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The Shooting

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Millie Perkins, Jack Nicholson, Will Hutchins, Warren Oates, Charles Eastman
  • Directors: Monte Hellman
  • Writers: Carole Eastman
  • Producers: Jack Nicholson, Monte Hellman, John Herman Shaner, Roger Corman
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W5VE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,965 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shooting" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By cameron-vale on July 29, 2003
Format: DVD
THE SHOOTING (1966): Willet Gashade (Warren Oates) and his dimwitted friend Coley (Will Hutchins) are in a state of growing paranoia after their partner is inexplicably shot to death by an unseen assassin at their small mining camp. The murder may have been in retaliation for the accidental trampling death of "a little person" in town, ostensibly by Gashade's brother, who had left camp in a great hurry immediately prior to the shooting. The next morning, while the two remain confused and suspicious over this disturbing mystery, a strange young woman (Millie Perkins) shoots her horse to death outside of the camp and then offers Gashade a thousand dollars to lead her to a place called Kingsley. He accepts even though he makes no attempt to hide his distrust. Intrigued by The Woman, Coley offers to tag along. On their journey, the trio are tracked at a distance by a black clad stranger, Billy Spear (Jack Nicholson). Meanwhile, The Woman laughingly toys with Coley's emotions and refuses to answer any of Gashade's questions. Spear eventually joins them and proves to be a most despicable companion. Hostile and abusive in the extreme, Spear is a gunslinger cohort of The Woman, who is herself quickly revealed to be every bit as wicked as Gashade had suspected from the beginning. Eventually, the strange journey ends in bloody disarray at the foot of a rock-strewn mountain, where Gashade comes face to face with the answer to the mystery, at great cost.

One of the most celebrated of all cult movies, and deservedly so, THE SHOOTING is a truly great example of the once vital western form, a triumphant dying gasp for the genre. This compelling tale of weird vengeance is directed with icy cold brilliance by Monte Hellman.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on January 2, 2002
Format: DVD
In the spring of 1965, Roger Corman, the king of profitable, low budget movies, helped produce (without credit) two amazing films that have achieved legendary cult status. Now, thanks to VCI Home Video, Monte Hellman's "THE SHOOTING" and "RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND" are available on DVD in pristine, widescreen transfers. The films are subtly interconected.
Both films star a then unknown Jack Nicholson and super starlet Millie Perkins and were shot simultaneously on location in Utah for the modest amount of $150,000. Nicholson also wrote and co-produced "Ride in the Whirlwind" which is a straightforward tale of the making of a bad man and features sharp performances from Cameron Mitchell, the great Harry Dean Stanton, Rupert Crosse and Katherine Squire among others.
After accidentally happening on a group of outlaws, and getting caught in the crossfire by a sheriff and his posse, Wes (Jack Nicholson) is mistaken for one of the gang and escapes. But, in order to defend himself during his flight, has to start killing. By the end of the film he has become a legendary and mythic figure. Quentin Tarantino, a big fan of Hellman, has called this "one of the greatest films ever made."
In the "The Shooting," former bounty hunter turned miner Gashade (Warren Oates) returns to his diggings to find one of his partners, Leland, dead, his brother Coigne gone, and his third partner, Coley (Will Hutchins) holed-up in a nearby cave. Soon, a mysterious woman (Millie Perkins) materializes out of nowhere and offers Gashade a huge sum of money to guide her on a journey he soon realizes is a manhunt.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel S. on January 15, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If director Monte Hellman's THE SHOOTING is not the cult movie by excellence, I'm ready to watch the whole production of Jackie Chan available here at ... . DVD's and VHS. Without fast forwarding.
Shot entirely in the gorgeous Utah desert sceneries, THE SHOOTING relates the story of a hunting. Who is hunted and who is hunting is one of the multiple unanswered questions of this unusual western. The name of the character played by Millie Perkins is never uttered, she is only credited as "The Woman". Is she the mother of the child Warren Oates's brother would have hurted during a ride into town ? Just guess.
Monte Hellman and Jack Nicholson were both part of producer Roger Corman's unbelievable nest of future stars, they teamed up in 1967 for THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN A WHIRLWIND shot simultaneously. All I can say is that THE SHOOTING is a kind of UFO in the american production of this period and deserves to stay in your collection as an example of what can be done with a restricted budget and a lot of good ideas. Simply amazing.
I had a few problems with the menus of the DVD, never knowing where I was because the different available features were not lightened. But fortunately I know how to count until ten and made my way through the menus where I discovered filmographies, a picture gallery, different trailers and a very informative commentary said by Monte Hellman and Millie THE WOMAN Perkins. I eventually learned that Jack Nicholson was helped by a technical trick when he had to draw his gun. Simple but efficient.
A DVD for your library.
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