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549 Ratings

The Shooting

Directed by Monte Hellman
United States, 1966
Western, Cult


A bounty hunter and his sidekick are talked by a mysterious woman into leading her into the desert on a murkily motivated revenge mission. Things are further complicated by the addition to their crew of an enigmatic drifter who seems to delight in sadistically toying with the two men.

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The Shooting Directed by Monte Hellman
Monte Hellman’s low-budget Western, from 1965, offers primal violence with a modernist chill… Hellman’s tight telephoto shots press the characters entomologically against the barren landscape; he revels in the technical charms of the medium and the scruffiness of his B-movie budget as audaciously as a French New Wave director. The blank, cerebral ending is as ingenious as it is mysterious.
July 01, 2016
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Their long, tense interactions and existential situations refine the stripped-down westerns that Budd Boetticher made in the late 1950s. In their despair of meaning and noncomic absurdity, they seem a cornfed equivalent to the modernist cinema of Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman. (Akira Kurosawa is an influence as well.) You might even term them neorealist westerns.
November 26, 2014
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Ride in the Whirlwind is unquestionably a great movie, with its direct performances, gorgeous imagery, literate, densely jargoned dialogue, and inventively bifurcated duel-siege structure. ButThe Shooting is the masterpiece of this set: a hauntingly spare and poetic revenge film that gradually transforms into a parable of a snake eating its own tale.
November 19, 2014
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