Nobody’s Fool (1994)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Based on Richard Russo’s novel, “Nobody’s Fool” centers on Sully, a charming but flawed man in North Bath, New York, during the holidays. Played by Paul Newman, Sully is a lovable rogue, suing his ex-boss, Carl, while flirting with Carl’s wife, Tobey. He lives with his former teacher, Berle, and works construction with his friend, Rub. When his estranged son, Peter, arrives, tensions arise, but they slowly bond. As the town rejects a proposed theme park by banker Clive, Sully faces off with the antagonistic policeman, Raymer. Despite chaos, Sully’s unintentional impact on others shows his enduring influence.

‘Nobody’s Fool’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Nobody's Fool (1994)Nobody’s Fool, based on Richard Russo’s novel, unfolds in the quaint setting of North Bath, New York, against the backdrop of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Paul Newman portrays Sully, a lovable rascal in his mid-sixties, whose gruff exterior hides a heart of gold. He’s nursing an arthritic knee and is in a legal battle with his former employer, Carl Roebuck, while openly flirting with Carl’s attractive but neglected wife, Tobey.

Sully has a knack for doing the right thing at the wrong moments. He resides in a room at Berle’s, his octogenarian former junior high teacher’s home. Berle adores Sully like a son but fears she might be investing in a lost cause. Meanwhile, Sully keeps chasing the same elusive trifecta bet he’s been after for years.

In the town’s subplot, Berle’s snobbish banker son, Clive “The Bank” Junior, aims to introduce a winter wonderland theme park. However, the project faces resistance from the townsfolk, with the exception of the bank’s staff. Sully, along with his downtrodden best friend, Rub, takes up odd construction jobs.

During the holidays, Sully’s estranged son, Peter, unexpectedly arrives with his family. Their encounter is awkward; Peter remembers his absentee father’s shortcomings but has mostly moved on. However, after Thanksgiving, Peter’s marriage crumbles, and he decides to stay in town with his son, Will. Sully attempts to make amends by stepping into the grandfather role for Will, despite having neglected Peter.

Peter ends up working for Sully, much to Rub’s dismay. Sully’s constant nemesis is Raymer, the local policeman who despises him. As a playful feud ensues between Sully and Carl over a snowblower, Carl discovers Tobey’s infidelity with his secretaries and contemplates relocating to Hawaii.

The narrative thickens with a host of eccentric characters, and Sully emerges as the linchpin holding this quirky community together. However, as the theme park project fails and Clive flees the town, tensions escalate between Sully and Raymer. A confrontation leads to Raymer firing his service revolver at Sully, who retaliates by knocking him out, resulting in Sully’s arrest.

As the story concludes, loose ends begin to tie up, revealing Sully’s profound impact on the community and the lives he’s inadvertently touched. Through all the trials and tribulations, Sully remains true to his character—always Nobody’s Fool.

The End.

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Our Rating

Paramount Pictures released Nobody's Fool on December 23, 1994. Robert Benton directed the film starring Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, and Jessica Tandy.

User Rating: 4.35 ( 1 votes)
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