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Adrian Wright
Adrian Wright

The Old Man The Gun

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 Old Man the Gun

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."

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.

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]

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.

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]

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]

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]

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]

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

The Old Man & the Gun stars Robert Redford as a charismatic bank robber and prison escape artist named Forrest Tucker. His real-life exploits were originally documented in a 2003 New Yorker article of the same name, written by David Grann.

Teddy Green, played by Danny Glover, is modeled after Theodore Green, a notorious bank robber who Tucker met during a stint at Alcatraz. As portrayed in the movie, Green worked with Tucker to commit the real Over the Hill Gang robberies, and was the person who eventually landed Tucker in prison.

For the sake of the film, the timeline for the crimes he and his various accomplices committed as the Over the Hill Gang were condensed. While the gang managed to rob around 60 banks in Oklahoma and Texas in 1980, it took police 3 years to finally catch Tucker. The heist where Tucker and the gang posed as bank security took place in Boston in 1983, not in St. Louis. After settling down with Centers, Tucker continued to rob grocery stores and banks in Florida and Boston until his arrest.

The most impressive heist in the film involved Tucker, Green and Waller posing as bank security guards and stealing a significant amount of gold from the vault. According to Grann, the men donned costumes and fake moustaches and proceeded to steal $430,000 after locking two tellers and the manager in the vault. It was also this particular heist that allowed police to identify Tucker as the leader of the Over the Hill Gang, and led to his arrest in 1983.

Monitor journalism changes lives because we open that too-small box that most people think they live in. We believe news can and should expand a sense of identity and possibility beyond narrow conventional expectations.

And yet Jewel feels more alive with Forrest than she has in a very long while. The quiet, funny, poignant conversations between Forrest and Jewel are lovely and real and poetic without ever seeming overwritten. 041b061a72


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