A Gathering of Old Men (1987)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Drama  |  10 May 1987 (USA)
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A regular day in a Louisiana sugarcane plantation changes course when a local white farmer is shot in self defense. A group of old, black men takes a courageous step by coming forward en ... See full summary »


(as Volker Schlondorff)


(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Mapes
Candy Marshall
Lou Dimes
Tiger Haynes ...
Papa John Creach ...
Julius Harris ...
Rosanna Carter ...
Walter Breaux ...
Joe 'Flash' Riley ...
Jameson (as Jay 'Flash' Riley)
Danny Barker ...
Howard 'Sandman' Sims ...
Uncle Billy
P. Jay Sidney ...


A regular day in a Louisiana sugarcane plantation changes course when a local white farmer is shot in self defense. A group of old, black men takes a courageous step by coming forward en masse to take responsibility for the killing of a white racist, whom one of their members has shot. As the sheriff confronts the suspects, the young plantation owner stands alone in her daring defense of this group of men, provoking racial tension that makes a compelling drama. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


A Lifetime of Injustice...A Moment of Vengeance.




PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

10 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder on the Bayou  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lou saw ghosts while filming this at the hotel the cast stayed in. See more »

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User Reviews

Engaging Plot and realistic issues
25 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 2005, some people in my state still want the Confederate battle flag on their state flag. Yes, racism is no longer fashionable for most people, but don't believe that it doesn't still exist - the KKK wants to adopt a highway in the northern part of the state, so they can, in my opinion, get free advertising for their "fraternal organization."

The actors in this movie have familiar faces, but rarely does one get to see this many older experienced black actors together in an ensemble where each one has their own story to share. Holly Hunter delivers a strong role as an advocate for these special men, who all say -- "I did it, I killed him." An undercurrent of humor and a continuing opportunity for the unexpected to happen keeps the plot moving. As a southerner, I cared for all these people - the women who don't want to see their husband beaten and jailed; the sheriff who, like George Wallace, tries to give the voters what they elected him for.

The tragedy for everyone is the continuing disease of racism, which is not confined just to the American South, or even to whites. Every culture tends to have their "we are special because ..." - which is important, but needs to have included Edward James Olmos' visionary statement: " First of all we are all members of the human race." A movie for viewers who want more than "shoot-em-ups" or automobiles that turn into powerful monsters, it delivers the message that not all whites are murdering bigots, but standing up for what you believe in can be liberating, and have an impact.

Visually exciting and remarkable photography and a quirkish musical background makes it easy to keep watching and wondering what will happen next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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