The Hunter (1980) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
59 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Something for everybody
kylediede11 March 2004
Let me start out by saying I loved this movie! At first I was biased towards this movie, but that quickly changed. I think the director's intention was to make this movie for everbody. For those of you who like action movies it has a grueling scene involving a subway, a parking garage and a child being held at gun point. For those of you who like romance it has a sub-plot involving a woman who is facing pregnancy issues with her husband. For those who like horror movies there is a wonderful end scene that scares the daylights out of anybody breathing! For those who likes comedy there are a few punchlines mixed in plus a scene involving a cornfield a car and a tractor.

Steve McQueen gives off a great performance as a "Dirty Harry" type Bounty Hunter. I have never in fact seen a S. McQueen movie however, upon seeing it, I thought this guy was great. I was a little disappointed to find out that was Steve McQueen's final movie, he could have done a lot more.

The rest of the cast gave out great performances as well, The actress playing Dotty was very beautiful and had so much presense, she did wonderful.

10/10 (And I am not always this nice)
20 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
McQueen's Last Stand
G-Man-254 July 2001
McQueen's last film before his tragic and untimely death from cancer was this minor but enjoyable action comedy based on the exploits of real life bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson. The small scale, episodic structure and a few plot contrivances sometimes make it feel like a glorified made-for-TV movie (TV veteran Buzz Kulik directed), but Steve is terrific in the role and he's aided by a large and colorful supporting cast. Plenty of action, along with nice touches of warmth and humor make this more than passable entertainment, especially for fans of McQueen. ** 1/2 stars
29 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Simple but good.
Aaron137518 April 2003
This, of course, was McQueen's last role. It is nothing grand, and for the most part there really is no plot, but it is still a rather good movie. This movie revolves around McQueen's character who is a bounty hunter. This movie shows him go after various people and also shows his home life...which is a bit unique too. He goes after super big rednecks, small time crooks, crazy guys who blow things up, and one rather dangerous individual. Someone who he captured in the past also stalks him. All in all it isn't the greatest movie, but it mixes action and humor well. Even though McQueen was feeling the effects of his illness during the shooting of this one, he still does a great job.
32 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The King Of Cool's Final Film
modano197312 December 2002
When i decided to watch all of Steve McQueen's films, i went the opposite direction and watched this film first, rather than starting with his early films. There seems to be a curse with great actors doing terrible films right before they pass away. Robert Shaw, Bette Davis, Peter Sellers, Henry Fonda (Fonda seemed to have appeared in just about every disaster film before his death in 1981), to name a few. I beg to differ in Steve McQueen's case. Sure this film isn't an earth shattering, Oscar winning experience. Sure this film seems like it was made for TV. Sure this film isn't McQueen's best work. But the great acting alone from McQueen, good supporting work from LeVar Burton and Eli Wallach, and the great subway chase at the end of the film, certainly raises this film above made for TV fare. So, to you Leonard Maltin, this film is NOT McQueen's worst film. It's a fine end to a great career for the King Of Cool.
36 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Steve McQueen
chancer12718 May 2004
No nasty words about this film, i was in the cinema on it's release and at the end of the film the manager came out to inform everyone {it was a packed house} that Steve McQueen sadly passed away, i still remember that moment 24 years on....the film my not be his greatest but i loved it......... I have since seen it a number of times and will continue to sit through whenever it's shown on TV. Steve McQueen, it's good to be in the same room as him, even if it is via the wonders of science. So enjoy the moment when you do see this film, or enjoy them again, if you have seen it, i would loved to have been on set with the great guy himself.
27 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A solid, exciting and underrated action item with an excellent lead performance by Steve McQueen
Woodyanders19 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The late, great, sorely missed tough guy supreme Steve McQueen gives a typically cool, laconic and utterly engaging performance as rugged, but weary modern-day bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson, who goes after dangerous criminals who have skipped bail and has trouble adjusting to an ever-changing world he feels increasingly out of place in. Directed in a rather plain, yet still effective manner by TV show veteran Buzz Kulik, this movie has a certain rough look and gritty atmosphere to it that's gripping and believable. The pace is a bit slow, but fitfully steady just the same. The action sequences are very lively, riveting and exciting; two highlights are a stirring chase between a wheat thresher and a Trans Am in a corn field and a wild lengthy set piece towards the end which starts out as a foot chase and ultimately culminates into a car chase (the whole sequence on a speeding subway train totally smokes). Both Michel Legrand's rousing score and Fred Koenekamp's smooth photography are on the money fine. The topflight supporting cast constitutes as another substantial plus: Kathryn Harrold as Thorson's loving, but long-suffering pregnant school teacher girlfriend, Eli Wallach as a crusty bail bondsman, Levar Burton as a nice young guy who befriends Thorson, Ben Johnson as an ornery sheriff, and the ever-creepy Tracey Walter as a crazed, vengeful ex-con with a personal grudge against Thorson. McQueen's reliably strong, personable and charismatic screen presence really holds the picture together; McQueen brings a likability and vulnerability to Thorson that's refreshing and appealing in equal measure. Unjustly reviled by most critics during its theatrical release, "The Hunter" overall sizes up as an extremely solid and satisfying little ripper that's well worth checking out by both Steve McQueen fans and action movie buffs alike.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Hunter
Coxer997 May 1999
There are moments of greatness from McQueen in this, his final picture. That persona of cool that he will always be remembered for is put to the test one more time. The story isn't unique or earth shattering, but die hard fans of the legendary star will not be disappointed.
22 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
McQueen's last
bwaynef10 May 1999
"Tom Horn," Steve McQueen's second to last feature, would have been a more appropriate swan song for the legendary star than this rather ramshackle production, but this action picture is much better than it is usually given credit for. There is an almost TV look about it (the director, Buzz Kulik, has amassed more credits for the small screen than he has in theatrical films), but McQueen, looking for all the world like the picture of health (a year after the film was shot, he'd be dead), is terrific and he makes it all worthwhile. The supporting cast isn't too shabby either, especially Kathryn Harrold as McQueen's woman, and, of course, the always welcome Eli Wallach.
24 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Watchable as a time passer mainly because of McQueen
AlsExGal18 November 2016
Steve McQueen's last film features him as an aging modern day bounty hunter who drives a crumbling jalopy barely strung together. He is only just managing to make a living. The story is based on a real life bounty hunter, Ralph Thorson, who worked as technical adviser on the production, I believe.

