A Gathering of Old Men

DVD Release: July 15, 2004
A Gathering of Old Men


A regular day in Louisiana sugarcane plantation changes course when a local white farmer is shot. A group of old, black men takes a courageous step by coming forward en masse to take responsibility for the killing of a white racist, whom one of their members has shot. As the sheriff confronts the suspects, the young plantation owner (Holly Hunter) stands alone in her daring defense of this group of men, provoking racial tension that makes a compelling drama.

Dove Review

Although this movie reveals a black community standing together after a black man kills a white man in self defense, there are some content problems for us with this film. The racial term “nig*er” is used 18 times although a black person calls himself this a couple of times. However, there is another racial term used. We know the filmmakers wanted to make the film realistic but this is a lot of language, not to mention other strong words are used, in a short amount of time.

Also, there is a man who says, “Sometimes you have to stray from the Bible” when confronted with his claim he killed a man. The film is about several black men claiming they killed the white man in order to protect the man who actually shot him, defending his own life. A police officer strikes several of the black men while questioning them. Although this film does show a young white female named Candy (Holly Hunter) who stands with her black friends, this just simply is not a “family” film and we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this movie.

Content Description

Sex: Kissing by a couple.
Language: Ni*ger-18 (a couple of black people called themselves this name); Old Coon (racial term}-1; H-8; B-1; Fool-3; D-1; For God's sake-2; Lord have mercy-2
Violence: A black man shoots and kills a white man who fired at him; blood seen on corpse; lots of blood seen on ground once corpse removed; a sheriff who questions some black men strikes several of them; men hold guns on other men; a picture of a man hanging is seen on screen; cars collide; a man kicks a police car; a family fights among themselves.
Drugs: Drinking in a few scenes; talk of no beer.
Nudity: None
Other: Prejudice mostly with whites against blacks but some with blacks against whites; several people lie to protect a man and say they shot a white man; when it's pointed out to a black man you shouldn't kill he replies, "Sometimes you have to stray from the Bible".


Company: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Producer: Gower Frost
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 94 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Louis Gossett Jr.; Richard Widmark; Holly Hunter
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter