When boredom, pride and a mad second of misjudgement leaves a hunter shot dead by one of five combat veterans also hunting in the Canadian hills, it is expected a police investigation will ... See full summary »
When boredom, pride and a mad second of misjudgement leaves a hunter shot dead by one of five combat veterans also hunting in the Canadian hills, it is expected a police investigation will follow, but when the veterans discover the incident has not been reported, the leader of the team, Major Rex (Cliff Robertson) suspects the other party maybe plotting revenge. Convinced that he, his party, and their families will be targets themselves he decides to beat his suspected assailants at their own game, grouping together more army comrades and stocking up an arsenal of weapons for the forthcoming battle. Written by
Cliff Robertson leads a band of National Guardsmen into a real battle
My impression of "Shoot" is the same as Steve Nyland's, in his review. This film is not at all boring. It's a psychological and thematic study of the modern American man, at least those conditioned by war, and not meant to be a constant action picture. I classify it like "Rolling Thunder" and "Rambo", as a 70s noir offshoot. 70s noir for me is a period running from about 1967 to 1982 that comes after classic noir and before neo-noir. It has its own distinct themes and look, usually in color, often about individuals with twisted psychologies, often making deeper social statements. Many, many TV-movies remain to be unearthed in this category.
Veterans who are scarred by war sometimes appear in these films, trying to live normal lives, but still intrigued by war, guns, hunting, shooting, comradely spirit, flags, and so on. In this one, Cliff Robertson has a gun rack with many rifles and weapons, and nearby is a flag. He loves his guns more than his wife. He has a hunting lodge where he and his other Guardsmen buddies go to hunt. Actors Ernest Borgnine and Henry Silva stand out. They regularly attend Guard meetings or Reserve meetings.
At one hunt, they run into another band of men like them. This leads to an exchange of fire and one of that other band is killed. No one on either side reports this to the police. It is handled as an accident from a stray bullet.
This sets the stage for the rest of the story. In the course of scouting the opposition, Robertson manages to converse with Kate Reid. She does a terrific job in her one scene as the widow of the killed man. She conveys that side's love of guns, hers too, and her skinhead ideas, even though these are not skinheads, but more like white supremacists.
This is not an anti-gun picture. It's meant as a portrait of the attitudes of at least certain smaller town or boondock Americans who maintain a kind of aggressive readiness to attack and shoot, outside the law. When the scenario evolves into a revenge, feud, kill or be killed matter, as it does here, the results can be devastating.
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