Harry & Son (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Harry & Son (1984)



Critic Consensus: A mostly outstanding cast is left stranded by an aimless story and Paul Newman's surprisingly undisciplined direction in Harry & Son.

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Movie Info

Paul Newman directed and stars as a blue-collar widower at odds with his son (Robby Benson). Katie: Ellen Barkin. Tom: Wilford Brimley. Sally: Judith Ivey. Raymond: Ossie Davis. Siemanowski: Morgan Freeman. Newman also co-scripted.

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Ossie Davis
as Raymond
Morgan Freeman
as Siemanowski
Maury Chaykin
as Lawrence
Cathy Cahill
as Waitress
Joseph Alva
as Young Man
Joe Sikorra
as Young Man
Don Moody
as 1st Construction Worker
Leroy Dukes
as 2nd Construction Worker
Joseph C. Hess
as 1st Worker
Harold Bergman
as Night Watchman
Al Nesor
as Taxi Driver
Jill Selkowitz
as 1st Factory Girl
Patricia A. Frye
as 2nd Factory Girl
Dennis W. Edwards
as Iron Construction Worker
Jan Siegel
as Woman Driver
Suzanne M. Brierley
as Beauty Parlor Woman
Terry Miller
as Surplus Clerk
Mark Anthony Wade
as Delivery Man
George Warren
as Superintendent
Fred M. Wilkins
as Concrete-Mixer Operator
Bunny Yeager
as Marina the Bar Waitress
Gilberto Costa Nunes
as Spanish Parrot
Jeffrey Finn
as Motorcyclist
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Critic Reviews for Harry & Son

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (12)

The result is a curiously indigestible phenomenon, like being forced to eat five courses of avocado by an overbearing dinner-party host.

June 1, 2021 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Whatever Newman and co-author Ronald L. Buck were trying to say about the frustrations and fears of growing old and the chasms of the generation gap have been undercut by an assortment of characters who don't seem to exist in the real world.

June 1, 2021 | Full Review…

Some fine actors, such as Joanne Woodward and Ellen Barkin, are abused by the script. Others, notably Benson, hang themselves.

June 1, 2021 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Too bad "Harry & Son" is just a hard-hat soap opera. On the other hand, you can't go far wrong with performers like Paul Newman, Robby Benson, Ellen Barkin, and Joanne Woodward.

June 1, 2021 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

The film seems to begin in the middle of something, just exactly what I'm not sure, and ends without ever having said anything.

June 1, 2021 | Full Review…

Since there is no real dramatic conflict between the two main characters, the movie just moseys along. It does contain some amusing moments.

June 1, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Harry & Son


The narrative line of the script is scattered and seems to pick up ideas and problems and then drop them without resolution to tackle some other tangential issue. The issues all pertain to the relationship between the father and son but it would have been better to focus more on their interaction and less on exterior forces. Benson tries in the lead but just isn't that strong of a screen presence especially when competing with Newman's star power. The rest of the cast is certainly talented even if what they're handed character wise is diffuse and it's interesting to see some like Freeman and Barkin who went on to long careers just starting out. Not a bad film but very average.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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