IMDb > Going in Style (1979)
Going in Style
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Going in Style (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   1,504 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Edward Cannon (story)
Martin Brest (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Going in Style on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1979 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Meet three guys with an outrageous plan to beat the system ... See more »
Plot:
Three friends who are living on the dole decide to organize a bank robbery. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A masterful comedy that's also a touching portrait of old age See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George Burns ... Joe

Art Carney ... Al

Lee Strasberg ... 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
Melvin Jurdem ... Businessman in Bank
Joseph Sullivan ... Moon
Bob Maroff ... Cab Driver
Vivian Edwards ... Bellhop
Jim Tipton ... Crap Dealer
Ron Gagliano ... Crap Dealer
Victor Masi ... Crap Dealer
Raymond Kernodle ... Crap Dealer
Richard Teng ... Crap Dealer
Patrick Donoho ... Crap Dealer
Barbara Ann Miller ... Waitress
Betty Bunch ... Restaurant Cashier
Karen Montgomery ... Hooker
Catherine L. Billich ... Casino Cashier
Robert J. Zay ... Salesman
Anthony D. Call ... FBI Agent in Charge
William Larson ... FBI Agent
Reathel Bean ... FBI Agent
Alan Brooks ... FBI Agent

Mark Margolis ... Prison Guard
Pedro E. Ocampo Sr. ... Prison Guard
Tony DiBenedetto ... Prison Guard

Paul L. Smith ... Radio Announcer
Bruce Charles ... Radio Announcer
Margot Stevenson ... Store Cashier
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matteo Cafiso ... Boy in Park (uncredited)

Angelique Pettyjohn ... Woman at crap table (uncredited)

Patty Plenty ... Woman (uncredited)

Ilana Rapp ... Park Player (uncredited)

Directed by
Martin Brest 
 
Writing credits
Edward Cannon (story)

Martin Brest (writer)

Produced by
Tony Bill .... producer
Leonard Gaines .... executive producer
Fred T. Gallo .... producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Small 
 
Cinematography by
Billy Williams 
 
Film Editing by
Carroll Timothy O'Meara  (as C. Timothy O'Meara)
Robert Swink 
 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Karen Rea 
 
Production Design by
Stephen Hendrickson 
 
Art Direction by
Fred Price 
Gary Weist 
 
Set Decoration by
Herbert F. Mulligan  (as Herb Mulligan)
 
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
 
Makeup Department
John Alese .... makeup artist
Don Marando .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Joan Bradshaw .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Martin Berman .... assistant director
Ed Dessisso .... assistant director
William Eustace .... second assistant director (as Bill Eustace)
Michael Rauch .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Linda Conaway-Parsloe .... assistant art director
Carl Landi .... carpenter
Ernest W. Southern .... scenic artist (as Ernie Southern)
Edward Swanson .... construction coordinator
 
Sound Department
Milton C. Burrow .... supervising sound editor
Robert Fernandez .... sound re-recording mixer
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
James Sabat .... production sound mixer
Louis Sabat .... boom operator
 
Stunts
Raf Baldwin .... stunt driver
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Holly Bower .... still photographer
James 'Packy' Dolan .... gaffer (as Jim 'Packy' Dolan)
Robert D. McBride .... camera operator
Roger Shearman .... camera operator (as Roger Sherman Jr.)
Robert Shepherd .... electrician
Dave Friedman .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Howard Feuer .... casting: New York
 
Music Department
Donald Harris .... music editor
 
Other crew
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
Stephen A. Glanzrock .... production assistant
Dan Perri .... title designer
Jeffrey Silver .... location manager
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Iceland:L | Singapore:PG | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) | USA:PG | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A neon sign outside Joe, Al and Willie's apartment advertises Schaefer Beer. Now a relatively little-known brand, New York-based Schaefer was once the world's best-selling beer, a title which it ceded to Budweiser in the 1970s.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: In at least two scenes early in the movie, the microphone cables attached to the characters are visible. Both of the scenes show the three stars photographed from a distance with a telephoto lens as they walk toward the camera. They are walking on very crowded sidewalks. Look at Art Carney when he is on our right in one scene and you will plainly see the wire that is attached to his lapel microphone as it is easy to spot through his transparent shirt. It goes from his belt up to where it disappears inside his jacket. In a later scene still early in the movie George Burns has a very visible mic cable outline leading up to his lapel inside his jacket. George is on the left wearing a blue jacket.See more »
Quotes:
Willie:What if we get shot?
[silence]
Joe:What's the difference?
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
A masterful comedy that's also a touching portrait of old age, 25 May 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

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.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
the 'moral' of this film? rosedawson-2
A funny/sad commentary on the plight of senior citizens... kartoon-1
Remington Steele referenced it AccidntlTourist
why not jassper
An Excellent, Excellent Movie imafaik
Does DVD have the cut scene? Sivrag
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