Tough Guys (1986)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  3 October 1986 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 4,947 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 14 critic

Two elderly gangsters are released from prison only to find they have trouble fitting in as old men who still take no guff from anyone.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Trapeze (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A crippled circus acrobat is torn emotionally between two ambitious young trapeze artists, one a talented young American and a less-gifted but beautiful Italian.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Posse (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A tough marshal with political ambitions leads an elite posse to capture a notorious criminal. He succeeds, but instead of cheering him, the public turns against him.

Director: Kirk Douglas
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Bruce Dern, Bo Hopkins
Diamonds (1999)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Mystery about an ex-prizefighter who embarks on a journey to find 13 missing diamonds.

Director: John Asher
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Dan Aykroyd
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
Gotcha! (1985)
Action | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Jonathan plays a game called Gotcha in which he hunts and is hunted by other students with paint guns. After a big win, he goes off for a vacation in France where he meets the sexy Sasha ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Kanew
Stars: Anthony Edwards, Linda Fiorentino, Jsu Garcia
Illusion (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A once-powerful, but now ailing movie director nears the end of his life. As he awaits death, he slips into a "dream" and is shown three "snippets" of the movie of his son's life. At first ... See full summary »

Director: Michael A. Goorjian
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Michael A. Goorjian, Karen Tucker
Vengeance (1968)
Certificate: GP Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man tracks down the five outlaws who murdered his brother, all the while being shadowed by a mysterious Pinkerton detective.

Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Richard Harrison, Claudio Camaso, Spela Rozin
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A young man, harshly sentenced for a few minor infractions, escapes from a prison in Huntsville Texas and flees to Laredo, Texas, where he hopes to cross into Mexico for a reunion with his wife and small son.

Director: Jeff Kanew
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Schneider, Lee Purcell
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Forced to trade his valuable furs for a well-educated escaped slave, a rugged trapper vows to recover the pelts from the Indians and later the renegades that killed them.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas
F/X (1986)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A movie special effects man is hired to fake a real-life mob killing for a witness protection plan, but finds his own life in danger.

Director: Robert Mandel
Stars: Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Director: Xavier Castano
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Roger Souza, Jean-Pierre Bagot


Cast overview, first billed only:
Monty Ash ...
Simmy Bow ...
Gladys Ripps
Nathan Davis ...
Matthew Faison ...
Corkey Ford ...
Rick Garcia ...


Harry and Archie are released from prison ready to collect their Social Security. How could they get into trouble at their age? Let's count the ways; A parole officer who is a famous criminal groupie, Dead end where people don't know they are dealing with dangerous, though older, criminals, a hit man who can barely see, but who still has an outstanding contract on them. Does anyone still rob trains? Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Friends for years. Legends for life. Tough guys forever. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Archie und Harry - Sie können's nicht lassen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$21,458,229 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filming was very difficult for the 71-year-old Burt Lancaster, as he had undergone a quadruple heart bypass operation two years earlier. There was some question as to whether he would even get insurance for this film. See more »


The locomotive used in the filming is Southern Pacific GS4 #4449, owned by the City of Portland, Oregon. On the locomotive's skirting above the pistons, the word "Daylight" is visible in a shot. When the locomotive was wrecked at the end of the movie, the words "Southern Pacific" are visible. The "Daylight" was an SP train from the 1940's for which the locomotive was built. However, throughout the film the train is called the "Gold Coast Flyer," and SP had no such train. See more »


[first lines]
Archie Long: I'm tellin' ya, Harry...
Harry Doyle: I know, I know. We could have got away with it.
Archie Long: Did I say that before?
Harry Doyle: Every day for thirty years.
See more »


Featured in Century of Black Cinema (2003) See more »


Tuff Enuff
Words and Music by Kim Wilson
Performed by The Fabulous Thunderbirds
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Tough act to follow, though weak plot
5 July 2004 | by (Coventry, England) – See all my reviews

I wasn't disappointed when in 1986, Burt Lancaster announced on BBC's Wogan show that his new movie was going to star himself and his long time friend and frequent co-star Kirk Douglas. Since their first pairing in the brilliant noir thriller 'I Walk Alone' (1947), Lancaster and Douglas had made several appearances together. Who can forget Lancaster's tough talking Wyatt Earp and Douglas's equally tough yet terminally ill Doc Holliday in 'Gunfight at the OK Corral'?

So now it was the mid 80's, the age of the pepsi generation, I wondered how these two consistent stars would adapt to staring together again for the first time since the 60's. The answer is brilliant.

Harry Doyle (Lancaster), and Archie Long (Douglas) are released from prison after a 30 years sentence after being caught dead bang robbing a train. Eager to make a clean sweep, the two senior citizens, are looking forward to starting their new legitimate lives. However, all is not as they had hoped on the outside, and Harry and Archie have problems coming to terms with the way the world has changed. Director Kanew gives us a new genre here. Instead of the 'fish out of water' scenario, we have the 'two fishes that have been put back in the water after a severely long time' genre. However, Kanew also gives the audience the inevitable Clichés that go with it, and is always ready to fall back on a youth versus experience incident just about everytime the movie gets enjoyable. After being humiliated, patronised, and generally treated like dirt for the better part of a week, The two ageing gangsters decide that a life of crime has to be better then honest work, and predictably they revert to their previous careers as train robbers.

The film is enjoyable there's no escaping it, but there are more holes in the plot than there are in a grannies cardigan, and is also SOoooo predictable in fact the films outcome is more predictable than the outcome of a fight betwix elephant and duck. First of all to get 30 years simply for robbing a train, seems a bit excessive for the viewer to even find it believable. Co-incidentally the day the get out of prison is 1 week before the train they were caught robbing is making it's farewell run.

This aside the film IS enjoyable, and Lancaster and Douglas play their parts wonderfully and you enjoy the film more for their presence. Other cast members also rate highly, Eli Wallach is by far the funniest character, and his wonderful performance in some ways steals the film from it's intended stars. and the devine Alexis Smith makes a small cameo as Lancaster's ex lover. Charles Durning is unfortunately once again typecast as the over-weight lazy flatfoot (ala Dog Day Afternoon/The Sting) and although his performances are always good, you get tired pretty quickly of his tough talking patronising character. and finally there is (Pre Wayne's World) Dana Carvey as the Youthful Idealistic Parole Officer, but it's a shame that Carvey is restricted to playing pretty much a straight character, especially considering he is probably one of the funniest men working in Hollywood today.

Tough Guys should have been better, but I feel Kanew spent most of the budget on getting the perfect Sterling cast, rather than to hire a good script writer. Worth watching for the final appearance on-screen of this top notch duo. Since Lancaster's Death in 1994, I've warmed to this movie more knowing it could never happen again. It's just a shame it wasn't better as it could have been much better.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lancaster standing in the park Mysteryfan645
DVD justintaylor331
I could quite easily see Whitebud
Eli Wallach jgrge3
SO INCREDIBLY TOUGH toothpickvic66
Piece of old music GeneralBronson
Discuss Tough Guys (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: