The Grey Fox (1982) - full transcript

Old West highwayman Bill Miner, known to Pinkertons as "The Gentleman Bandit," is released in 1901 after 33 years in prison, a genial and charming old man. He goes to Washington to live and work with his sister's family. But the world has changed much while he has been away, and he just can't adjust. So he goes to Canada and returns to the only thing familiar to him -- robbery (with stagecoaches changed to trains).

I'm telling you, bill, with
electrification coming along,

there's gonna be a revolution
in the American kitchen.

And our company's got designs

for an electric
toast-making machine.

And I hear stories of a...
Of a stove

that heats up all by itself...
Just flip of the switch.

What do you think of that?

Yessiree, the future
of houseware sales

is unlimited.

I feel dang lucky
to be part of it.

That sounds mighty fine,
Mr. sims.

Al... you're darn tootin',
it's fine.

Of course, to a man my age,
the future don't mean too much

unless you're only
thinking about next week.

Just hang on a minute there,
bill, I...

I wanna show you something.

I'm sure I got it.

Now, what do you think of that?

Now, see, this... this would
hook on to this...

To the side of the border
on top of the table

or something, but...
Have you got that?

Here, just let me see
that apple... see, now watch this.

You just put it on there.

- That's really something.
- Isn't that something?

Look at that.

Yeah, what do you think of that?

Fine piece of workmanship.

I'll tell you, bill, this is
the type of thing of the future,

this idea,
these kind of products,

that are just gonna
make your head spin.

- Why don't you try one?
- Oh, I'd hate to break it.

Oh, you can't break this.

Made to last a lifetime.

That's it.

Are you a... are you
a sea-faring man, bill?

- Pardon?
- Well, I just noticed

- I've never been to sea.
- What kind of work

- do you do, bill?
- Well, I'm between jobs

right now.

No kidding... well,
what kind of work did you do?

I robbed stagecoaches.

Hello, Jenny.

I brought you this little gizmo
from San Francisco.

I guess I have aged some.

This little machine
peels apples real good.

Come on, let's...
Let's go meet Tom.

- What can ya do?
- I'll find work.

I hear they're hiring
over at the oyster beds.

It'll be easier
than where I've been.

I know about where you been,

and what you done to get there.

I frankly don't have
much use for your kind.

Well, I hope I have a chance

to soften your opinion on that.

What I think about you
is neither here nor there.

You're Jenny's brother.

You can stay,
if that's what she wants.

Well, this...

This isn't
what I had in mind, sir.

I'd... I'd prefer something

with a little more heft to it.

- May I look at that one?
- The Colt?


Hey, miner.

You're bill miner, right?

Have we met, sir?

I'm Danny young...
I was in San Quentin

about four years back.

You remember when you got
knifed by Billy Hicks...

You do remember that, right?

I don't remember you.

I thought that you died.

Well, I haven't.

You're in luck, bill.

I'm putting together a gang.

Like Jesse James?

I figure we'd do some holdups...
That's your line, right?

No, I, uh...
I just Rob stagecoaches.

You try to find one nowadays?

Besides, stagecoaches, banks,
stores, it's all the same.

No, it's not the same.

A professional
always specializes.

Well, yours is gone,
just like a buffalo.

Well, maybe I can teach you
something new.

How do ya
plan to Rob these banks?

Well, simple, all I need
is four or five guys

with guns and guts.

Well, that...
That sounds simple enough.

Right... so you wanna
throw in with me, right?

- No, thanks.
- Why not?

I don't work for anybody.

You're getting a little old
to be choosy, ain't ya?

Well, that's exactly why
I have to be.

- I've gotta go, sir.
- Wait, wait, miner, miner...

Won't you lend me
a couple of dollars, huh?

I know you got at least $20, $30
in your release envelope.

A professional never begs.

I ain't begging ya, grandpa!

You give me the money.

Well, uh...

Maybe I... I do
have something for ya.

You're not worth killing,
but if you come at me again,

I'll put a window
through your head, so help me.

I apologize for
this disturbance, gentlemen.