This film has pretty much always been critically dismissed and, to be sure, it barely has a story line, just a series of incidents, some of them humorous, involved in Thorson's arrest of bail jumpers. There is a major chase sequence towards the end that is excitingly staged, involving a subway car passenger being taken captive, among other things. There's even a little bit of humour to be found here, as well, this prolonged chase sequence the highlight of the film.

I have to say that I found the film to be quite watchable as a time waster, despite its mediocre reputation. I liked the (presumably) on location shooting of some of the seedy areas in which the character had to work.

McQueen has a seasoned presence and is quite effective in his role, though he doesn't have much of a characterization to work with. There are also a few twists to be found here. One inside joke for McQueen fans is that in this film his character is a bad driver who can't seem to parallel park without mounting the curb several times and doing damage to the cars around him.

The supporting cast includes Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harrold as McQueen's pregnant girlfriend, and Ben Johnson as a good old boy town sheriff who pulls a gun on McQueen to emphasize the fact he wants him out of his town. McQueen gives him no argument. Frustrating that the film uses so little of Johnson. He has two reasonably effective small scenes and then he's gone for good. What the film has plenty of, though, is Tracey Walter as a vengeful psycho sworn to kill McQueen. Walter's character likes to indulge in cat-and-mouse games. There's nothing subtle in this actor's over-the-top performance.

I saw no sign of the cancer that would lead to McQueen's death in his appearance here. The actor found out about the asbestos-related mesothelioma shortly after filming on The Hunter was completed. (He died of a heart attack following a brutal operation to have tumors removed in Mexico).
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not great, but good
rennix24 July 2003
This is surely not McQueens best Movie ever. But it's fun to watch and the fact, that he insisted on playing a terrible car driver makes it even more enjoyable. The worst part of this movie is clearly its terrible musical score. It's just irritating. While most action scenes (like the famous Subway Chase) are not dubbed, the movie gets an almost soap opera like touch (barely watchable) when Steve is with his girlfried. I watched this movie the first time when I was 14 and now (20 years later) I found it on the DVD shelf in Walmart and bought it, because I liked it so much the first time I saw it.
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Thrilling film with a spectacular final performance by the legendary Steve McQueen as a modern-day bounty hunter
ma-cortes11 August 2013
He's not as fast as he used to be... That's what makes him human. He's a bounty hunter... And that's what makes him dangerous and he is constantly putting his life on the line. With the arrival of civilization and the closing of the American frontier in the early 1900s, the "bounty hunter" became extinct. But someone forgot to tell Ralph "Papa" Thorson...", the last of his kind - a man born into an age to which he really does not belong. Among other things, insurance companies will not insure his life, and he will never receive any social security payments . Steve McQueen stars the life of bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson, who traveling from one state to another in pursuit of fugitives as he has apprehended more than 5,000 criminals and bail jumpers . His schoolteacher girlfriend Dotty (Kathryn Harrold) is pregnant . A subplot involves an old enemy seeking vendetta (Tracey Walter) at Thorson . Based on real life of troubleshooter Ralph Thorson (performed three roles on this movie ,he acted as a technical consultant, had written the novel on which it was based, and played a small cameo), well portrayed by Steve McQueen in this movie, Ralph was killed by a car bomb in 1994.

