7.4/10
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29 user 26 critic

The Grey Fox (1982)

When an aging, but gentlemanly stagecoach robber is released from prison, he decides to go to Canada to become a train robber.

Director:

Phillip Borsos

Writer:

John Hunter
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Farnsworth ... Bill Miner
Jackie Burroughs ... Kate Flynn
Ken Pogue ... Jack Budd
Wayne Robson ... Shorty Dunn
Timothy Webber ... Sergeant Fernie
Gary Reineke Gary Reineke ... Detective Seavey
David Petersen ... Louis Colquhoun
Don MacKay ... Al Sims (as Don Mackay)
Samantha Langevin ... Jenny
Tom Heaton ... Tom
Jim McLarty ... Accomplice (as James McLarty)
George Dawson George Dawson ... Accomplice
Ray Michal Ray Michal ... Gunsmith
Stephen E. Miller ... Danny Young
David L. Crowley ... Oregon Train Crew - Engineer
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Storyline

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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1901, after 33 years in San Quentin, Bill Miner "The Gentleman Bandit," was released into the Twentieth Century. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To honor the film's 20th anniversary, the movie was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

After Bill reunites with his Sister they walk together toward the house to meet her husband and pass a 3 point spring tooth harrow. The three point system wasn't invented until the late 1920s. See more »

Quotes

Miner: I got ambition in me that just won't quit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Job of Journeywork
Arranged by Martin Fay
See more »

User Reviews

 
Extraordinary (& unorthodox) Western!
15 April 2005 | by eltrollSee all my reviews

This really is a masterpiece of film - and, unfortunately, largely unknown to the greater film-watching public in the United States. It is beautiful to watch, to listen to (with its soundtrack including both original work by award-winning composer Michael Conway Baker, of Canada, and the Chieftains), and to examine as a chronicle of the period that concluded the Wild West's grasp on the 19th Century and its reach for the 20th.

Bill Miner, the "Gentleman Bandit," was a historical figure whose long prison term for stagecoach robbery left him entirely unprepared (vocationally) for his release back into society - a society that was now devoid of stagecoaches, and beginning to discover the wonders of motorcars and moving pictures.

The 29-year-old director, Phillip Borsos (1953-1995), made this film tribute to the last outlaw of the Wild West and to the region that he lived in. While others might have gone heavy-handed and clichéd in such a production, Borsos' eye and ear both figure significantly in the film's direction, and its numerous examples of originality:

  • a senior citizen star (the late Richard Farnsworth - whose Hollywood career had started as a stuntman, in Westerns - playing Bill Miner as a thoughtful and kind gentleman) who even gets to look hunky;


  • a respectful treatment of an early 20th Century feminist (played by Jackie Burroughs);


  • cinematography that highlights the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, rather than some anonymous California desert;


  • a soundtrack that ISN'T Coplandesque (or Morriconesque);


  • a 'cowboy picture' where the hero gets the girl, but doesn't get vulgar or trite or even testosterone-driven; AND


  • an accurate look at the turn-of-the-century a hundred years ago in a landscape that hasn't entirely disappeared. Yet.


I have hummed the music from its tuneful soundtrack since the first time I saw it in its initial U.S. theatrical release, and have wanted to visit Kamloops, BC, ever since. If you can stand movies without gratuitous pyrotechnics or violence, don't let another day go by without checking out this film classic.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

18 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Grey Fox See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,516,140

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,516,140
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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