A Gathering of Old Men

Watch A Gathering of Old Men

  • PG
  • 1987
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.5  (748)

In the movie A Gathering of Old Men, directed by Volker Schlöndorff and released in 1987, we are taken to a remote Louisiana bayou, where the lives of the local African American community are shaken by the unexpected murder of a white farmer, Beau Boutan. As the sheriff investigates the crime scene, he finds himself confronted by a group of old black men, who all take responsibility for the murder. The group of men includes Charlie (played by Louis Gossett Jr.), who was Beau's longtime friend and employee, and who has come to the scene armed with a shotgun; and Fix (played by Richard Widmark), a local white man who is determined to stand by the black community and protect them from any potential reprisals.

The movie is based on a novel by Ernest J. Gaines, and it's a powerful exploration of racial tensions in the Deep South, and the legacy of slavery and segregation. The story takes place in the late 1970s, but it has a timeless quality that makes it still feel relevant today.

One of the strengths of the movie is its rich and nuanced portrait of the community of old men who gather to defend themselves against the accusations of murder. They are a diverse group, some of them wise and dignified, others hotheaded and quick to anger. Each of them has a unique story to tell, and they all have a deep connection to the land and the history of the region.

Louis Gossett Jr. gives a powerful performance as Charlie, the main protagonist of the story. Charlie is a man of few words, but his quiet strength and loyalty make him a natural leader among the old men. He is haunted by his past, by the memories of his ancestors who were slaves, and by the constant threat of violence that hangs over him and his friends. Gossett Jr. brings a depth and authenticity to the role, and he creates a character that is both complex and relatable.

Richard Widmark is also excellent as Fix, the white outsider who allies himself with the black community. Fix is a man who has seen the worst of humanity during his time in the army, and he is determined to make a stand for justice and equality. Widmark brings a sense of quiet intensity to the role, and he creates a character that is both sympathetic and flawed.

Holly Hunter plays Candy, a young white woman who is the daughter of the murdered farmer. She is determined to find out who killed her father, but she is also conflicted about her own role in the community, and her relationship with the black men who have gathered around her. Hunter brings a nuanced and subtle performance to the role, and her character serves as a bridge between the black and white worlds of the story.

The cinematography of the movie is also excellent, with stunning shots of the bayou landscape and the dilapidated shacks where the old men live. The music, composed by Taj Mahal, creates a haunting and evocative atmosphere that captures the mood of the story and the spirit of the place.

In conclusion, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that explores the themes of race, justice, and history in a nuanced and sensitive way. The performances of the cast are outstanding, and the direction and cinematography create a vivid and immersive world that draws the viewer in. This is a movie that deserves to be seen and discussed, and it's a testament to the enduring power of storytelling to confront the most urgent issues of our time.

A Gathering of Old Men is a 1987 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.

A Gathering of Old Men
Where to Watch A Gathering of Old Men
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (748)