Action-filled film contains an uneven plot with familiar drama , thrills ,car races , pursuits and many other things . Very good acting by Steve McQueen as Thorson , an old-fashioned guy who has a love of antiques , classical music and drives a 1950s convertible . Steve McQueen's final film , when he arrived at one of locations used for the film, he was checked into a really nice hotel with all the amenities available at the time, then he found out that the crew was staying in a cheaper motel nearby, he checked out of the hotel and stayed in the motel with the crew. Supporting cast is frankly good just like Elli Wallach , Ben Johnson , Tracey Walter , Al Ruscio , Levar Burton and many others . Highlights of the film are a pursuit in a cornfield, where driver in a tractor try to mow down and a chase through Chicago atop a fast-moving train. Atmospheric and gripping photography Fred Koenekamp , one of the main cameramen of the 60s and 70s , he photographed classics such as ¨Patton¨and ¨The towering inferno¨ . Mediocre musical score by Michael Legrand , in fact , producers of this picture were not satisfied with Michel Legrand's musical score which was too baroque for a thriller, they said ; finally,they came to an agreement with the French composer. Legrand's music was kept on US copies but a new musical score composed by Charles Bernstein was mixed with the soundtrack for copies released in Europe.

The motion picture was middlingly directed by Buzz Kulik . It was final theatrically released movie for director Buzz Kulik. Buzz was an expert filmmaker of TV movies and occasionally for cinema . He directed notorious series and TV films (The Lindberg kidnapping case , Pioneer woman , Brian's song , Riot , Rage of Angela) and adapted famous films for TV (From here to eternity with Natalie Wood , Women of valor) . Furthermore , he filmed some vehicles for notorious actors as Burt Reynods (Shamus) , Lee Marvin (Sergeant Ryker) , Steve McQueen (The hunter) and Pierce Brosnan (Around the world in 80 days) .
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Enjoyable, loose funky McQueen bow-out
FANatic-102 October 2006
"The Hunter" is no masterpiece, certainly, and not on a par with Steve McQueen's classics from the 1960's. But it did showcase a looser, more easy going McQueen and showed a direction he might have gone further in during the 1980's had he lived. Certainly its no worse than a lot of the films Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were churning out in this time period. I enjoyed the movie, its certainly watchable, but it is hampered by what seems like a made-for-TV look and budget at times (Steve McQueen couldn't get a bigger budget??). The musical score sucks in the way many 70's and 80's films did, and there's one howlingly ludicrous classroom scene featuring Kathryn Harrold as McQueen's girlfriend. But its all about McQueen in his final performance really. Fortunately he looks pretty good in this film, at least better than he did in "Tom Horn" and "An Enemy of the People" and he also looks like he was having a pretty good time. It was also nice to see him in his final film go full-circle playing a modern equivalent to his break-through role as a bounty hunter in "Wanted:Dead or Alive", which was where I first became a fan of McQueen's. He was a true movie star and a man's man and I still miss him.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Want to be a screenwriter? See The Hunter.
lauriesdell12 July 2002
Christopher Keane has written one hell of a Novel and a screenplay. Want proof of this? Steve McQueen not only made the movie he demanded that he make THIS movie.

Ralph "Poppa" Thorsen is a professional bounty hunter with bad driving skills, a house full of cons, cops, and hanger-ons. He has a passion for the past, a love for his mate, and a sincerity that is classic.

There are fantastic moments of comic relief, great drama, and perfect chracter development. McQueen is totally loveable in this film.

