The Old Man & the Gun
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|The Old Man & the Gun|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Lowery|
|Written by||David Lowery|
|Based on||The Old Man and the Gun|
by David Grann
|Music by||Daniel Hart|
|Edited by||Lisa Zeno Churgin|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
|Box office||$17.9 million|
The Old Man & the Gun is a 2018 American biographical 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; it is his penultimate release, 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 1979, 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 with 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. He 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."
- Robert Redford as Forrest Tucker
- Casey Affleck as John Hunt, a police detective assigned to track down Forrest.
- Danny Glover as Teddy Green
- Tika Sumpter as Maureen Hunt, John’s wife.
- Tom Waits as Waller
- Sissy Spacek as Jewel, Forrest’s love interest
- Elisabeth Moss as Dorothy
- Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as Gene Dentler
- Keith Carradine as Captain Calder
- John David Washington as Lieutenant Kelley
- Augustine Frizzell as Sandrine
- Gene Jones as Mr. Owens
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. In March 2017, Tika Sumpter, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. joined the cast of the film. In April 2017, Keith Carradine was added as well.
The film was shot on Super 16 mm film. Principal photography began in Dayton, Ohio on April 3, 2017. Fort Worth, Texas was also used as a primary location for several scenes, giving the film an “authentically Texan” atmosphere, according to Lowery. Other scenes were shot in Bellmead, Texas; Waco, Texas; and Newport, Kentucky.
In March 2017, Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film. It had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018. It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2018. The film was scheduled to be released October 5, 2018, but was pushed up to September 28, 2018.
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. The UK DVD and Blu-ray on April 1, 2019. The Blu-ray home release has eight special features including deleted scenes, audio commentary with the director and filmmaking conversations with Redford and Lowery.
It was released as a limited release in North America on September 28, 2018 and a wide release October 9, grossing a total of $11.3 million. It was also released in the United Kingdom on December 7, 2018 grossing $791,192 and Italy on December 2018 grossing $1.4 million.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 259 reviews, with an average rating of 7.56/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
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." 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." Peter Debruge of Variety described the film as "a reminder of everything Redford has given us over the years," 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."
Awards and nominations
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards||February 4, 2019||Best Grownup Love Story||The Old Man & the Gun||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Robert Redford||Nominated|||
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||January 10, 2019||Actress Defying Age and Ageism||Sissy Spacek||Nominated|||
|Dublin Film Critics' Circle||December 20, 2018||Best Cinematography||Joe Anderson||6th place|||
|Golden Globe Awards||January 6, 2019||Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy||Robert Redford||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review||January 8, 2019||Top Ten Independent Films||The Old Man & the Gun||Won|||
|Satellite Awards||February 17, 2019||Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama||Robert Redford||Nominated|||
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- 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
- The Old Man & the Gun on Digital Download, VOD & DVD on 1 April 2019
- The Old Man & the Gun | Box Office Mojo
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