Toby is a 1975 Boxing Drama film directed by Carl Andy, produced by Joseph E. Levine and released by United Artists, loosely based on the Osamu Tezuka manga, The Ballad of Tobio the film stars Walter Matthau, Joey Miyashima, and a pre-Star Wars Carrie Fisher.
A Musical remake directed by Gerry Tanaka is in the works at Orion Pictures.
The year is 1965, 15-year old Toby Katsumoto (Joey Miyashima) is an escapee from an Orphanage, who decides to live in the slums of New York, he then becomes a new recruit for Robert Shmuel's Gym as a boxer
- Walter Matthau as Rob Shmuel
- Joey Miyashima as Toby Katsumoto
- Carrie Fisher as Hannah
- Sissy Spacek as one of Hannah's friends
- Moe Howard as Hannah's Grandfather (Cameo) this was his Last film role
- Vincent Schiavelli as the tall bartender
- Anne Ramsey as Old Lady at the Club
- Peter Cetera as Club manager
Andy shopped the script to many studios that ultimately passed on, first was American International Pictures, then to AVCO Embassy Pictures, until one executive recommended founder Joseph E. Levine whom had recently left the studio to pursue Independent Producing, Andy met Levine, showed him the script and he loved it, soon United Artists agreed to release it, this would be Andy's first of 5 films for UA.
Production started and ended in November 1973, Miyashima and Fisher were in their Teens at the time, Fisher hadn't become a star yet at this point.
Despite the short production, the movie didn't come out until March of 1975, by this point Hal Ashby's Shampoo was released a month prior with Carrie Fisher in the cast.
The film grossed an estimated $570,000 in it's limited run on March 1, 1975 playing in nearly 800 theaters.
Toby received mixed to positive reviews during it's release, The film apparently has an 77% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 51/100 on Metacritic, however at the time of release, Toby was called a typical clichéd Boxing drama of the 70's. until it was later perfected by Rocky the following year
- 1981 Magnetic Video VHS (Under license from Joseph E. Levine)
- 1984 Paramount Home Video VHS (under license from Joseph E. Levine)
- 1992 New Line/Columbia TriStar Home Video VHS
- 2000 MGM DVD
- 2015 Kino Lorber Blu-ray/DVD (Under license from MGM/StudioCanal)
- 2020 Kino Lorber Ultra HD (Under license from MGM/StudioCanal)
After the film's release, a sequel based on the last half of the Manga was considered by UA, however Andy wasn't interested in the idea of a sequel, alongside Carrie Fisher now being an overnight star thanks to Star Wars in 1977, the actors growing older and Andy taking the rights to Paramount, killed chances of a sequel.