6.8/10
10,012
51 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 »
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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
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...
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:

It's about staying alive. 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  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$29,300,090
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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 killer's identity is not revealed until midway through the film. He attempts to evade detection by killing a member of a hiking expedition and taking his place. To keep the audience guessing as to the true identity of the villain, some of the hikers were played by actors known for playing bad guys: notably Clancy Brown, Frederick Coffin, and Andrew Robinson. See more »

Goofs

The same three civilian vehicles are seen multiple times during the car chase. See more »

Quotes

Steve: [on the phone] I'm sending the maid out with a message
[the maid exits the house and only gets a few feet before being cut down in a hail of bullets]
Steve: [back on the phone] Stantin... did you get the message?
See more »

Connections

References Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955) 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 way that action movies should be made.
10 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

Shoot To Kill (GB title: Deadly Pursuit) is a lively, fairly intelligent action film which benefits from good character development. Many post-1980 action films suffer because they are empty spectacles, full of boring stock characters and visually impressive/emotionally redundant stunts. However, this one is different. There are eight main characters (all of them well-realized) as well as a fundamentally exciting plot, sharp dialogue, and a spectacular mountain setting.

FBI agent Warren Stanton (Sidney Poitier) is desperate to track down a dangerous jewel thief following a botched hostage situation. He suspects that the thief has joined a five-man hiking party in the rugged wilderness near Spokane. Unfortunately, there is no way of contacting the hiking guide Sarah (Kirstie Alley) to warn her that a dangerous killer is among her group. Instead, Stanton has to put his trust in another mountain guide, rough and tough Jonathan Knox (Tom Berenger). The unlikely pair pursue the hiking group, hoping to reach them before the killer strikes again.

The film moves at a good pace. Interest is generated on several different fronts: the volatile relationship between Stanton and Knox; the intriguing guessing-game as to which member of the hiking party is actually the jewel thief/killer; the "race-against-time" tension (as soon as the hikers have entered Canada, the killer could dispose of them at any time). There is spectacular action, but it is not emphasised to such an overwhelming degree that other story threads are lost. Shoot To Kill is a very commendable action film and it is a pity that more films in the genre are not up to the same standard.


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