The Old Man & the Gun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Old Man & the Gun
The Old Man & the Gun.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Lowery
Written byDavid Lowery
Based onThe Old Man and the Gun
by David Grann
Produced by
CinematographyJoe Anderson
Edited byLisa Zeno Churgin
Music byDaniel Hart
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
Release date
  • August 31, 2018 (2018-08-31) (Telluride)
  • September 28, 2018 (2018-09-28) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$15.8 million[2]
Box office$17.9 million[3][2]

The Old Man & the Gun is a 2018 American biographical[a] crime film written and directed by David Lowery, about Forrest Tucker, a career criminal and prison escape artist. The script is loosely based on David Grann's 2003 article in The New Yorker titled "The Old Man and the Gun", which was later collected in Grann's 2010 book The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. The film stars Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits and Sissy Spacek. Redford announced his intent to retire from acting at age 82 after completion of the film;[4] it is his penultimate appearance, preceding Avengers: Endgame.

The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 28, 2018, by Fox Searchlight Pictures. It received generally positive reviews from critics and, at the Golden Globe Awards, Redford was nominated for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.


Career criminal Forrest Tucker, a wanted man for two years since his daring escape from San Quentin State Prison in 1978, has just robbed another bank. While evading police, the 74-year-old charmer comes across a woman on the side of the road with car trouble and stops to give the appearance of assisting. The ploy works as moments later, police drive by without noticing him. The woman, Jewel, who is grateful for his help, buys Tucker lunch at a diner. Despite introducing himself with a fake name, Tucker becomes drawn to Jewel to the point of revealing that he is a bank robber. The two later spend time together on Jewel's farm where Tucker becomes enamored of her and her life. Tucker makes a plan to pay off the rest of Jewel's mortgage as a surprise but becomes frustrated after the bank tells him that this would require Jewel's signature on some documents, negating any surprise.

Tucker goes on to conduct a string of heists, often without having to draw his gun from under his coat. Dallas Police Detective John Hunt compiles police sketches from witnesses who describe Tucker as charming and gentlemanly. Hunt then displays the sketches on the evening news, asking anyone with information to come forward. Shortly afterwards, Hunt's investigation is taken over by the FBI.

A woman named Dorothy comes forward stating that she is Tucker's daughter. Although he is no longer on the case, Hunt agrees to meet with her. Dorothy says that she was born while Tucker was in prison, making Tucker unaware of her or his grandchild. Hunt is led to Tucker's former lawyer who says that Tucker has never pulled the trigger of his gun. According to his lawyer, police reports of Tucker firing during a standoff are false as it was simply his car's engine backfiring. Later, during a night out with Jewel, Tucker happens to recognize Detective Hunt, who is with his wife Maureen. Tucker tries to boost Hunt's confidence but becomes unnerved when Hunt calls him by his real name, "Forrest", indicating that the recognition is mutual.

Later that evening, police attempt to capture Tucker as he arrives home. He flees but again his car backfires, prompting police to shoot at him, striking him in the arm. He eludes them and makes his way to Jewel's farm. As it is the early hours of the morning, he decides not to wake Jewel and instead takes one of her horses for a ride. Tucker had never ridden a horse before, and this was on his list of things he wanted to do. While riding, several police vehicles come down the road and turn onto the farm's property. Tucker resigns himself to surrendering and does. When Jewel visits him in prison, Tucker gives her a list of his sixteen previous escapes from reformatories and prisons, but line number seventeen is left blank. On Jewel's advice, he remains in San Quentin until the end of his sentence.

When Tucker is released from prison, Jewel is there to pick him up. She takes him to her farm and sets up a room for him, telling him that he can stay as long as he likes. Some time later, Tucker tells Jewel that he is going out on an errand. He calls Detective Hunt from a streetside payphone, and after some brief banter, Tucker sounds distracted and when Hunt asks him if he is ok, Tucker says "I'm about to be", then hangs up the phone and walks into a bank across the street. A title card states that "Forrest Tucker robbed four banks that day. When he was finally caught, the officers on the scene noted that as they arrested him...[pause]...he was smiling."



