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A Gathering of Old Men ()

directed by
featuring Holly Hunter, Richard Widmark

Gathering of Old Men was based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, who'd previously written The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Like Pittman, Gathering builds its narrative upon a tapestry of deep-bred racial intolerance in the South. When a bigoted white Louisiana tenant farmer is killed, black sharecropper Louis Gossett Jr. is the most likely suspect. Plantation manager Holly Hunter, fearing a lynching, rallies Gossett's friends to form a united front to ward off any vigilantes. Sheriff Richard Widmark arrives to arrest Gossett, whereupon his old friends, in Spartacus fashion, all confess to the killing. Even threats of violent retaliation cannot dissuade these elderly black men from displaying their pride to the white powers-that-be. Adapted for television by Charles (A Soldier's Story) Fuller, it was first broadcast on May 10, 1987. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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