Monte Hellman Double Feature: “The Shooting” / “Ride In The Whirlwind” (1966) Starring Jack Nicholson, Criterion Blu-ray Release

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Once Upon A Time In The Existential West

By Raymond Benson

I never had a chance to see these two legendary westerns that were made back-to-back in the mid-1960s, presented by Roger Corman, directed and co-produced by Monte Hellman, and starring a young Jack Nicholson (among others), for they were elusive. I’d heard they were quirky, moody, and very different takes on the western genre, so I was excited to hear that The Criterion Collection was releasing both pictures as a double-bill on one Blu-ray disc. Now you, too, can view these strange little movies in all of their high definition glory.

Hellman was one of the few directors that producer Corman would let helm pictures for his studio, which at that time was famous for low-budget horror films, youth-in-rebellion pictures, and, later, rock ‘n’ roll counterculture flicks. Jack Nicholson was also involved with Corman since the late fifties,
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 11, 2014

Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Jack Nicholson in the 1966 western The Shooting.

In 1966, the maverick American director Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop, Road to Nowhere) conceived of two westerns at the same time – The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind.

Dreamlike and gritty by turns, the two films would prove their maker’s adeptness at brilliantly deconstructing genre. As shot back-to-back for famed producer Roger Corman (The Wild Angels), they feature overlapping casts and crews, including Jack Nicholson (Chinatown) in two of his meatiest early roles.

The Shooting, about a motley assortment of loners following a mysterious wanted man through a desolate frontier; and Ride in the Whirlwind, about a group of cowhands pursued by vigilantes for crimes they did not commit, are rigorous, artful, and wholly unconventional journeys into the American West.

Criterion’s double-feature DVD and Blu-ray editions of the films include the following
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Mid-atlantic Nostalgia Convention, Maryland September 23-25

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Updated: We have been advised that guests previously announced came from a page relating to last year's show that was still appearing on the event web site. The following information relates to the 2010 show. 

This year's Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention will take place in Hunt Valley, Maryland on September 23-25. Guests include Dawn Wells, Mark Goddard, Will Hutchins and Ed Nelson. There will be seminars on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (hosted by Cinema Retro reader Bill Parisho), The Green Hornet, Nancy Drew and the restoration of classic movies. For info click here
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See also

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