The Old Man & the Gun movie cast: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss
The Old Man & the Gun movie director: David Lowery
The Old Man & the Gun movie cast: 2 stars
With this film, 82-year-old Robert Redford has said he retires from acting. While based on a real-life American serial robber and prison escape artist called Forrest Tucker, The Old Man & the Gun never lets you forget this fact. From the first frame to the last, the film is an ode to that gentle old man of Hollywood who has never believed in histrionics, and doesn’t allow any here either, as well as to perhaps his most memorable role: that of the Sundance Kid.
Like that other legendary robber, Redford’s Tucker sports a hat, blond hair, and thick moustache, tinged by age. Like that robber, he finds love, in the form of Jewel (Sissy Spacek), and the two spend several warm afternoons and evenings lounging around in the porch talking about life and other things, with a dog at their feet and horses in her ranch (Redford and Spacek bond well together, providing some of the film’s most honest touches). Like that robber, the film leaves what eventually happened to Tucker unsaid.
There is little resemblance in the retelling to Tucker himself, a man who was a serial philanderer and escaped 16 times from jail but eventually died in a prison. It also has little patience for Tucker’s two partners, with the three elderly (Glover, Waits being the others) forming what police dubbed the ‘Over-The-Hill’ gang. The film romanticises Tucker’s escapes, using them to showcase some memorable footage of Redford as a young man, skips over the grind, and sweeps the most daring of his heists under the carpet.
The emphasis is on showing Tucker as a “gentleman”. That may be true, but there is only one gentleman who really matters here.