Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Hunting Party (1971)

Director: Don Medford

Writers: Gilbert Ralston, Lou Marheim, , William W. Norton

Composer: Riz Ortolani

Starring: Oliver Reed, Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, Simon Oakland, Ronald Howard, L.Q. Jones, Michell Ryan, William Watson, G.D. Spradlin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They Hunted The Biggest Game Of All - Man And Woman!

Plot: A ruthless rancher, and his gang, use extremely long range rifles to kill the men who kidnapped his infidel wife.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.


I've seen this twice now (probably twenty years apart) and the issues I have still remain.  It's too long and the ending, while brilliant, goes past its prime.  I mean, seriously, did it have to take that long for Frank (Reed) to die?  It's almost laughable and I was really into the movie.  Gene Hackman plays a bastard really well, and without over doing it.  He's fantastic in this and he shows us right from the start how he feels about women.  He goes downhill from there.  I dig the cast and Brandt's (Hackman) relentless pursuit of Frank and Melissa (Bergen).  It's interesting how the hunter in him allows them to live a little longer so he can continue the hunt.  He had a few chances to end it.  Maybe he should've taken one of the last ones and saved us a few more minutes.  I like Reed but I think he puts a little too much drama into the character.  That's probably what was called for to have a contrast to the cold killing machine that is Brandt but Frank turns into more of a human being than I think he should have.  It's at times a brutal and bloody film.  I reckon I would've liked it with a little less humanity.  The MGM DVD presents the film with a nice anamorphic widescreen print and the sole extra being the theatrical trailer (also anamorphic wide). 

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