Harry in Your Pocket is an action comedy with an antihero, something new and very popular in the Seventies. While the gathering of this interesting crew is cordial, tension builds between the characters because despite all their smiles and camaraderie, they are all thieves at heart. The tension has us carefully watching to see if it will disrupt their movements. The action in Harry in Your Pocket comes from the audience actively following the “poke.’’ There are few staged gags to induce laughter. The comedy comes from us chuckling as they get away with it with the finely tuned choreography of a ballet. If both the action and the humor are subdued, we don’t care. The charisma of James Coburn has us smirking every time he flashes his teeth. Coburn built his career playing the stylish rogue in the Sixties. This film is smooth sailing for him and veteran actor Walter Pidgeon. Pidgeon’s role as mentor is great fun to watch. His character reflects an illusion of an older, more elegant era in crime. The timing of his career with this movie is perfect and he very nearly steals the show from Coburn. Harry in Your Pocket is not holding up very well with age. The chaotic fashions and lifestyle of the Seventies are pervasive on the screen and look a bit dated. It’s rather fun for me as I grew up near Seattle, and most of the movie is set in that locale. I recognized buildings and restaurants that have long since have been torn down and replaced with high-rises. Harry in Your Pocket is a movie of the Seventies, when the studios were experimenting with what makes movie relevant. It both hits and misses the mark. But if you’re looking for a movie with some hustle and a dash of time capsule, you will find it a good time.
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