The Eternal Sundance Kid
Robert Redford shines in Old Man & The Gun
Charles Robert Redford has been on our radar for decades. Whether it’s for his wide-range of acting, his Academy Award-winning directing, his groundbreaking Sundance Film Festival, or just his striking good looks, “Bob” as he’s called, is a welcome industry fixture in Hollywood and, of course, Park City, Utah where his film festival is held every January.
He had been toiling in bit TV guest star roles before finding success on Broadway in the 1963 Neil Simon romantic comedy, Barefoot in the Park. He co-starred with Jane Fonda in his first film, Tall Story and later in 1967 the two starred in the film version of Barefoot, each finally finding Hollywood success. But it was his role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) where he found his footing as an actor and world-wide fame. The tragicomedy western about the doomed true-life gunslingers paired him perfectly with megastar Paul Newman, and the bromance was born. Four years later they appeared together again in the crime caper comedy, The Sting, one of the top 20 moneymaking films ever and a seven-time Oscar-winner.
Redford obviously likes working with good acting partners. In 1976 he starred with Dustin Hoffman in All The President’s Men, playing true life journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, cowriters of the Washington Post articles about the Watergate scandal that took down Nixon. He directed his first film, Ordinary People, in 1980 and hit it right out of the park, winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Directing, and notably casting the ever-cheerful Mary Tyler Moore against type in the role of a cold-hearted woman who torments her husband (Donald Sutherland) and son (Timothy Hutton) in the aftermath her other son’s death.
Over the next 30 years, Redford has stood in front and behind the camera in great films like Out of Africa (1985), Quiz Show (1994), and The Horse Whisperer (1998). He also created the annual Sundance Film Festival, a showcase for independent filmmakers. But that hasn’t stopped the actor from continuing to do some of his best work.
Redford returns to his roots in The Old Man & the Gun, a comedic western-style film about Forrest Tucker, a “gentleman” bank robber who simply can’t give up his life of crime. The always delightful Sissy Spacek stars as his girlfriend, with Danny Glover and Tom Waitts playing his hilarious partners in crime. And Casey Affleck gives a lovely, subtle performance as the easy-going detective trying to track down his almost harmless criminal.
The wonderful surprise in the film is the telling of Tucker’s past. What luck that director David Lowery (past Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner for 2013′ Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) had a treasure trove of old images and film footage of Robert Redford to use! Throughout the film, we see vintage images of Redford as a young man, reminding us of just how handsome this actor was and, despite the years of wear and tear on his gorgeous face, still is.
We gathered a few of our favorite photos of Redford over the years, here. Enjoy our stroll down memory lane.