I'm no oyster picker.

But, I thought things

were going so well.

You have work,

and a place with us.

What will you do?

Oh, I'll...

Head down Portland way, and...

Maybe do some prospecting.

The gold rush is over, bill.

It seems like I missed out

on all the good opportunities.

Please stay.

Since my release from prison,
I've... I've realized something

about myself.

I've gotta act on it.

I'm just no good at work
that's planned by other heads,

and I've ambitions in me

that just won't quit.

Keep the engine crew
ahead of ya!

Check him out.


Let's get out of here!

Give us his name, son.


Get this lad some water.

- Morning.
- Hello.

Is this the road to Olympia?

10 more miles
will get you there.

- Chew tobacco?
- Thank you, sir.

I feel like
you been wanting some.

Not the best for a man your age.

I haven't got any choice...
I've got a brother dying there.

Couldn't walk a mile
on this leg of mine.

Morning, Mr. lawton.

Guess you're wanting your mail?

Hey, George!

Hey, raring to go?

Sons of bitches... they
deducted me for bed and board.

They even took out
for apron and gloves.

Hey, they really, really shave
you six ways to Sunday, George.

Who do you think
owns this factory?

That railroad owns everything,
both side of the track.

Looks like rain.

Have ya... have ya
ever been to Montreal?

Who, me?

- Me?
- Well, listen,

you know, a man can afford
those luxuries

if he's willing
to take a few chances.

Well, sure, sure.


First thing we gotta do is
we gotta get you a good horse.

Like a horse?

I never had a horse...
I don't know how

- to ride a horse.
- You'll learn.

No worries.

He'll ride.

Wait till my signal,
then pull ahead.

Hurry up, son, bust her loose.

You tell him to open that door
and throw out any weapons.

Open up, herb.

- Is that you, nat?
- Yep.

Well, what's going on?

I think we're being robbed.

You are being robbed.

Now, open the damn door,

or we'll blow it off
with dynamite.

Do they have dynamite, nat?

Most certainly do, herb.

I want the register pouch.



Way back.


- Goodnight, sir.
- Now, you be careful backing up.

There must be more than $1,000
of real money right here.

Gold dust... must be worth
$5,000, $10,000.

Yeah, we can buy
our own railroad.

Well, for the time being,
we're not gonna buy anything.

- What do you mean?
- We'll we'd just

draw attention to ourselves.

We'll take some of the cash,

Hide the rest of it.

Settle down, shorty.

It'll be midday before
they can get men or horses

to the crossing.

They won't know
which way we went.

What do we do with this stuff?

We'll bury it.

Good morning, sir.
Can I help you?

Does Mr. Jack budd
manage this hotel, son?

Yes, sir.
Should I get him for you?

I'd be grateful.

Would you tell him, uh...
George Edwards is here?

Yes, sir.

- Hello, Jack.
- Oh, yes.

George Edwards.

It's been a long time,
but I've been expecting you.

Let's have some coffee.

Do they know it was me?

Yeah, pinkerton guys
identified you to the cpr.

Seems they're still chasing you
for that messy business

down in Oregon.

Our men failed to use
the engine crew for shields.

It was bad.

You didn't make the same mistake
in silver, did you?

No, uh... we used
the Chapman method there.

That's... that's
the only reliable way.

They say you got away
with 7,000 in gold dust.

Well, a fraction of that.

They always stretch
the truth, Jack.

Shorty and I need a place
to lay low for a while.

And what's in it for me, bill?

I'm sure you'll
think of something.

You bet I will.

The law thinks you've gone south
back into Washington.

I'll have to invent
a cover story

to explain you and your partner.

I appreciate this, Jack.

I see you're still
working with idiots.

Don't Mark shorty down... he's...

He's got plenty of spunk.


I've got work for both of you.


- You own this?
- Yeah.

Won in a card game
a couple of months ago.

The assay office
says there's gold traces.



I don't know a thing
about mining, Jack.

Well you do now,
been telling a story around town

that you're a couple
of mining engineers

- up from Idaho.
- So, we have to

work our butts off
in your mine, huh?