In October 2016, it was announced that Robert Redford and Casey Affleck had joined the cast of the film, with David Lowery directing from his own script. James D. Stern, Jeremy Steckler, Dawn Ostroff, Redford, Anthony Mastromauro, and Bill Holderman served as producers on the film under their Endgame Entertainment and Condé Nast banners, respectively. Rocket Science handled international sales.[5][6] In March 2017, Tika Sumpter, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. joined the cast of the film.[7][8] In April 2017, Keith Carradine was added as well.[9]

The film was shot on Super 16 mm film.[10] Principal photography began in Dayton, Ohio on April 3, 2017.[11] Fort Worth, Texas was also used as a primary location for several scenes, giving the film an “authentically Texan” atmosphere, according to Lowery.[12][13] Other scenes were shot in Bethel, Ohio; Bellmead, Texas; Waco, Texas;[14] and Newport, Kentucky.[13]

Daniel Hart composed the film score after working with writer/director Lowery on three previous films. The soundtrack was released on Varese Sarabande Records.


In March 2017, Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film in the US and UK.[15] It had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018.[16][17] It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2018.[18] The film was scheduled to be released October 5, 2018,[19] but was pushed up to September 28, 2018.[20]

Home media[edit]

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the film in the United States for digital download on January 1, 2019 and on DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray package on January 15, 2019.[21] The UK DVD and Blu-ray on April 1, 2019.[22] The Blu-ray home release has eight special features including deleted scenes, audio commentary with the director and filmmaking conversations with Redford and Lowery.[21]


Box office[edit]

The film was given a limited release in North America on September 28, 2018 and a wide release October 9, grossing a total of $11.3 million.[3] It was also released in the United Kingdom on December 7, 2018 grossing $791,192 and Italy on December 2018 grossing $1.4 million.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 270 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A well-told story brought to life by a beautifully matched cast, The Old Man & the Gun is pure, easygoing entertainment for film fans—and a fitting farewell to a legend."[23] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[24]

Clint Worthington of Consequence of Sound gave the film a "B+" grade, saying: "Just like Tucker can't help but chase the thrill of an outlaw's life, so too the audience gets hooked on Redford's effortless presence, and the airy, ethereal joys the film presents."[25] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "The film makes plenty of mileage from trading on the charm of a good bad boy, and Redford's long experience in playing such roles serves him beautifully here; he knows by now he doesn't have to push his attractiveness to be ingratiating."[26] Peter Debruge of Variety described the film as "a reminder of everything Redford has given us over the years,"[27] and Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "B+" grade, saying: "Ultimately, the movie is a giant, lovable metaphor: Tucker's criminal preoccupations are such a natural part of his life he seems as if he could keep at it forever, no matter the impracticalities, and he becomes an ideal avatar for Redford's own achievements."[28]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards February 4, 2019 Best Grownup Love Story The Old Man & the Gun Nominated [29]
Best Actor Robert Redford Nominated [29]
Alliance of Women Film Journalists January 10, 2019 Actress Defying Age and Ageism Sissy Spacek Nominated [30]
Dublin Film Critics' Circle December 20, 2018 Best Cinematography Joe Anderson 6th place [31]
Golden Globe Awards January 6, 2019 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Robert Redford Nominated [32]
National Board of Review January 8, 2019 Top Ten Independent Films The Old Man & the Gun Won [33]
Satellite Awards February 17, 2019 Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama Robert Redford Nominated [34]


  1. ^ The film's opening states the story is "mostly true".[35][36]


