Nobody's Fool


Sully is a rascally ne'er-do-well approaching retirement age. While he is pressing a worker's compensation suit for a bad knee…

Release Year: 1994

Rating: 7.2/10 (9,795 voted)

Robert Benton

Stars: Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy

Sully is a rascally ne'er-do-well approaching retirement age. While he is pressing a worker's compensation suit for a bad knee, he secretly works for his nemesis, Carl, and flirts with Carl's young wife Toby. Sully's long- forgotten son and family have moved back to town, so Sully faces unfamiliar family responsibilities. Meanwhile, Sully's landlady's banker son plots to push through a new development and evict Sully from his mother's life.

Writers: Richard Russo, Robert Benton


Paul Newman

Sully Sullivan

Jessica Tandy

Beryl Peoples

Bruce Willis

Carl Roebuck

Melanie Griffith

Toby Roebuck

Dylan Walsh

Peter Sullivan

Pruitt Taylor Vince

Rub Squeers

Gene Saks

Wirf Wirfley

Josef Sommer

Clive Peoples Jr.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Officer Raymer

Philip Bosco

Judge Flatt

Catherine Dent

Charlotte Sullivan

Alexander Goodwin

Will Sullivan

Carl J. Matusovich

Wacker Sullivan

(as Carl John Matusovich)

Jay Patterson


Jerry Mayer

Ollie Quinn

In a town where nothing ever happens… everything is about to happen to Sully.

Release Date: 13 January 1995

Filming Locations: Beacon, New York, USA

Gross: $39,487,686

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Jessica Tandy's final role.


Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers):
Peter Sullivan says he teaches at "the University of West Virginia." There is no such place. However, there is the fine West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.


[first lines]

Miss Beryl:
Mr. Sullivan.
[banging on ceiling]

Miss Beryl:
Mr. Sullivan. God just took out Mrs. Gruber's bird bath!

Miss Beryl:
[to her husband's picture]
He's getting closer Clive. Last year it was the street light at the end of the block, now it's Mrs. Gruber's bird bath. I think God's zeroing in on me. I have the feeling this is the year he lowers the boom.

User Review

classic Newman

Rating: 7/10

Newman uses a lifetime of acting experience to give a burnished, affecting
portrayal of Sully, a dysfunctional father and husband who is basically
well-intentioned but has never been able to connect with anyone or live up
to his responsibilities. His family arrives back in town and he begins the
long-delayed process of reconnecting with his son and grandsons.

Like "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge" of a few years back, this is a low-key,
slice-of-life drama, a type of film that can be deadly dull in the wrong
hands but which in this case, under director Robert Benton's guidance, and
aided by a fabulous script and wonderful cast, is totally

The script is spare and lean and all the more effective for that. It never
goes for heavy emotional effects, but makes its points in a powerfully
understated way. The many moments of humor stand out in high relief.
Excellent acting all around (this was one of Jessica Tandy's last films;
also in the
cast are Bruce Willis, a better actor than he is generally given credit
and Melanie Griffith). The feeling of life in a down-at-the-heels
U.S. town in midwinter is superbly brought across; the movie has a real
'lived-in' atmosphere.

A definite A+.