Well, would you rather be known

as a couple of train robbers?

I brought you
some company, Louis.

This is George Edwards, and uh...

That's shorty dunne.

Louis colquhoun, boys.

That man works in your mine?

Yeah, in return for
room and board at the hotel,

same as you.

I know that cough, Jack.

He's got the consumption.

Yeah, well he used to be
a schoolteacher in the east.

Came out here for his health.

He's a good worker.

Well, the... the dampness
will kill him.

It's a tough, old world.

So, uh, you better get to work,
Mr. uh...


Do you like oranges, son?

I must insist
that you publish it.

Well, your "letters
to the editor" section

is supposed to be

a forum for public opinion.

I am the member of that public.

Ms. Flynn,
as I have told you already,

I reserve the right
to publish such letters

that I deem to be of interest
to our readership.

Now, your letters
have no interest

to people around here.

Mr. wilkes, I refuse to allow

your editorial stand against
the national women's.

Trade union lead
to go unopposed.

It's absolutely imperative...

That your readership be informed

that women working in factories

in this very province

are being paid one-third
the wages being paid to men

for the very same jobs.

Your editorial failed
to mention that.

People around here don't seem
to share your passion

for trade unions.

Mr. wilkes, kamloops is not

the planet Mars.

Well, we have
a transcontinental railway

on the edge of town,

and it brings ideas here,
Mr. wilkes,

hot just goods and supplies.

It is the purpose
of your newspaper

to lead public opinion,
not simply to curry its favor.

I will not be told my purpose
in life by somebody

who obviously does not
understand her own.


Mr. wilkes.

You have the mentality of a...

Grocery clerk.

Thank you.

I'd like to purchase some back
copies from your newspaper.

Certainly, sir.

Nothing wrong with her
a husband couldn't fix.

"Law enforcement agencies
in British Columbia

and the states of Washington
and Oregon

confirm that the search
for William miner

and his accomplice
is concentrated on

the whatcom county,
Washington area,

where miner is known
to have resided

"following his release
from San Quentin."

They think it was
that bill miner... it's just us.

I don't believe miner
could have planned it

any better than I did.

Well, don't get me wrong,
George, you do great

for a nobody.

There's more here, shorty.

"The identity
of miner's accomplice

remains unknown.

The train crew described
this man as short,

dirty, nervous,
and unintelligent."

Hell, I never been nervous
in my life.

Hello there.

It's a police officer.

Relax... we aren't
breaking any laws.

- Hello there.
- Good morning, sir.

You must be the men
working for Jack budd.

Yes, we are...
This is shorty dunne,

and I'm George Edwards.

Guess I gave you
a bit of a start back there.

I guess you... you're our
local law enforcement officer?

That's correct...
I'm corporal fernie.


You, uh...

You having any luck
with this old mine?

Well, a few traces
of zinc and lead so far.

Yeah, I told Jack budd
this Ridge runs

the wrong direction
for gold veins.

But, I guess there's
no reasoning with a man

and his hunches.

Now, that's about right.

Although they've been
having some success

with the same type
of Ridge formation

down Idaho way.

Yeah, Jack told me
you were up from Idaho.

- Where exactly?
- Kellogg.

Well, I was just passing by
and I thought I should meet you.

You'll be careful
with those explosives, I hope?

Oh, ves, sir...
Caution makes for a longer life.

That it does.

Well, good day, gentlemen.

Good day.

You two in some kind of trouble
with the law?


Shorty just
don't like policemen.

That's all.

I know a man
down in cass creek...

He'll pay a nice price
for good horses.

Well, uh...

Rustling isn't my line.

I'm sure
you'll enjoy it a lot more

than working in that mine, bill.

Are ya gonna help us steal 'em?

I didn't think so.

You're real good
at figuring out the angles,

but you don't have much stomach

for the risky parts, do ya?

Well, that's how come I spent
more time outside of prison

than in it.

Three-way split.

You, me, and shorty.


Three ways.

Take her or leave her.

All right, it's a deal.

When will you do it?

Well, t'll uh...

