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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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Title: A Gathering of Old Men (TV Movie 1987)

A Gathering of Old Men (TV Movie 1987) on IMDb 6.5/10

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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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Technical Specs


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

"There Comes A Day"
27 September 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's 1987 and there are still parts of the Deep South that haven't quite digested the changes that civil rights have brought. One of them is this bayou parish in Cajun Louisiana where a man who was from a noted white Cajun family was busy running down a black man for sport. Out from a window emerges a shotgun and he's killed.

The woman who leases the property on which most of these black people share crop is Holly Hunter and she means well, but has a patronizing attitude towards 'her' people. The man from whose house the shotgun was fired from is Lou Gossett.

But shotguns leave no forensics and as Gossett's contemporaries gather all with shotguns all recently fired any one of them could have done the deed. And as the movie unfolds they all give rather good motives for the crime.

Sheriff Richard Widmark has to sort it all out and keep at bay an element in the white community that hasn't quite accepted civil rights.

A Gathering of Old Men features a bunch of fine performances by some black actors already qualified for Social Security and Lou Gossett who is made up to look like one. The ending in terms of the crime itself and Widmark's handling of the case might surprise you, but I think it's a just one, given the times.

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

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