The story of professional bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Strong
Richard Venture ...
Rocco Mason
Bernardo (as Tom Rosales)
Teddy Wilson ...
Winston Blue (as Theodore Wilson)
Ray Bickel ...
Luke Branch
Bobby Bass ...
Matthew Branch
Karl Schueneman ...
Billie Joe
Margaret Mary O'Hara ...
Child on Subway (as Margaret O'Hara)
James Spinks ...
Angry Car Owner
Frank Delfino ...
Poker Player


In order to track down bail jumpers, Ralph 'Papa' Thorson goes on a series of routine and not-so-routine searches. Sometimes he takes down his quarry easily. At other times, he's forced to extreme measures which result in the injury or death of a lawbreaker. And then again, there are other moments when his own life is on the line. It's all enough to make Thorson question what he has done with his life. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The incredible true story of Ralph 'Papa' Thorson. He's a modern day bounty hunter and that's what makes him dangerous. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 August 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A vadász  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The strange, stubby looking, non-lethal device that Thorson uses once in the film to stop the large angry man in his house is the original Stun Gun made by MB Associates in San Ramon CA. This 36mm device used a large leather or canvas bag filled with lead shot to stop people without major injury or death instead of electricity like today's Stun Guns.The "Bean Bag" rounds also used dye to mark people that were hit by this device. Non-lethal "Bean Bag" rounds are still used today by police and law enforcement agencies but are now built into normal shotgun cartridges and do not require a special device to fire them. See more »


When Papa goes to pick up the Branch Brothers, he gets surprised by a tossed lit bundle of dynamite at his feet. As he runs away in slow motion the dynamite explodes behind him, throwing him into the air and his feet out in front of him as he lands on his back. A second later, grass lands in his face from the explosion behind him, but it comes clearly from the front, thrown by crew. See more »


Ralph 'Papa' Thorson: I don't know what you've been using, Mason, but it's not good for you!
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Featured in Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005) See more »


Sempre Libera
from opera "La Traviata"
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi (as Verdi)
Performed by Pamela Hicks
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User Reviews

The Hunter
7 May 1999 | by (Marietta, OH) – See all my reviews

There are moments of greatness from McQueen in this, his final picture. That persona of cool that he will always be remembered for is put to the test one more time. The story isn't unique or earth shattering, but die hard fans of the legendary star will not be disappointed.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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