6.6/10
643
7 user 2 critic

A Gathering of Old Men (1987)

PG | | Drama | TV Movie 10 May 1987
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 »

Director:

Volker Schlöndorff (as Volker Schlondorff)

Writers:

Charles Fuller (screenplay), Ernest J. Gaines (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Mathu
Richard Widmark ... Sheriff Mapes
Holly Hunter ... Candy Marshall
Joe Seneca ... Clatoo
Will Patton ... Lou Dimes
Woody Strode ... Yank
Tiger Haynes Tiger Haynes ... Booker
Papa John Creach Papa John Creach ... Jacob
Julius Harris ... Coot
Rosanna Carter Rosanna Carter ... Beulah
Walter Breaux Walter Breaux ... Charlie
Joe 'Flash' Riley Joe 'Flash' Riley ... Jameson (as Jay 'Flash' Riley)
Danny Barker Danny Barker ... Chimley
Howard 'Sandman' Sims Howard 'Sandman' Sims ... Uncle Billy
P. Jay Sidney P. Jay Sidney ... Gable
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Louis Gossett, Jr. saw ghosts while filming this at the hotel the cast stayed in. See more »

User Reviews

Well done
12 September 2004 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

A white man has been shot in front of a black man's house in Louisiana. From the racial attitudes and the houses the blacks live in, I would have said this was from the 50s or earlier, but the police car is like the car I drove in Driver's Ed class in 1976, and a hearse is a 1965 Cadillac.

Candy owns the land where many of the blacks live, and she claims she shot the white man, while Mathu says he did it. Candy knows what is going to happen, and every elderly black man in the area who has a gun is dispatched to Mathu's place, for a showdown with the local sheriff that is reminiscent of the memorable scene from the original 'Spartacus'. They can't arrest all these men, and they can't all be guilty. Meanwhile, the dead man's relatives want their own brand of justice.

There was a lot of good acting in this movie, and so many of the characters seemed like real people, not movie characters. This was true of Candy's white relatives, the dead man's father Fix and his family, and the blacks who came to Mathu's rescue and their families. And the movie was quite funny at times. Some women didn't want their husbands doing something dangerous, but the men were determined to do their duty. Several women showed no fear whatsoever as they sat in front of Mathu's house, and they displayed an attitude that could have easily gotten them shot in the real South of the 1950s. Racial hatred had apparently mellowed somewhat by this time.

There were several deep discussions about such subjects as blacks coming home from World War II (one man wore what appeared to be his army uniform) and preservation of people's heritage.

Holly Hunter was wonderful. In one scene it was obvious from her facial expression that her character was lying. And she showed a strong determination to protect 'her' people. She had been raised by an aunt and uncle after her parents died, an experience that helped make her strong. Her relatives were determined to let her do the job without getting involved themselves. Maybe they were afraid to.

I didn't recognize Lou Gossett, but he is always good. In one scene I thought I saw him, but obviously that wasn't him, because he was Mathu.

This was really worth seeing.


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Details

Country:

USA | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder on the Bayou See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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