The Old Man & the Gun

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The Old Man & the Gun
The Old Man & the Gun.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Lowery
Written byDavid Lowery
Based on"The Old Man and the Gun"
by David Grann
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyJoe Anderson
Edited byLisa Zeno Churgin
Music byDaniel Hart
Production
companies
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
Release dates
  • August 31, 2018 (2018-08-31) (Telluride)
  • September 28, 2018 (2018-09-28) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
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, then 82-years-old, announced his intent to retire from acting after completion of the film[4] (his only live-action appearance since, a small role in Avengers: Endgame, was filmed before he made The Old Man & the Gun).

The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States by Fox Searchlight Pictures on September 28, 2018. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, and Redford was nominated for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 76th Golden Globe Awards.

Plot[edit]

Career criminal Forrest Tucker, a wanted man for two years since his daring escape from San Quentin State Prison in 1979, has just robbed another bank. While evading police, the 74-year-old charmer passes 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, the police drive by without noticing him. The woman, Jewel, who is grateful for his help, buys Forrest lunch at a diner. Despite introducing himself with a fake name, Forrest 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 Forrest becomes enamored of her and her life. Forrest 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.

Forrest 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 Forrest as charming and gentlemanly. John then displays the sketches on the evening news, asking anyone with information to come forward. Shortly afterward, John's investigation is taken over by the FBI.

A woman named Dorothy comes forward stating that she is Forrest's daughter. Although he is no longer on the case, John agrees to meet with her. Dorothy says she was born while Forrest was in prison, making him unaware of her or his grandchild. John then talks to Forrest's former lawyer, who says he would not be surprised if Forrest had never pulled the trigger of his gun. According to the lawyer, police reports of Forrest firing during a standoff are false, as it was simply his car's engine backfiring. Later, during a night out with Jewel, Forrest happens to recognize John, who is with his wife Maureen. Forrest tries to boost John's confidence, but becomes unnerved when John calls him by his name, indicating the recognition is mutual.

Later that evening, police attempt to capture Forrest 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 he arrives in the early hours of the morning, he decides not to wake Jewel and instead takes one of her horses for a ride. Forrest 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 Jewel's property. Forrest resigns himself to surrendering and does so. When Jewel visits him in prison, Forrest gives her a list of his sixteen previous escapes from reformatories and prisons, along with a number seventeen, which is blank. On Jewel's advice, he does not try to escape this time and remains incarcerated until the end of his sentence.

When Forrest 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. They live a quiet life for a time, but Forrest becomes restless, and one day he tells Jewel that he is going out on an errand. He calls John from a payphone, and, when John asks if he is alright, Forrest says he is "about to be" and hangs up before walking into a bank across the street. Title cards appear that state: "Forrest Tucker robbed four more banks that day. When he was finally caught, the officers on the scene noted that as they arrested him...he was smiling."

Cast[edit]

  • Robert Redford as Forrest Tucker
  • Casey Affleck as Detective John Hunt
  • Sissy Spacek as Jewel, a widow who begins a relationship with Forrest
  • Danny Glover as Teddy Green, one of Forrest's accomplices
  • Tom Waits as Waller, one of Forrest's accomplices
  • Tika Sumpter as Maureen Hunt, John's wife
  • Ari Elizabeth Johnson as Abilene Hunt, John and Maureen's daughter
  • Teagan Johnson as Tyler Hunt, John and Maureen's son
  • Gene Jones as Mr. Owens, the manager of Three Day Bank
  • John David Washington as Lieutenant Kelley, John's partner
  • Barlow Jacobs as Detective Offerman, a coworker who gives John a hard time
  • Elisabeth Moss as Dorothy, Forrest's daughter
  • Keith Carradine as Captain Calder, John's supervisor
  • Robert Longstreet as Stephen Beckley, Jr., Esq., a lawyer who once represented Forrest

Lowery's wife, filmmaker and actress Augustine Frizzell, plays the small role of Sandy, the woman whose car Forrest steals; Frizzell had played a similar part in Lowery's 2013 film Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Isiah Whitlock, Jr. appears as Detective Gene Dentler, who gives John some information about the case; Whitlock had played a character named Sheriff Gene Dentler in Lowery's 2016 film Pete's Dragon. John Wayne Hunt, the inspiration for Affleck's character, has a cameo in the film as Trustee Jim, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison.

