The Grey Fox (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Grey Fox (1982)




Critic Consensus: The Grey Fox takes liberties with the real-life history that inspired it, but director Philip Borsos' aim is true -- as is Richard Farnsworth's work in the title role.

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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

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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 (29) | Top Critics (3)

As drama, the story is genteel to a fault, with nothing provocative or troubling to disturb our enjoyment of the scenery. This limits the achievement. And yet it casts a spell.

June 3, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Lyrical and almost rapturous. Farnsworth is extraordinary.

May 29, 2020 | Full Review…

Here's one of the loveliest adventures of the year, a movie about a stubborn, indomitable character who robs people because that's what he knows best.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The Grey Fox is sizzling with an indistinct charm in that it's a film that exists on its own terms.

June 22, 2020 | Full Review…

It's an adventure as bountiful as any, set in a world where appreciation and innovation left the Wild West behind, but allowed its sentiments to linger a little while longer.

June 18, 2020 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Beyond its other pleasures, it's also a testament to the talent of first-time feature director Philip Borsos...

June 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Grey Fox


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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