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Film / The Old Man & the Gun

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The Old Man & the Gun is a 2018 biopic about the serial bank robber Forrest Tucker. Directed by David Lowery, the film stars Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, and Tom Waits. The film marked Redford's final screen performance before he announced his retirement from acting, though not his final appearance overall.

The plot tracks Tucker (Redford) in the final years of a life spent robbing banks, getting caught and escaping prisons. As a dapper, elderly gentleman robber, Tucker catches the attention of local police as well as the media. With police detective John Hunt (Affleck) on his trail, Tucker becomes torn between the thrill of crime and a budding romance with a widow, Jewell (Spacek).


  • Anti-Hero: Tucker would easily be a Villain Protagonist in any other movie, but here his love of the thrill of crime, his friendly personality and lack of any violence make him sympathetic.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Tucker wears a fedora with his suit, which is antiquated by the 1980s.
  • Bank Robbery: Tucker's preferred crime.
  • Biopic: Of Forrest Tucker. The film borrows heavily from a New Yorker article on Tucker's story.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Played straight and averted. The evening news makes no mention of the robbery Hunt and his daughter witnessed, but later on Tucker happens to see a report about his gang on TV.
  • Contrived Coincidence: For no other reason than to give the two a scene together, Tucker and Hunt cross paths at the same diner.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: After spending five years in prison without trying to escape so he can reunite with Jewell, he soon goes back to bankrobbing and spends the rest of his life in prison.
  • Flashback: In the end, we get a flashback montage of all of Tucker's escapes.
  • Foreshadowing: Tucker says that he has no kids, at least that he knows of. We later learn that he has at least one son and daughter, and the daughter is old enough to barely remember him. It's not clear whether Tucker is lying or if he even knew the girl was his daughter at the time.
  • Gentleman Thief: Tucker is noted for his courtesy during robberies. It's part of what helps Hunt link his crimes to one person.
  • Great Escape: Tucker is said to have made 16 successful escapes, one of which from San Quentin, in a handmade boat.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Hunt gets one as he tracks down leads on Tucker, bringing home boxes full of evidence to pore over.
  • Happily Married: Hunt is happily married, and his relationship causes no complications in the story.
  • Hero Antagonist: Detective Hunt pursues our Anti-Hero.
  • The Joy of X: The title uses a popular template The Old Man and the X.
  • Meaningful Name: John Hunt hunts for Tucker. The character is based on a real man with the same fortuitous name.
  • Motif: Age. Tucker is noted for his advanced age as a bankrobber. Jewel is an empty-nester wondering what there is left in her life. In Hunt's first scene, it's his 40th birthday and he's said to be sensitive about his age.
  • Period Piece: The film takes place in the 1980s.
  • Retraux: The film's theatrical poster mimics the composition style of hand-illustrated movie posters in the late 1970s; the only real difference is that this one uses a photograph.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Tucker is almost always seen wearing suits.
  • Thrill Seeker: Tucker loves the thrill of robbing banks and doesn't want to do anything else. Even when comfortably retired with a woman he loves, it's not enough.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: John Hunt is a cop justifiably pursuing a multiple bank robber who's escaped from prison 16 times, but the title character is as charming, friendly, and good-natured as a bank robber can possibly be, and goes out of his way to make sure nobody gets hurt during his robberies.