I'll have to have
a little time to plan it out.

I'll see ya.


I was attracted
by the sound of your music.

I know who you are.

You're the man in
the newspaper office last week.

My name's George Edwards.

How long have you been
lurking about in those trees?

Well, I...
I really wasn't lurking.

Isn't that "an Aria for Martha"?


You know opera?

Not well,
but I did attend that one

a long time ago in Chicago.

My name is Katherine Flynn.

Well, it's a real pleasure
to meet ya.

Thank you.

Would I be intruding if I stayed

to hear your record?

I suppose not.

I admired the way you handled
that publisher, Ms. Flynn.

A lot of good it did me,
Mr. Edwards.

In this country,
you're not taken seriously

unless you're Caucasian,

and, most of all, male.

Well sometimes,
even that ain't enough.

You have a point there,
Mr. Edwards.

So, you left Kentucky
when you were 20.

- Why?
- Well, it was kinda dull

on the farm,
and I wanted adventure.

I bet you found it.

Yes, I did.

I was with the U.S. cavalry
in the Arizona Indian wars.

On the side of the oppressors,
Mr. Edwards?

Well, I didn't see it
quite like that at the time,

but, of course, I was very young

and not near as wise as you.

So then you went
into the mining business, yes?


Odd. You don't seem like a man

who'd spend his life

Thank you.

Of course, my parents
were mortified

when no one asked to marry me.

But I, on the contrary, was
ecstatic at such good fortune.

- Ecstatic?
- Of course.

I never wanted to be
like everybody else.

Well, you're certainly not.

Thank you.

Tomato, Mr. Edwards?

I never concurred with the idea
that they're poisonous.

I found my passion
in the art of photography.

And much to my father's dismay,

elected to make my own way
in this world.

So five years ago, I boarded
a train and came west.

Well, there...
There isn't much out here

to take pictures of.

Oh, you're quite wrong,
Mr. Edwards.

This is a country in transition,

filled with beauty.

And despair.

You yourself might be shocked
at some of the injustices

I've recorded with my camera.

Well, perhaps someday
you'll be kind enough

to let me see your pictures.

Your face has
fascinating planes, Mr. Edwards.

- Hmm.
- You'd photograph well.

Well, I'm kind of superstitious

about getting my picture taken.

A man who likes opera?

I'm much less worldly
than you think.

Are you indeed?

Do you remember
sweet Betsy from pike?

Crossed the big mountain
with her lover ike.

Two yoke of oxen,
a big yeller dog.

A tall Shanghai rooster
and one spotted hog.

They reached the big desert
and Betsy gave out.

Down on the sand
lay rollin' about.

Ike in great terror
looked on in surprise,

saying, "Betsy get up,
you'll get sand in your eyes."

Long ike and sweet Betsy
attended a dance.

Ike wore a pair
of his pike county pants.

That's nice.

Sweet Betsy was dressed up
in ribbons and rings.

"Oh, ike, you're an angel,
but where are your wings?"

A miner come up,
said, "will you dance with me?"

"I will, you old horse,
if you don't make too free."

And I'll tell you the reason,
you want to know why.

"Doggone you, I'm chock-full
of strong alkali."

Farewell, pike county,
farewell for a while.

We'll come back again
when we've panned out our pile.

Where did you get this scar?

I got knifed in a saloon.


The men I worked with
didn't really need a reason.

Where did you get
this ballerina?


And this?

San Francisco.

It flies.

I apologize for asking you
to do this, Ms. Flynn,

on Christmas morning,

but I'm afraid it's necessary.

Are they all dead, corporal?

They're dead all right,

except for the husband,
of course.

He took off somewhere
after he did it.

They hate the cold weather.

Every year,
ohe or two will suicide.

This is the first murder
I've seen here.

He used a knife.

He must've taken it with him.

I don't see it anywhere, do you?

It's a sad sight, corporal.

Damn chinamen,
you can never understand

what's going on in their heads.

Well, I wouldn't be
too harsh on him.

You know, they're a world
away from home.

Look's like he's slowing down.


