The Grey Fox (1982)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Grey Fox Photos

Movie Info

Francis Ford Coppola protégé Phillip Borsos directs this elegiac, low-key tale about real-life bandit Bill Miner that has become a classic of Canadian cinema. Having been released from jail in 1901 following a 33-year prison sentence for robbing stagecoaches, Bill Miner (Richard Farnsworth) finds himself living in a society that has completely changed from the one of his youth. He tries to put his life of crime behind him and settle down in Washington state with his sister, but the quiet life does not suit him. He feels restless but uncertain as to how to proceed next. The answer comes to him when he sees Edward S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery. Soon, Miner has slipped over the border into Canada and, along with his new partner, Shorty (Wayne Robson), robs the Canadian Pacific Railway Transcontinental Express. Later, while laying low after the crime in a remote corner of British Columbia, he meets the beautiful, strong-willed photographer Kate Flynn (Jackie Burroughs). In writing this script, Borsos reportedly made heavy use of contemporary court documents and testimonies. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival in honor of its 20th anniversary. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama , Western
Directed By:
In Theaters:
United Artists


Richard Farnsworth
as Bill Miner
Wayne Robson
as Shorty
Ken Pogue
as Jack
Timothy Webber
as Sgt. Ferdie
Peter Jobin
as Sgt. Wilson
Bill Meilen
as Ducks Engineer
Bill Murdock
as Mission Engineer
Gary Reineke
as Detective Seavey
Don MacKay
as Al Sims
George Dawson
as Accomplice
Ray Michal
as Gunsmith
Stephen E. Miller
as Danny Young
David Crowley
as Oregon Engineer
Gary Chalk
as Oregon Train Mail Clerk
Jack Leaf
as Shopkeeper
Sean Sullivan
as Newspaper Editor
Jack Ackroyd
as Fireman (Mission)
Nicholas Rice
as Mail Clerk (Mission)
Frank C. Turner
as Hotel Clerk
Paul Jolicoeur
as Conductor
Paul Whitney
as Mountie
Murray Ord
as Mountie
Lisa Westman
as Farm Girl
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Critic Reviews for The Grey Fox

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

One of the best films of the 1980s and one of the greatest films to come out of Canada.

September 13, 2012
Film Threat

Richard Farnsworth emanates roguish strength and independence as a legendary train robber.

Full Review… | August 19, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Richard Farnsworth's career finds elegant summation in this breezy laid-back Western.

November 1, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Outstanding, understated Western; great performance by Farnsworth as an outlaw whose time has passed.

October 23, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Quote not available.

October 9, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Quote not available.

July 1, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Grey Fox

A lovely Western about a professional stagecoach robber known as "The Gentleman Bandit" who emerges into the 20th Century (barely - it's 1901) after 33 years in prison and has to figure out what to do with himself. He's lost and adrift unable to fit in living with his sister and unable to settle into an ordinary job (though his eyes reveal twinkling delight as he observes the new world). Then he sees a movie by Edwin S. Porter: "The Great Train Robbery". He's found his new calling. Adventure, misadventure, romance, and much beautiful scenery follow, though all of it is played in a low-key casual manner. The romance is especially endearing as an obvious meeting of equals and the romance quietly drives the rest of the film to its amusing and perfect conclusion.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

Finally saw it thanks to TIFF's recent 30th anniversary airing. Unfortunately what could be Canada's greatest film is caught up on a poor distribution deal and hadn't been aired in decades. Despite damage to the original film, this one sparkles particularly due to the performances. Farnsworth steals the show as the train robber that we want to see succeed.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

one of the great Canadian movies

Adam Mahler
Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

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