6.8/10
9,782
52 user 22 critic

Shoot to Kill (1988)

An FBI agent teams up with a tracker to pursue a murderer after he vanishes into the mountains and infiltrates a hiking group.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Norman
...
Harvey
Kevin Scannell ...
Ben
...
Ralph
Michael MacRae ...
Fournier
Robert Lesser ...
Minelli
Milton Selzer ...
Mr. Berger
Les Lannom ...
Sheriff Arnett
...
Sam Baker
...
Crilly
Sam Hiona ...
Inspector Hsu (as Samuel Hiona)
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Storyline

Sidney Poitier returned to the big screen in this action-thriller, after a decade-long absence. When a cunning murderer vanishes into the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest, pursuing FBI agent Warren Stantin (Poitier) must exchange familiar city streets for unknown wilderness trails. Completely out of his element, Stantin is forced to enlist the aid of expert tracker Jonathan Knox (PLATOON'S Tom Berenger). The killer has infiltrated a guided hiking trip led by Knox's girlfriend Sarah (Kirstie Alley, at the height of her Cheers fame). Viewers don't know which of the hikers is the killer, and the tension lasts well into the movie. Written by Donny Dollar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A ruthless killer. A beautiful hostage. Two men follow them into the mountains. One for love. One for revenge. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mountain Man  »

Box Office

Gross:

$29,300,090 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plot of this movie was aped by an episode of the TV show MacGyver. The 4th season episode, titled "The Invisible Killer," features Mac trying to unmask an escaped convict on a scenic hike, and aired only a little over a year after the film was released. See more »

Goofs

The ferry is supposed to be over deep water, with several shots of something sinking to murky depths, but when a character is seen being rescued by an unassisted swimmer the lake floor can be seen behind him with surface light shining down. See more »

Quotes

[Stantin has just scared a grizzly bear away]
Jonathan Knox: I've never seen a grizzly just turn and run like that.
Warren Stantin: Everybody else up here acts like they've never seen a black man before. Why should the bear be different?
See more »

Connections

References ABC's Wide World of Sports (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love A Parade
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Music by Harold Arlen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Music
See more »

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User Reviews

The first 45min sets it up nicely
27 June 2004 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

It think whoever wrote the script for this movie had the first half all planned out, but then didn't know where to go afterwards. The first 40 minutes or so is riveting, one of the greatest openings to a film you'll ever likely to see because it keeps you guessing, there's decoys thrown in and it throws up one big question, which one of the fishermen is the bad guy? I guessed wrong. Once his identity is revealed it all becomes a bit stock standard, other users have said that the bad guy question was answered too soon and i tend too agree, another 20 minutes or so would've helped, the fishermen tour is a fun part of the movie.

Despite it's slight decline in power at this point the directing and cinematography remain first class. The characters are believable, realistic, give good feedback and are easy to relate to. Character development in Shoot to Kill isn't matched by many others, simply first class. The script is laugh out loud witty at times and Poitier and Berenger gel well, but the acting does have it's poorer moments, as does the script. A couple of plot holes don't help. But look past some minor flaws and the movie is great, the curiously catchy soundtrack adds to the movies feel, and the scenery is documentary spectacular and also gives a good sense of it's intimidation. Definitely a must watch for thriller fans. Everyone I've shown it too loved it, and everyone I know who's seen it loved it. Highly underrated, yet highly enjoyable.


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