Must've cut his throat
back there.

Then he run
till he hit the fence.

At least he saved us
the bother of a trial.

- Afternoon, George.
- Good afternoon.

on your promotion.

Thank you.

That's really
quite an accomplishment

for a man as young as you.

Thank you, George.


Yes, the detachment
is being enlarged.


I'll have two men under me.

I'm sure you'll measure up

to your responsibility,

It's a fascinating process.

Yes, it is.

Move 'em along, shorty!

There's a train coming!

Work train.

That's the reason
she was running so close

behind the other.

Tell you one thing,

robbing trains is
a hell of a lot easier

than rustling horses.

- Why don't we get back to that?
- In the spring.

Gotta work for budd all winter?

Well, it's safe
here in kamloops.

Besides, I'm getting to where
I kinda like this place.

Slaving away in that mine
and rustling these horses.

We got all we need buried
under a rock down in mission.

Well, we gotta think
about the future, shorty.

Let's get these horses.

I'm afraid you're mistaken.

If miner were in this area,
I'd know about it.

Not necessarily.

He's clever at false identities,

and this region is
filled with people

who like to think of him
as some sort of hero.

My opinion stands, sir.


I take it, then,
you are experienced

in dealing with major criminals.

No, I am not.

But this is my jurisdiction,
Mr. seavey,

and I'm not obliged
to take your word

for anything here.

I don't mean to condescend,

but I have pursued
this particular criminal

for some time now,

and I know how cunning
and dangerous he can be.


That's not what I've heard.

Now you're beginning to sound
like one of his admirers.

Not at all.

But I have
more important things to do

than cater to the whims
of an American detective agency.

Your superintendent
in new westminster

does not agree with you.

Why didn't you simply
show me that in the beginning?

Cooperation is preferable
to coercion, sergeant.

What would you like me to do?

This is an accurate
description of miner

provided by San Quentin.

Very well, I will circulate it...

No, sergeant.

We don't want
to set him running again.

I simply want you
to keep an eye out

for anyone who matches
that description

and notify new westminster
if you should spot him.

What is it, sergeant?


He could be any number
of older men around here then.

I'll wager you
he is the only one

with a bluebird tattooed
right here.

Well, I don't recall
seeing such a Mark on anyone,

but I will keep
my eyes open for you.

Not for me, sergeant.

For us.

We are on the same side,
are we not?

Move a little this way
so I can see the stripes.

A little more.




There, that's perfect.

I apologize for the rush,
Ms. Flynn...

But I'd like to get it off
to my parents.

Of course, I understand.

Not every day
you become a sergeant.

If I catch bill miner,

I'll probably be kicked up
to inspector

before that photograph is ready.

Are you quite comfortable,

I beg your pardon?


I'll have a print for you
the day after tomorrow,

how's that?

That's fine.

The, um...

The pinkertons are certain

that he's hiding out
in this area.

Maybe even right here
in kamloops.

Well, I certainly hope
you catch him, sergeant.

Now, please don't move,
not an inch.

Sorry, Ms. Flynn.

Do you really hope I catch him?

For your sake,
I most certainly do.

Well, a lot of people like him.

It's 'cause he only steals
from the railway.

There, just about ready.

In a way, I hope
I don't have to arrest him.

Might make me unpopular
around here with some people.

Hold still.

Give me a big smile.

Well, he shouldn't be
difficult to recognize,

not with that ballet girl
tattooed on his arm.

Not another word, sergeant.

So he checked out of the hotel
and left town, huh?

Yeah, he drove off
just after meeting with fernie.

Well, we can quit worrying now.

You must be getting soft
in the head, bill.

That pinkerton man wouldn't be
sniffing around kamloops

unless he has your scent.

That's a hasty conclusion.

The hell it is.

It's time you moved on.

I never knew you were concerned
about my safety.

I'm just trying to protect
my own situation.

Well, I can assure you,

I won't do anything
to harm that.


Can I talk to you?

In two or three days,

I'm gonna be leaving kamloops
for good.

When we made our plans,

there was something I left out.