If you have ever wanted to learn how to write a screenplay you should see this film and read Chris Keane's book "How to write a selling screenplay". You will know all you need to know after that.
14 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Unfairly neglected
Katz520 December 2006
I saw this film several times as a kid and really enjoyed it--seeing it as a 13 year old, it was my introduction to Steve McQueen. Watching it recently as an adult, I still find it amusing. As another reviewer said, it is Steve McQueen in self-deprecation mode. He is relaxed and amusing. And has some great one-liners. Example--

LeVar Burton: "What's that, Papa?" Steve McQueen: "Stun gun." LeVar Burton: "What does it do?" McQueen: "Ruin your day."

McQueen is almost child-like in this movie. The way he interacts with Kathryn Harold, and the thugs he goes after. But he's still the McQueen we know and love when he confronts the Texas ranger played by Ben Johnson. See this movie--it's got some great humor and stunts. The music is a bit cheesy and the story is rather episodic, but still a fun night at the movies.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not the best ending for McQueen's career.
mod_boy8 November 2003
Steve McQueen plays Papa Thorson a man who lives in the past with the motto "New things are no Good." Papa's a bounty hunter who relies on a law from the late1800's that allows anyone to capture those who jump bail (by almost any means necessary).

Most of the movie shows Papa tracking down and capturing criminals. There are some wacky chase scenes -- one involving a Trans Am and a Harvester in a corn field - but most the action is mundane especially compared to McQueen's other films.

The movie would have benefited greatly with better effects (explosions, etc), some one liners and stronger characterization.

The ending is somewhat sentimental and cheesy. The film is based on a true story - which probably could have used some embellishment. McQueen gives a pretty good performance and it's fun to see Levar Burton in one of his earlier roles.

Recommended for hard-core McQueen fans only.
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
McQueen is out of character, and out of time, but still the King of Cool..
eaglejet9822 May 2002
I am a lifelong (since Wanted: Dead or Alive) McQueen fan. But by the time I saw this film, he had, sadly, passed away. Therefore, I looked for the signs of his pending demise in the film and they were clearly there.

Both McQueen and his character looked tired. This is probably due to his being ravaged by cancer and its medical therapy. His character seemed to pursue his work, chasing bail jumpers, with only half hearted interest. It was as if he did his job just to get away from his pregnant girlfriend and the circus side show freaks that had a running card game in his house. Somehow, the character knew the actor was dying, and simply chased bad guys in the plot to pass the time until his demise. Life imitating art imitating life. Stil, there were signs of the old "Vin", Capt. Hilts and Max Sand at times.

A sad last hurrah for a truly great actor, only because I knew this was his last film. I have watched this movie a number of times since his passing, and the film does seems to get better each time I do. Let's face it, there were only once each of Gable, Cooper, Brando and McQueen

McQueen started out thinking he'd never be able to walk with these type stars. Ultimately, as shown by his popularity 26 years after his death, he eclipsed them all. He will always be the Cooler King and King of Cool.

His exploits still thrills movie goers in The Blob, The Great Escape, Nevada Smith, Papillion, Sand Pebbles, Bullit, Junior Bonner and The Magnificent Seven.

"I'll take care of you, and set you up real good, Pilar." He still means it.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Weak and unconvincing finale.
Wally_Kalbacken25 August 2002
I did not see The Hunter until after McQueen died in November of 1980. It seemed weak - with sluggish pacing. Then it became known that he was ill during the filming and the lack of energy was understandable. Only some of the scenes where he wrecks the rental car in Nebraska even remotely rise to the excitement of some of his other action roles, and the feigned confusion with modern technology really falls flat. His constant appearance in the green Air Force jacket is overdone - or was it used to hide something?

