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Film / Going in Style (1979)

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Going in Style is a 1979 caper comedy film written and directed by Martin Brest, starring George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg.

The plot involves three senior citizens (Joe, Al and Willie) who, out of boredom, decide to rob a bank.

A remake was made in 2017.


  • Bank Robbery: It's what the three protagonists intend to do.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Willie and Al are dead, Joe is going to be in prison for what remains of his life. However, Joe doesn't really mind being in prison, saying that life on the outside was hardly any better. Meanwhile, Al's nephew Pete, who seemed to be the only family or friend the three old men had apart from one another, got to keep the money from both the bank robbery and the casino winnings.
  • Cool Old Guy: Joe and Al after the robbery, especially at the casino.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: A three-way example with Joe, Al, and Willie, who are roommates and one another's only real friends and company (except perhaps for Al's nephew Pete and his family).
  • It Amused Me: The robbers decided to become robbers out of boredom.
  • It's All My Fault: The night before the robbery, Willie stays up all night crying over how he lost the love and trust of his son because he took a disciplinary spanking too far.
  • Mood Whiplash: The film goes back and forth from a light-hearted comedy to some rather dark scenes dealing with the issues many of the elderly face: loneliness, regret of a wasted life, and coming to terms with death.
  • Nice Guy: Al's nephew Pete, who invites not only Al but his roommate Joe to live in his home after Willie's death.
  • Noodle Incident: Joe says he "did some stealing during the war".
  • The Unishment: Joe is the only robber who lives long enough to be arrested. While he's in prison, he has free room and board, doesn't have to cook and clean for himself and the other inmates treat him like a King out of hope he'll tell them where he hid the loot.
  • Villain Protagonist: The three protagonists, while likeable people, are bank robbers.