A Gathering of Old Men
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Time Out saysA murderous white Louisiana farmer chases a black man and is killed for his trouble by an anonymous shotgun blast. Plantation owner Hunter rounds up all her retired hands (Gossett, Seneca, Harris, Strode), each bringing with him a discharged shotgun. All confess to the shooting. Sheriff Widmark parks his car and awaits developments. A hot day with nothing to do but go fishing, and a stand-off in front of a shack where a white man of no great consequence lies spreadeagled on his back, slowly unfolds. Taken from a novel by Ernest J Gaines, an affecting moralist, this TV film has a dry tone and an appropriate lack of display, but the old stars, for all their impassivity, rather overwhelm the proceedings.