A Gathering of Old Men is a made-for-television drama about racial tensions in 1970's Louisiana. An elderly black sharecropper, Mathu (Louis Gossett Jr.), is accused of killing a young white tenant farmer. The body was found on the sharecropper's property, and Mathu is known to have a motivation for the murder. Sheriff Mapes (Richard Widmark) intends to arrest Mathu, but is forestalled by the intervention of Candy (Holly Hunter), a white plantation owner who has known Mathu since she was a child. Candy has persuaded seventeen of Mathu's friends to stand beside him, with shotguns identical to his, and confess to the killing. Each of the old men has been victimized by the farmer or his racist family in the past, and each is determined to resist injustice now. But the dead man's powerful father, Fix Boutan (Stocker Fontelieu) will seek revenge, and if Sheriff Mapes cannot identify a single culprit, vengeance may be wreaked on the entire gathering.