I never intended to tell ya.

I'm not the man you think I am.

Have you lied about
your feelings for me, too?

Oh, no.

You mean more to me
than anything,

and you've gotta believe that.

Are you quite sure?

No matter what else
you think about me.

I've been thinking about it
all afternoon.

I've decided
I'm quite sure, too.

So the rest of it's
of little importance.

Then you know.

How, Kate?


I imagine he was giving you
a chance to leave

before he was forced
to arrest you.

I went to the station

and I reserved two tickets
on the eastbound limited.

We disembark in winnipeg.

And then we make
our connections to Chicago.

Or New York, if you prefer.

I can't go with you.

Not now.

It would just make it easy
for the police to find me.

Kate, listen.

I want you on that train.

You go to Chicago.


I'll go some place,
I'll throw 'em off my trail,

and when it's safe,
I'll join you.

You will come?

You bet I will.

You do believe me?

I believe in you.

I was looking for you
a little while ago.

Aw, me and Louis
were just sharing a bottle

at the stable.

What's all this here?

And what's the point, George?

You ain't never gonna
use it no more.


All you wanna do is cozy up
with that picture taking lady!

Since when
did you become an expert

on the affairs of the heart,

The fact is,
I'd say she just about

made a gelding out of you!

You moronic little
son of a bitch.

I told you I'd tell you
when the time was right.

And now the time's right.


- How much longer?
- Hour 10.

- What if it don't stop?
- It'll stop.

They have to take on water
for the upgrade.

I ought go down
to the 118 milepost now.

Before you go, there's something

I have to tell both of you.

It isn't safe for me
any longer in kamloops.

I'm not going back,

and I advise that
you don't go back either.

You're bill miner, aren't ya?

I am.

What are you two doing in here?

We're robbing this train!

How do you plan
to go about that?

Just turn out your gold.

What's up, the hose bust?

This is no hose bust,
it's a hold up!

Throw down your guns!

This is a baggage car!

You cut the wrong car!

They all look the same
in the dark!

Do you have any mail?


I want the box, son.

What box?

The express box.

It's on the car you left behind.

The frisco pouch.

It doesn't come this way, sir.

Well, which way does it come?

By the mission junction, sir.

Is that registered mail there?

Yes, sir.

Put it on the table.

Is that the money package?

I... I don't know, sir.

What do you know?

Now you open it.

That may come in handy.

Let's go.

I'm done.

What about this?

We don't need it now.

What is it?


Hello there.


Good day!

Good day, sir.

We didn't hear you
when you slipped in on us.

I am sergeant Wilson,
north-west mounted police.

I must ask you
to identify yourselves.

You boys are kind of out of
your territory, aren't you?

I must ask you
to identify yourselves.

I'm George Edwards,
that's shorty Dunn,

and this is Louis colquhoun.

What are you men doing out here?




Over there,
just east of Douglas lake.

Up north?

No, sir. East.

You answer the descriptions
of the men we're hunting.

Who might they be?

The train robbers,
the ones who robbed the cpr

at ducks sighting.

Do we really look
like train robbers?

Those gold pans,

they don't look much used to me.

We're not panning,
we're surveying and staking.

And this is the first
we've heard

of any train robbery.

Nonetheless, I must take you
for the train robbers.

- It's all up, boys.
- We're done!

You do that
and I'll blow your head off.

That was stupid.

You could've been shot
in the head.

I wish to god I had been shot
through the head.

George, will you step out,

Are my men treating you well?

Just fine.

Thank you, sergeant.

This is Mr. seavey.

He's a pinkerton agent
from Portland.

Hello, bill.

I've been looking forward
to meeting you for a long time.

The name's Edwards, sir.

George Edwards.

Is it indeed, sir?

Louis colquhoun, William Dunn,

and William miner,
also known as George Edwards,

you have been tried
and found guilty

of the crime of armed robbery,

and this court sentences you
as follows:

Louis Calhoun, 15 years.

William Dunn, 25 years.

And William miner,
also known as George Edwards,

you are sentenced to 25 years.

This court is now adjourned.