  1. ^ "The Old Man and The Gun". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Old Man and the Gun (2018)". The Numbers. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "The Old Man & the Gun". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  4. ^ Murthi, Vikram (November 11, 2016). "Robert Redford Announces Retirement From Acting". IndieWire. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Barraclough, Leo (October 28, 2016). "Casey Affleck Joins Robert Redford in 'The Old Man and the Gun'". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Coggan, Devan (October 28, 2016). "Robert Redford, Casey Affleck to star in crime movie The Old Man and the Gun". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 23, 2017). "Tika Sumpter Joins Casey Affleck In 'The Old Man And The Gun". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 23, 2017). "Fox Searchlight Landing Robert Redford & Casey Affleck Starrer 'Old Man And The Gun'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  9. ^ Hipes, Patrick (April 18, 2017). "Keith Carradine On The Case For 'Old Man And The Gun'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Grobar, Matt (November 14, 2018). "'The Old Man & The Gun' DP Joe Anderson Gives Camera A "Twinkle In The Eye" For Memorable Robert Redford Tribute". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Old Man and the Gun". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Iain Blair (September 26, 2018). "How Filming in Texas Helped 'The Old Man & the Gun' Capture Its Authentic Look". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Robert Philpot (June 6, 2018). "Can you spot the DFW locations in the trailer for this Robert Redford movie?". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  14. ^ Carl Hoover (October 25, 2018). "Movie alert: Redford's "The Old Man and the Gun" opening Friday". Waco Tribune-Herald. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  15. ^ Winfrey, Graham (March 24, 2017). "Film Acquisition Rundown: Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Old Man and The Gun,' Grasshopper Film Picks Up 'Bronx Gothic' and More". Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  16. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (August 30, 2018). "'First Man,' 'Front Runner' and 'Roma' Among 2018 Telluride Film Festival Selections". Variety. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  17. ^ "Telluride Film Festival Program Guide" (PDF). Telluride Film Festival. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  18. ^ Vlessing, Etan (July 24, 2018). "Toronto: Timothee Chalamet Starrer 'Beautiful Boy,' Dan Fogelman's 'Life Itself' Among Festival Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (April 19, 2018). "Robert Redford's 'The Old Man and the Gun' Lands Awards-Season Opening". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  20. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (June 5, 2018). "'The Old Man And The Gun' Trailer: Robert Redford Will Act One Last Time For Director David Lowery". The Playlist. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  21. ^ a b The Old Man & the Gun Blu-ray | United States | Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD | 20th Century Fox | 2018 | 93 min | Rated PG-13 | Jan 15, 2019
  22. ^ The Old Man & the Gun on Digital Download, VOD & DVD on 1 April 2019
  23. ^ "The Old Man & the Gun (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  24. ^ "The Old Man & the Gun (2018)". Metacritic. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  25. ^ Worthington, Clint (September 26, 2018). "Film Review: The Old Man & the Gun Makes For a Proper Movie Star Farewell". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  26. ^ McCarthy, Todd (August 31, 2018). "'The Old Man & the Gun': Film Review | Telluride 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  27. ^ Debruge, Peter (August 31, 2018). "Film Review: 'The Old Man & the Gun'". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  28. ^ Kohn, Eric (August 31, 2018). "'The Old Man & the Gun' Review: Robert Redford Is a Charming Bank Robber in David Lowery's Loving Tribute". IndieWire. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Appelo, Tim (January 3, 2019). "2018 Movies for Grownups Awards Nominees". AARP. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  30. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (January 10, 2019). "Ladies' choice: 'Roma,' 'The Favourite' win top awards from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists". Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  31. ^ "Here are Irish film critics' top movies of the year". December 20, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  32. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (December 6, 2018). "2019 Golden Globe Nominations: Full List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  33. ^ "Top 10 Independent Films". National Board of Review. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  34. ^ "2018 Winners". International Press Academy. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  35. ^ Matthew Jacobs (2018-09-30). "'The Old Man & The Gun' Is A Soulful Tribute To Robert Redford's Movies". HuffPost. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  36. ^ "The Sundown Kid: Robert Redford returns to robbing banks in David Lowery's 'The Old Man & the Gun'". Film Journal International. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2019.

External links[edit]