Tuesday, April 13, 2021

#2,552. The Grey Fox (1982)


Director Phillip Borsos’ subtle, gorgeous western stars Richard Farnsworth as Bill Miner, the real-life stagecoach bandit who, after serving 33 years in San Quentin, was released in 1901.

At first determined to live a normal life, Miner has a change of heart when he screens the silent classic The Great Train Robbery, and before long is himself holding up trains, first in the Pacific Northwest, then in Canada.

Miner eventually settles in a small town in British Columbia, where he meets and falls in love with photographer Kate Flynn (Jackie Burroughs). But with the law hot on his trail, he and his partner Shorty Dunn (Wayne Robson) decide to pull off one more heist before calling it quits for good.

Farnsworth is brilliant as the understated Miner, a man who usually keeps his emotions in check (save the scene where he’s watching The Great Train Robbery, when you can see the excitement in his eyes), and Frank Tidy’s cinematography is often breathtaking. Even the mundane - like a rainy day or oyster farming by the side of the water - looks picturesque in his hands.

Winner of seven Canadian Genie Awards, including Best Picture, Actor, Director, and Original Screenplay (penned by John Hunter), The Grey Fox is a movie to treasure.
Rating: 10 out of 10

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