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The Hunting Party (1971)

A ruthless rancher, and his gang, use extremely long range rifles to kill the men who kidnapped his infidel wife.


Don Medford


Gilbert Ralston (story) (as Gilbert Alexander), Lou Morheim (story) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Reed ... Frank Calder
Candice Bergen ... Melissa Ruger
Gene Hackman ... Brandt Ruger
Simon Oakland ... Matthew Gunn
Mitchell Ryan ... Doc Harrison
L.Q. Jones ... Hog Warren
William Watson ... Jim Loring
G.D. Spradlin ... Sam Bayard
Rayford Barnes ... Crimp
Ronald Howard Ronald Howard ... Watt Nelson
Bernard Kay ... Buford King
Richard Adams Richard Adams ... Owney Clark
Dean Selmier Dean Selmier ... Collins
Sarah Atkinson Sarah Atkinson ... Redhead
Francesca Tu ... Chinese Girl (as Francisca Tu)


The rich and ruthless rancher Brandt Ruger keeps his beautiful young wife Melissa like a part of his property, subdued to his will. But one day she's kidnapped by the famous outlaw Frank Calder - just to teach him reading, so he tells her. Calder doesn't know or care who's wife she is. He takes care of her well, and eventually Melissa falls in love with him. But Ruger feels humiliated. Full of hate, he sets out to kill him - and Melissa too, if necessary. Together with his friends and the newest technology in guns, which carry 800 yards, he initiates a battue on Calder and his gang. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

posse | 1970s | 70s | range | scope | See All (111) »


In the west revenge is a deadly game. See more »


Action | Drama | Western


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

4 September 1971 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hunting Party See more »

Filming Locations:

Guadix, Granada, Spain See more »


Box Office


$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dick Bush was the DOP for only 2 weeks before being fired. (Source 007 by Alec Mills) See more »


When Frank shoots Doc (5 times rapid fire) he uses a Colt Peacemaker model which is a single action pistol. The only way to rapid fire a single action pistol is to fan the hammer, which is very inaccurate, and since his left hand is holding down his right wrist, it is not possible for him to fan the gun. See more »


[first lines]
Melissa Ruger: Brandt. Stop! Brandt?
Brandt Ruger: Get dressed.
Melissa Ruger: Brandt, why do we...
Brandt Ruger: Get dressed!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Spanish video version released in the early 1990s, which is the one usualy aired on Spanish TV, features all the shots and scenes missing from the above-mentioned British version. The Spanish version, though, misses some shots of the chinese protitute undressing in front of Brandt Ruger. Apparently, when the movie was first released in Spain in the early 1970s local censors removed all the shots portraying nudity. Some of the edited shots (but not all) were restored for the video version. The non-restored shots are:
  • A shot of the prostitute starting to pull down her dress, thus showing her breasts.
  • A shot of Ruger using a chandelier to light his cigar.
  • The beginning of a shot of Ruger approaching the girl with the chandelier in his left hand. In this version, when the shot starts Ruger is close enough to the girl for the chandelier to cover her breasts. The line spoken by Ruger during this shot ("You're gonn'a show me the best god dammed time I ever had.") also misses the words "You're gonn'a show me the...", which are spoken during the missing part of the shot. (Of course, this can not be heard in the dubbed version).
  • A scene set in an open car of the train where Ruger tells Gunn how angry he feels about his wife being kidnapped is also missing from this version (only the opening shot of the moving train remains).
See more »


Featured in The Honkers (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Very violent western shot in Almeria, Spain, with pretty good main and support cast
5 October 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

A cruel rancher called Brabt Rage : Gene Hackman and his nasty companions as G. D. Spradlin, Simon Oakland use extremely long range rifles to hunt the gang: Mitchell Ryan, LQ Jones.. led by Frank Calder: Oliver Reed, who abducted his wife : Candice Bergen .

Violent Western in Peckinpah style with thrills, chills, noisy action, go riding and crossfire. A twilight western following the wake of the late sixties and seventies westerns as Wild Bunch, Bite the bullet, 100 rifles and taking parts of "The dangerous game" by Richard Connell. Gene Hackman gives a terrific acting as the ruthless owner who seeks a merciless vengeance. Along with Oliver Reed as Frank Calder, a bandit who wants to learn reading. And Candice Bergen is top-notch as the beautiful and sweet kidnapped teacher. It displays a very good support cast such as LQ Jones, Simon Oakland, Mitchell Ryan, Bernard Kay, GD Spradlin, William Watson, and several others.

Thrilling and moving musical score by the Italian Riz Ortalani. Atmospheric cinematograhy by Cecilio Paniagua, though being really necessary a perfect remastering . Cecilio was one of the best Spanish cameramen who photographed a lot of international films shot in Spain as 100 rifles, Custer's last adventure or Custer of the West, Dr Coppelius, Island of the doomed, Commando, Balearic caper, Mathias Sandorf, Mission in Morocco, among others.Well produced by the tandem Arnold Laven, Jules Levy, Arthur Gardner who produced several westerns. The motion picture was professionally directed by Don Medford. Don was a good director who worked essentially in TV, directing a great number of famous television series as Dynasty, Colbys, Air wolf, Alfred Hitchcock presents, Mrs Columbus, FBI, Cannon, Baretta, Untouchables, Suspicion, Decoy. And occassionaly he directed for big screen as "The organization" with Sidney Poitier as Inspector Tibbs and this Hunting party. Rating 7out of 10.Well worth watching. Better than average.

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