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The Hunting Party
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Gene Hackman, in a tour-de force villainous role, is a sadistic wealthy townowner who treats his young wife, played by Candace Bergen, like any other possession. Our first scene of them shows his violently sadistic side toward women, and as we find out later, he doesn't treat men any better.
Oliver Reed plays a notorious outlaw who kidnaps Bergen from a schoolhouse so she can teach him to reach. Hackman gets word of this while on a hunting retreat with fellow wealthy friends, and enlists their aid in retrieving his wife and taking revenge on the outlaw, Hackman and his group are armed with the newest kind of rifle, long range with telescopic sights. Much mayhem and bloodshed ensues.
Everyone acts superbly in this film. Hackman plays one of the nastiest villains ever to grace motion pictures. Bergen, while a tough cookie, has to endure lost of attacks, and Reed loses his English accent and plays effectively the part of a tough but sympathetic outlaw. This is one of the classic, cynical late sixties, early seventies (1971) westerns that has more sad and melancholy scenes than happy ones. But it is an darkly entertaining film.
always stuck out in my mind, so it was great to see it available on dvd. it was even better than i remember..... . still a great western, candice bergen much hotter than murphy brown. gene hackman is meaner than in THE UNFORGIVEN. i am planning a hunting party with some of my old pals that appreciate the ultra violent westerns of the 1970s. now can anybody tell me where i can get an ULZANA'S RAID dvd that does'nt cost no stinkin 70 dollars?
Unfortunately for Calder and his gang of outlaws, Melissa is the wife of wealthy cattle baron, Brandt Ruger (Gene Hackman). He is a perverse man who views all women, including Melissa, as pieces of property to use and abuse at will. (It is difficult to believe that, one year later, Hackman portrayed the self sacrificing Reverend Scott of "The Poseidon Adventure.") Using new, technologically advanced rifles, Brandt and his wealthy cohorts relentlessly and sadistically hunt Calder and his buddies.
"The Hunting Party" is an ultra-violent, realistically gory Western with lush photography and a beautiful soundtrack provided by the legendary Riz Ortolani. Ortolani scored many of my beloved Italian gialli such as Lucio Fulci's "Perversion Story," Armando Crispino's "The Dead Are Alive" and Flavio Mogherini's "The Pyjama Girl Case." There is also a great supporting cast that includes Simon Oakland of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" and Mitchell Ryan of "Dark Shadows." Both series were directed by the legendary Dan Curtis.
The ending of "The Hunting Party" is very tragic and depressing. The entire film, with its extreme pathos, reminded me of a Shakespearean tragedy.Read more ›
His wife Melissa (Candice Bergan, not yet aware that her calling is comedy) is kidnapped by Oliver Reed and his gang because she is mistaken for a schoolteacher and Reed's character wants to learn how to read. When Brandt finds out about the kidnapping he convinces his friends that they should hunt down the gang themselves, killing them from a safe distance as if they were buffalo or some other wild game. Brandt also plans to kill his wife rather than rescue her because he is consumed by the idea that she will be carrying some outlaw's bastard baby if he takes her back.
The fact that Oliver Reed's character kidnaps a woman because he wants to learn how to read is probably meant to make him more noble than the wealthy rancher and his friends but that motivation is too ridiculous to take seriously. Hunting Party is little more than a dressed up Most Dangerous Game rip-off but without any entertainment value since the movie takes itself so seriously. Hunting Party offers lots of killing for no good reason and quickly becomes a chore to sit through because it's impossible to care about any of the characters and everything that happens seems senseless.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw this movie on TV and really enjoyed it. So I ordered it because I intend to watch it more than once. I would highly recommend this movie.Published 21 months ago by Virginia C.
At first I thought this was a parody.
Shooting Bergen just above the groin was an interesting twist on betrayal guided by her lust. Read more
It was a movie that I saw when I was a kid and wanted to see it again and I'm glad I did as I liked it as much now as I did then.Published on January 21, 2014 by AndyK
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