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Truly Great Film -- Not-so-great DVD Transfer by Madacy
on October 7, 2009
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. "The Shooting" is one of the most interesting -- and one of the weirdest -- Westerns ever. Imagine a Spaghetti Western written by Rod Serling, adapted from a Samuel Beckett play. Throw in the following: the great Warren Oates, an evil Jack Nicholson, a bitchy Millie Perkins, some hellish desert locales, and a truly bizarre ending -- a definite must-see.
The film itself deserves 5 stars -- but Madacy's DVD transfer is...well, not bad, but hardly the best. (Well, at least it's letterboxed.)
There was a top-quality DVD put out by VCI a few years back: digitally-restored, with a commentary track by director Hellman and Millie Perkins. (VCI provided the same treatment for their DVD of the companion film, "Ride the Whirlwind", also directed by Hellman and starring Jack Nicholson.)
Both "The Shooting" and "Whirlwind" VCI DVDs are now sadly out-of-print -- here's hoping for a re-issue of those restored transfers!