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The Shooting, perhaps the most famous Western hardly anybody ever saw, takes deadpan survey of the fallout from a casual atrocity, or perhaps only a ludicrous accident, in a nameless town. We never see the atrocity/accident, or even the town. Word simply reaches a prospector's camp, a wood-and-canvas pimple on the blankness of the wasteland, that someone "rode down a man and a little person... maybe a child." Was the someone Willett Gashade's brother Coin, who has gone missing? Was it Leland Drum, Coin's companion, who gets shot from ambush at his fireside--perhaps by an unknown avenger, perhaps by Coin? The death of Drum explains the film's title, but there's a long list of things we never know in The Shooting, and most (all?) of the characters in the movie never know them either. Still, the small, relentlessly enigmatic cast of characters gets into motion and keeps moving--chasing something, running from something, headed for somewhere that may turn out to be nowhere, or deep inside themselves.
Monte Hellman made The Shooting (and a second movie, Ride in the Whirlwind) during one brief trip into the desert, anonymously financed by Roger Corman, in the summer of 1966. His material was a script by Adrien Joyce (later of Five Easy Pieces fame), the patient camera of Gregory Sandor, and the faces, voices, and brazenly modern presences of Warren Oates (Gashade), Jack Nicholson (a white-collar killer), and Millie Perkins (a pinched Medusa, freckled with trail dirt, bitchy light years from Anne Frank). Over the intervening decades the Beckettian movie has been sporadically available only on late-night TV or via scrappy 16-millimeter prints at film societies. That now triumphantly changes with this crisp, color-saturated DVD release, whose modest letterboxing eloquently enhances the unsettling power of Hellman's compositions and eerie long takes. --Richard T. Jameson
There is a fallacy among some critics that good acting can make a bad script into a good movie. That depends on how
bad the script is. This was a totally terrible script. Read more
This is suppose to be a " cult film " , but really a low budget dud . With stars as Warren Oates and Jack Nicholson and Will Hutchins from the Tv series " Sugar foot... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Snake Pisken
An unusual, slow-moving acid western that's primarily a character study, aside from its Twilight Zone-like twist ending. Read morePublished 22 months ago by TLR
It drug on for sometime and I lost interest about halfway through.
I purchased it because it was Jack Nicholson but, I won't be making that mistake again. Read more
Not your father's western.
Almost the entire film consists of Millie Perkins, Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson, and Will Hutchins walking and/or riding through the Utah... Read more
I've wanted to see this film for the longest time -- ever since I first read about it in the book "Cult Movies" by Danny Peary. I was not disappointed. Read morePublished on October 7, 2009 by Lemmy Caution
It's best to get it out of the way right up front - 'The Shooting' looks like a Western, smells like a Western, even tastes like a Western, but that don't make it a Western. Read morePublished on April 2, 2009 by Bryan Byrd
The Shooting is an offbeat 1966 Western directed by Monte Hellman, with a screenplay by Carole Eastman (using the pseudonym "Adrien Joyce"). Read morePublished on January 30, 2009 by Wuchak