Production[edit]

In October 2016, it was announced that Robert Redford and Casey Affleck were slated to star in the film, which David Lowery would direct from his script. James D. Stern, Jeremy Steckler, Dawn Ostroff, Redford, Anthony Mastromauro, and Bill Holderman were set to serve as producers under their Endgame Entertainment and Condé Nast banners, respectively, and Rocket Science was said to be handling international sales.[5][6] Tika Sumpter, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. joined the cast of the film in March 2017,[7][8] and the casting of Keith Carradine was announced the following month.[9]

The film was shot on Super 16 mm film.[10] Principal photography began in Dayton, Ohio, on April 3, 2017.[11][12][13] Several scenes were also shot on location in Fort Worth, Texas, to give the film an “authentically Texan” atmosphere, according to Lowery.[14][15] Filming also took place in Cincinnati and Bethel, Ohio; Bellmead and Waco, Texas;[16] and Newport, Kentucky.[15]

Daniel Hart, who had worked with writer/director Lowery on three previous films, composed the film's score. A soundtrack album featuring his music, along with some of the other songs featured in the film, was released on Varese Sarabande Records.

Release[edit]

In March 2017, Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film in the US and UK.[17] It had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018,[18][19] and was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.[20] The film was scheduled to be released on October 5, 2018,[21] but it was pushed up to September 28.[22]

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 Blu-ray on January 15.[23] It was made available via digital download, VOD, and DVD in the UK on April 1.[24] The DVD and Blu-ray releases have eight special features, which include deleted scenes, an audio commentary by Lowery, behind-the-scenes footage, and a conversation about filmmaking between Redford and Lowery.[23]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film was given a limited release in North America on September 28, 2018, and a wide release October 9, and it grossed a total of $11.3 million in the territory.[3] It was released on December 7, 2018, in the United Kingdom, where it grossed $791,192, and on December 20, 2018, in Italy, where it grossed $1.4 million.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 93% based on 270 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10; the site's "critics 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."[25] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[26]

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."[27] 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."[28] Peter Debruge of Variety described the film as "a reminder of everything Redford has given us over the years,"[29] 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."[30]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
AARP Movies for Grownups Awards February 4, 2019 Best Grownup Love Story The Old Man & the Gun Nominated [31]
Best Actor Robert Redford Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists January 10, 2019 Actress Defying Age and Ageism Sissy Spacek Nominated [32]
Dublin Film Critics' Circle December 20, 2018 Best Cinematography Joe Anderson 6th place [33]
Golden Globe Awards January 6, 2019 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Robert Redford Nominated [34]
National Board of Review January 8, 2019 Top Ten Independent Films The Old Man & the Gun Won [35]
Satellite Awards February 17, 2019 Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama Robert Redford Nominated [36]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The film's opening states the story is "mostly true".[37][38]

References[edit]

  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 September 11, 2021.
  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. ^ Steigerwald, Shauna (March 6, 2017). "Robert Redford, Casey Affleck movie to film in Cincinnati". The Enquirer. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  12. ^ "Redford's 'Old Man & The Gun' Puts Northside, Newport, Lebanon, Latonia, Dayton On Screen". 91.7 WVXU. October 10, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  13. ^ "The Old Man and the Gun". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  14. ^ Blair, Iain (September 26, 2018). "How Filming in Texas Helped 'The Old Man & the Gun' Capture Its Authentic Look". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  15. ^ a b Philpot, Robert (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.
  16. ^ Hoover, Carl (October 25, 2018). "Movie alert: Redford's "The Old Man and the Gun" opening Friday". Waco Tribune-Herald. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  17. ^ 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". Indiewire.com. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  18. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (August 30, 2018). "'First Man,' 'Front Runner' and 'Roma' Among 2018 Telluride Film Festival Selections". Variety. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  19. ^ "Telluride Film Festival Program Guide" (PDF). Telluride Film Festival. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (April 19, 2018). "Robert Redford's 'The Old Man and the Gun' Lands Awards-Season Opening". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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
  24. ^ The Old Man & the Gun on Digital Download, VOD & DVD on 1 April 2019
  25. ^ "The Old Man & the Gun (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  26. ^ "The Old Man & the Gun (2018)". Metacritic. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ McCarthy, Todd (August 31, 2018). "'The Old Man & the Gun': Film Review | Telluride 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  29. ^ Debruge, Peter (August 31, 2018). "Film Review: 'The Old Man & the Gun'". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Appelo, Tim (January 3, 2019). "2018 Movies for Grownups Awards Nominees". aarp.org. AARP. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  32. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (January 10, 2019). "Ladies' choice: 'Roma,' 'The Favourite' win top awards from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists". GoldDerby.com. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  33. ^ "Here are Irish film critics' top movies of the year". the journal.ie. December 20, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  34. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (December 6, 2018). "2019 Golden Globe Nominations: Full List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  35. ^ "Top 10 Independent Films". nationalboardofreview.org. National Board of Review. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  36. ^ "2018 Winners". pressacademy.com. International Press Academy. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  37. ^ Matthew Jacobs (September 30, 2018). "'The Old Man & The Gun' Is A Soulful Tribute To Robert Redford's Movies". HuffPost. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  38. ^ "The Sundown Kid: Robert Redford returns to robbing banks in David Lowery's 'The Old Man & the Gun'". Film Journal International. September 24, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2019.

External links[edit]