Going in Style (1979)
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Joe (George Burns), Al (Art Carney), and Willie (Lee Strasberg) are three senior citizens who share a small apartment in New York City. They live off social security checks and spend their days sitting on a park bench, reading newspapers, feeding pigeons, and fending off obnoxious children. It's a dull life, and finally Joe is driven to suggest something radical to break the monotony; why not go on a stick up? None of them have a criminal history (though Joe claims he "did some stealing during the war"), but just planning the bank robbery puts a new spring in their step. Al surreptitiously borrows some pistols from the collection of his nephew, Pete (Charles Hallahan), and the trio, disguised with novelty Groucho Marx-style glasses, pulls off their heist to the tune of 35,000 dollars. Unfortunately, the excitement is too much for Willie, who suffers a fatal heart attack the same day. At his funeral, Joe and Al decide to give the bulk of the dough to Pete and his family, and attempt to blow the rest of it on a whirlwind excursion to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, the eccentric robbery has become a colorful news story for the media and the police are closing in on the amateur criminals. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Going in Style
A trio of contrasting personalities, the veterans bring both a mischievous wit and a sense of subdued anger to a familiar comic plotline, and the film achieves a rare balance of laughter and compassion.
Though the cast is headed by three fine actors, two of whom, Mr. Burns and Mr. Carney, are also extremely funny men, it never elicits any emotional response more profound than curiosity.
There are laughs, but the prevalent tone is one of discreet compassion, without condescension or sanctimony.
Director Brest does a great job with a sensitive subject, drawing fine performances from everyone.
Two things about the film are frankly remarkable, however: the richness of its imagery and George Burns' understated performance.
Three veterans in a spotlight performance.
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