During a family vacation, it is all too easy to come across a lovable stray animal that the kids want to take home. In Harry and the Hendersons, however, the lovable stray is actually well over 7-feet-tall, strong and extremely hairy.
Talented character actor John Lithgow plays George Henderson, a Seattle family man who takes his family on a camping trip in the Pacific Northwest. On the way back home, George hits what he thinks is an animal, but is shocked to find a large, man-like creature in the road. Assuming that the animal is dead, George straps the body to the car, thinking he can sell the body or have it stuffed.
Later that night, the Hendersons discover that the creature they brought back to Seattle was merely stunned and is now foraging through the refrigerator for something to eat. Not sure if he should contact the authorities, George learns that the creature, now called Harry, actually is quite gentle and much more civilized than he appears Although Harry becomes a part of the family, his resemblance to the legendary Bigfoot creature makes him hard to hide from prying eyes.
A great outdoor movie from the 1980's, Harry and the Hendersons contains a handful of good life lessons along with lots of extremely funny one-liners. Under Academy Award-winning makeup by noted creature creator Rick Baker, the late character actor Kevin Peter Hall gave Harry his mannerisms and gentle personality. Measuring over 7-feet in real life, Hall certainly didn't need any prosthetic help to tower over John Lithgow and the rest of the cast.
Legendary character actor Don Ameche also gets some great moments as Dr. Wallace Wrightwood, a man who had a previous encounter with the Bigfoot creature, but he has doubts about what he saw. Wrightwood's colleague, the temperamental hunter Jacques LaFleur (David Suchet) has no such doubts, though, and wants to bag a Bigfoot for himself.
Funny and heartwarming, Harry and the Hendersons definitely is a real outdoor gem from twenty years ago. Every family should have their own Harry—along with good homeowner's insurance.