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
'Willem Dafoe is given fourth billing, yet his first on-screen appearance isn't until fifty-five minutes into the film. 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 »
[about his mother's death]
Pop was okay but out of it. Worse than usual, maybe, but no drunker than usual.
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A sensitive, gritty portrait of one man trying to hang on.
Nick Nolte presents a sympathetic portrait of a man trying to hold on to his daughter and job. His thwarted efforts bring on flashbacks that reveal a past which holds him in sway in more powerful ways than he realizes. The last fourth part of the movie is shocking for the swift revelation of character and consummation of latent forces from within. Sissy Spacek, in another brilliant performance, is the adoring girlfriend. James Coburn as the father is a convincing tyrant. Wonderful script and direction by Paul Schrader.
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