cranked out by Hollywood. No race and chase, no explosions, no gratuitous sex and violence, no special effects. Whenever I hear a movie praised for its special effects, I suspect the praiser to be a lunkhead capable of being roused from his stupor only by rude assaults upon his senses. What were the special effects in Fellini’s La Strada, or in Zorba the Greek? How about a story? How about some human meaning? How about some decent dialogue?