MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 905 this week

Going in Style (1979)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  December 1979 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,498 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 7 critic

Three friends who are living on the dole decide to organize a bank robbery.

Director:

Writers:

(story),
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 18 Jul 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Sep 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 45 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Going in Style" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Going in Style (1979)

Going in Style (1979) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Going in Style.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Midnight Run (1988)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the FBI, and the Mafia after jumping bail.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a TV special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin
Gigli (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.3/10 X  

The violent story about how a criminal lesbian, a tough-guy hit-man with a heart of gold, and a mentally challenged man came to be best friends through a hostage.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha
Oh, God! (1977)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When God appears to an assistant grocery manager as a good natured old man, the Almighty selects him as his messenger for the modern world.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: John Denver, George Burns, Teri Garr
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A media mogul acts as a guide to Death, who takes the form of a young man to learn about life on Earth and in the process, fall in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani
The Late Show (1977)
Crime | Mystery | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A grumpy semi-retired private investigator partners with a quirky female client to catch the people who murdered his partner.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When his apartment building is torn down, a retired lifelong New Yorker goes on a cross country odyssey with his beloved cat Tonto.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn, René Enríquez
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Danny DeVito, William Duff-Griffin, Rhea Perlman
Bottoms Up (1960)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

'Jimmy Edwards' reprises his radio role as the Professor trying to control a school full of naughty boys.

Director: Mario Zampi
Stars: Jimmy Edwards, Arthur Howard, Martita Hunt
Comedy

Three retirees plan a bank heist.

Director: Theodore Melfi
Boardwalk (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In this drama, David Rosen and his wife Becky have lived in the same Coney Island neighborhood for nearly all their married life. But the area is not what it used to be, and a gang leader ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Verona
Stars: Ruth Gordon, Lee Strasberg, Janet Leigh
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe
...
Al
...
Willie
Charles Hallahan ...
Pete
Pamela Payton-Wright ...
Kathy
Siobhan Keegan ...
Colleen
Brian Neville ...
Kevin
Constantine Hartofolis ...
Boy in Park
Mary Testa ...
Teller
Jean Shevlin ...
Mrs. Fein
James Manis ...
Hot Dog Vendor
Tito Goya ...
Gypsy Cab Driver
William Pabst ...
Bank Guard
Christopher Wynkoop ...
Bank Manager
John McComb ...
Businessman in Bank
Edit

Storyline

Joe, Al, and Willie are three old men who have resigned themselves to dying. One night, Joe hatches a scheme to put a bit of excitement back into their lives: robbing a bank.... Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet three guys with an outrageous plan to beat the system ... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Quadrilha do Reumático  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Joe (George Burns) is looking through his old photos and other memorabilia, he looks at a photo of a young couple - presumably Joe and his wife - and it makes him start to cry. The photo is actually a picture of George Burns and his real (late) wife Gracie Allen. They were a famous show business team from vaudeville through early television. She died in 1964. See more »

Goofs

Joe and Al leave JFK airport in full daylight - yet don't arrive in Las Vegas until well after dark, an impossibility for a direct flight heading five hours west during summer months in which film is set. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Joe: No tinhorn joint like this could ever hold me.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Going in Style See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A masterful comedy that's also a touching portrait of old age
25 May 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I've found it's almost impossible to predict what my opinion will be on a film that I haven't seen in many years. I recently rented both The Out of Towners (1970) and Going in Style. I hadn't seen either since at least the early 1980s, when I was still a teen. Before watching this time I would have predicted that they were both about equally good--that's what I remember from my earlier assessments. However, I ended up being slightly disappointed with The Out of Towners while I was blown out of the water by how excellent Going in Style is.

This is a film that's best to watch knowing as little as possible about the plot beforehand. For those who must know something of the story, however, it concerns three elderly men who are living together in Astoria, Queens (part of New York City)--Joe (George Burns), Al (Art Carney) and Willie (Lee Strasberg). They're on Social Security, which doesn't provide a lot of money--that's why they're living together. They spend most of their days in a park near their apartment, feeding pigeons, watching children play, and so on. Joe comes up with a very unusual idea to supplement their income and put some excitement in their lives. The first half of the film involves planning and carrying out the idea. The second half deals with the aftermath, and is kind of an extended character study.

The most remarkable characteristic of Going in Style is that writer and director Martin Brest, with co-writer Edward Cannon, managed to make a film that has elements of both almost absurdist comedy and deeply moving realist drama co-existing at the same time. Going in Style is a poignant portrait of old age, occasionally deeply sad and even pessimistic, but also very funny, and the three principal characters possess an almost Zen-like satiety, calmness and wisdom.

It's interesting to note that Brest later went on to direct films as diverse as Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and Meet Joe Black (1998). Going in Style has elements of both--Beverly Hills Cop's wacky crime-comedy and involved plot structure and Meet Joe Black's emotionally impactful minimalism and social/philosophical subtexts. Another way to describe the film might be in terms of another director, Woody Allen. Imagine Allen making Take the Money and Run (1969) or Bananas (1971), but in a mood much closer to Alice (1990) or even September (1987).

The performances are excellent, but Burns especially stands out. Joe is a very different character for him, much more serious and gruff--he's almost a bit of a "heavy". If Burns had been just a bit younger, Going in Style shows that he could have easily had a career make-over/turnaround via Quentin Tarantino, similar to John Travolta. Carney and Strasberg both easily paint complex characters, as well, and the chemistry of any two or more of them together is simply magical.

Brest, showing early inclinations towards minimalism, peppers the film with many extremely effective "pregnant pauses". These enable the cast to subtly stretch their mastery of comic timing and give more depth to the tragic or seriously emotional scenes. In both its comic and tragic modes, Going in Style tends to be a relatively "quiet" film--the tone/atmosphere reflects that Zen-like disposition that Brest and his cast create for the characters. We could easily see most of the film's "action" growing out of the pregnant pauses. Brest emphasizes this by loading early scenes with such pauses, such as when our protagonist trio are sitting on the park bench and hatching their plan.

The above might sound a bit ridiculous or overly abstract to some, but keep in mind that it's all part of Brest's touching portrait of old age (an incredible feat for a 27-year old writer-director, by the way). Joe, Al and Willie live day by day, because they figure that each might literally be their last day. They're not in a hurry to do anything. They prefer to soak up the fullness of each instant. They're mostly content with their lives and have accepted their mortal fates. Their scheme is relatively easy to pull off because with the slight exception of Willie, who interestingly has some issues from the past he is still trying to deal with and is thus a bit less comfortable with the present, they look at it as just another thing they can experience before they check out of the world, with the consequences of the scheme, no matter what they are, all having their advantages.

Brest works in a bit of sly social commentary more conspicuously into the script, as well. One example is the radio announcer who notes that the Gray Panthers are capitalizing on the events as a means to underscore the U.S.'s neglect of old folks. This is doubly clever because not only is the claim literally true, there are subtexts about opportunism, media influence, and so on. The above example is actually a very small detail in the film, but this is a film that has a wealth of such small details.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the 'moral' of this film? rosedawson-2
An Excellent, Excellent Movie imafaik
why not jassper
Does DVD have the cut scene? Sivrag
Remington Steele referenced it AccidntlTourist
A funny/sad commentary on the plight of senior citizens... kartoon-1
Discuss Going in Style (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?