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The Hunting Party (1971)

A ruthless rancher, and his gang, use extremely long range rifles to kill the men who kidnapped his infidel wife.

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Writers:

(story) (as Gilbert Alexander), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frank Calder
...
Brandt Ruger
...
Melissa Ruger
...
Matthew Gunn
Ronald Howard ...
Watt Nelson
...
Hog Warren
...
Doc Harrison
William Watson ...
Jim Loring
...
Sam Bayard
Rayford Barnes ...
Crimp
...
Buford King
Richard Adams ...
Owney Clark
Dean Selmier ...
Collins
Sarah Atkinson ...
Redhead
...
Chinese Girl
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Storyline

The rich and ruthless rancher Brandt Ruger keeps his beautiful young wife Melissa like a part of his property, subdued to his will. But one day she's kidnapped by the famous outlaw Frank Calder - just to teach him reading, so he tells her. Calder doesn't know or care who's wife she is. He takes care of her well, and eventually Melissa falls in love with him. But Ruger feels humiliated. Full of hate, he sets out to kill him - and Melissa too, if necessary. Together with his friends and the newest technology in guns, which carry 800 yards, he initiates a battue on Calder and his gang. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

posse | rifle | outlaw | love | gun | See All (59) »

Taglines:

You're invited to a party...We'll play the deadliest game of all...Hunting, 26 Men and 1 Woman! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western | Action

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1971 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Cacería implacable  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of three films that Candice Bergen made with Gene Hackman in the 70s, the others being the equally reviled The Domino Principle (1977) and the much more acclaimed Bite the Bullet (1975). Although they only share a handful of scenes in this film, Bergen is on record as saying she learned more about film acting from Hackman in their films together than from any other quarter. See more »

Goofs

Hackman calls his rifle a Creedmore, when in fact closeups show it to be a Martini-Henry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Melissa Ruger: Brandt. Stop! Brandt?
Brandt Ruger: Get dressed.
Melissa Ruger: Brandt, why do we...
Brandt Ruger: Get dressed!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in How Come Nobody's on Our Side? (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vengeance has no foresight - Napoleon Bonaparte
4 March 2007 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

I rented the DVD of "The Hunting Party" based on the cast. I found it to be an engrossing, if somewhat uneven, story of vengeance that stands the test of time. The version I watched, the MGM DVD issued in 2005, includes the scenes that IMDb lists as cut from earlier, European versions.

>>> Mild Spoiler follows <<<

Gene Hackman's character, Brandt, is obsessed with punishing the men who kidnapped his young wife. He is portrayed as a personable, wealthy rancher with a sadistic mean streak. He becomes so single-minded about getting payback that he destroys himself in the process. Oliver Reed, as Frank, is shown as an outlaw who does not kill unless necessary, and the struggle between these men forms the plot. We follow the story primarily from the Calder gang POV, so the audience shares their panic when the hunters attack. The loud report of the high-powered rifle shots becomes especially unnerving as the movie progresses.

There are a few scenes that help develop the characters of Calder and his men, such as the 'peaches' scene, which interjects a bit of levity into what is otherwise a dark, inexorable journey into oblivion. The ending, IMO, is a fitting climax to the story, and elevates the film above a rote Western shoot-em-up.


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