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Wade Whitehouse is a sheriff of a small New Hampshire town who achieved nothing in life in the opinion of his ex-wife Lillian and daughter Jill and is a heavy drinker. His girlfriend Margie accepts him the way he is. On the first day of the hunting season, Wade's friend Jack takes a wealthy businessman to hunt - and only Jack returns alive. Wade decides to play detective and starts investigating the case despite the fact Jack insists it was an accidental self-inflicted shot. Written by
'James Coburn''s part was first turned down by Paul Newman and then James Garner, both turned it down because they felt that it would be very tiring to play such a dark, awful character. Both actors were friends of Coburn, and Garner suggested him for the part. See more »
When hunting, besides making enough noise to scare off deer for miles around, Jack spots a deer and later calls it a buck. There's no sign of antlers on the deer, and we're unable to see the genitalia. Whether it's a young buck or a doe is anyone's guess. With that much snow, were it a buck, we'd spot antlers. See more »
I have seen this movie in bits and pieces, because it was difficult for me to watch it all the way through and digest it all at one time.
Paul Schrader's movies can have a dark, unsettling edge to them, and this movie is no exception.
Maybe because I brought personal baggage to the table while watching this, is why this movie gripped me so much. I have alcoholic relatives in my immediate and extended family, and I have seen what their anger and destructive behavior hath wrought.
Nick Nolte and James Coburn's characters made me squirm. Coburn received a best supporting Oscar for his role, and it is well-deserved. His character is a mean, vengeful, hateful alcoholic who inflicts his pain on others and afflicts one of his sons, Wade, played by Nick Nolte.
Very gripping and intense family drama.
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