Old West highwayman Bill Miner, known to Pinkertons as "The Gentleman Bandit," is released in 1901 after 33 years in prison, a genial and charming old man. He goes to Washington to live and work with his sister's family. But the world has changed much while he has been away, and he just can't adjust. So he goes to Canada and returns to the only thing familiar to him -- robbery (with stagecoaches changed to trains). Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At Canada's Genie Awards in 1983, the fourth held, the picture was nominated for thirteen awards, and won seven. See more »
The intro cards state that in 1866, "the gentleman bandit" began robbing stage coaches at sixteen and committed twenty six robberies over eighteen years. Later, the card state that in 1901, he was released from prison after 33 years in San Quentin. 1901-33=1868. 1866+18=1884. (The implication is that those 33 years were consecutive and unbroken.) See more »
This IMHO is the best western movie to come out after Josey Wales and before Pale Rider. It's even much better than that much lauded Dance With Wolves. This is a sort of low key Canadian made movie and it offered Farnsworth arguably his best role as star. The story concerns one Bill Miner, a train robber, since the the Civil War days. He's been locked up in prison since 1868 and is released from prison in 1901 just in time to be delivered into the 20th century. Bill is thrilled and awed by what he sees in 1901. The first motorcars, the earliest motion pictures, the phonograph. They all tell of the future. Although a robber and convict, Bill is a soft hearted guy perhaps mellowed with age and the years spent in prison. But he can still take care of himself such as one scene in a barroom when a bully tries to threaten him and Bill breaks a large bottle over the thugs head and then pointing the muzzle of his revolver in the thugs face. Unable to make ends meet financially he meets with a loser criminal named Shorty and they get into robbing trains and stealing again. Bill & Shorty go into hiding and the Pinkerton detectives are hot on their trail. Shorty & Bill are caught in the woods after Shorty panics while routinely being searched by the Canadian Mounted Police. Bill however manages to escape and goes on the lam. He later meets up with a woman who is an opera & arts enthusiast named Kate(Jackie Burroughs). She plays some Caruso on her phonograph while painting outdoors. She and Bill become lovers. Another person Bill befriends is a young rookie Police Sergeant. The young man, new to his job, tells Bill that the whole town is after Bill Miner. The only thing is that the sergeant doesn't recognize Miner & the older guy he has befriended as being one and the same. Great character study here. Finally, Bill is caught by those unceasing Pinkerton detectives and is led to the train station and to jail in a flamboyant manner for the whole town to see. This scene harks back to those seen in the old time westerns even as far back as to silent film westerns. At the end of the movie, actually behind the rolling of the credits, we see & read that Bill has gone missing or has escaped out of prison as of 1907. We're left wondering if Bill died in the Canadian Wilderness or somehow made it to Europe on the arm of an attractive lady. Quite possibly his lover Kate. Great Story. Nicely shot
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