Harry and Tonto [1974]

In 1974, the Oscar nominees for Best Actor included Jack Nicholson (Chinatown), Al Pacino (Godfather Part II), and Dustin Hoffman (Lenny). And the winner? Art Carney for this Paul Mazursky comedy about a retired schoolteacher evicted from his apartment to make way for urban redevelopment. So he takes his cat, Tonto, and heads cross-country to live with one of his children. But the trip is an eventful one, involving encounters with an assortment of friends and strangers. Carney is a game and canny old pro and he helps this film rise above its occasionally sentimental excesses; the result is consistently entertaining. But honestly--the Oscar over Nicholson, Pacino, and Hoffman? You be the judge. --Marshall Fine

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