Given all the great performances in the 60's and 70's - I often thought what kind of roles he might have had in the 80's and 90's. Were he alive today - he would be 72 and probably defining intelligent, cool action for older actors.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Give it a try since it is the last from one of the best. There will never be another like him.
Fella_shibby21 March 2020
I first saw this in the late 80s on a vhs. Revisited it recently. As a die hard fan of McQueen, i enjoyed this film which many dubbed as the last n weakest of McQueen's films. The film is about a modern-day bounty hunter who captures criminals who have skipped on their bail to bring them back for a reward. His job doesn't allow him to spend time with his pregnant girlfriend n at the same time a psychopath is stalking them. The film has a good rooftop chase, a foot chase, a train sequence n a funny chase in a corn field with ample amount of dynamites. In this film McQueen came up with the idea of going against his famous car n bike racing abilities by portraying his character as a terrible driver. The film does have a very weak villain n the screenplay is a mishmash.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
McQueen's Final Film Isn't Much
zardoz-1329 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Steve McQueen's final film performance as real-life bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson consists of an anthology of chases alternating with his life with family and friends in Chicago and his young girlfriend Dotty (Kathryn Harrold of "Nightwing") who is pregnant with their first child. Buzz Kulik directed this mediocre, moderately entertaining actioneer that has Thorson going out on a variety of bail bonds that he gets from Ritchie Blumenthal (Eli Wallach of "The Magnificent Seven"), but this sentimental film is largely uninspired. For example, the McQueen character cannot drive a car worth a hoot. In one scene, he tries to parallel park with disastrous results. The action scenes are okay, but this was largely a disappointing epic. The biggest stunt involved driving a car off a high-rise parking lot into the river that runs through Chicago.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Last American Action Hero.......
ballplayer27000022 December 2008
Steve McQueen's The Hunter did not receive great criticism, but who cares!!! It was McQueen's last film. It was all about him. It was all about him doing what he does best(acting real, tough, and yet vulnerable) McQueen is one of the last old school action movie star who possessed such a qualities. Look at those modern action movie stars today, they have no character what so ever, and they are just superficial iron pumping bodybuilders who is not even athletic in actions. McQueen was perfectly cast as real life bounty hunter, Ralph, papa, Thorson. It was the perfectly portrayed as what real tough guy used to be like. It is sad for America that they just don't make them like McQueen anymore, I can only imagine/dream about how he would be developed as an actor if he didn't pass, and yet making The Hunter would be greatest thing for his last standing...... This move also features Old cowboys like Ben Johnson, Eli Wallach (co-star of The Magnificent Seven), beautiful Kathryn Harrold, and TV Roots, LeVar Burton. I really don't think McQueen could not ask anyone better than them.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
McQueen's Swan Song Isn't as Bad as Some Say
mrb198024 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"The Hunter" appeared in theaters in the summer of 1980, just a few months before Steve McQueen's premature passing. Some reviewers have savaged the movie as his worst, and many folks love to slam it. However, the worst thing I can identify is its ordinariness, that it does not measure up to the talents of its stars. For that reason, it seems like a sadly mediocre end to McQueen's career.

McQueen had taken a long hiatus from movies in the 1970s (unless you count the bizarre "An Enemy of the People") but returned with two 1980 releases, "The Hunter" and the western film "Tom Horn". I never have really liked "Tom Horn" (too darn much blood and gore) but "The Hunter" is much better. It's a story of a modern bounty hunter (McQueen), his pregnant girlfriend (Kathryn Harrold), and McQueen's efforts to bring the bad guys in. There's lots of action (much of it cartoonish) and a subplot about Harrold's pregnancy and a frantic hospital scene at the end of the movie. The two stars give good if not great performances, but they're let down by a bland script, which looks like an expanded 1970s cop-show story. Sadly, McQueen complained about a persistent cough during filming, and was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 1979, at the age of 49.

It seems like yesterday that this film premiered in theaters, but surprisingly it's been 28 years. McQueen's return to films wasn't earth-shaking, however he showed flashes of what could have been a successful career revival. I think it's a glimpse of what might have been, rather than a look at a tired, faded star. In that respect, the movie is rather sad, because McQueen never made another movie.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Scourge of Bail Jumpers Everywhere
bkoganbing20 September 2007
Steve McQueen's farewell performance in The Hunter is a fine action thriller based on the true story of Ralph 'Pappy' Thorsen, bounty hunter and scourge of bail jumpers everywhere or at least those in and around the Chicago area.

It's interesting how the film builds up the level of difficulty of McQueen's cases. His first case was bringing in LeVar Burton who was between the two roles that made his career, in Roots as Kunte Kinte and in Star Trek the Next Generation as Geordi LaForge. The two of them hit it off so well that when Burton's charges are dismissed, he goes to work for McQueen.

The film itself builds up gradually to McQueen's last two cases where the action in the last 25 minutes doesn't let up at all, almost like an Indiana Jones film. There's a fine action sequence involving pursuit on the Chicago Metro and later in a parking lot with McQueen trying to apprehend Thomas Rosales, Jr. who is one real psycho. And then McQueen has to deal with Tracey Walter, a psycho out to kill him who kidnaps McQueens's pregnant girl friend Kathryn Harrold. Walter makes Rosales look like Cary Grant, in fact it was the best psycho act since Steve Ihnat in Madigan.

Always a pleasure in any film is Eli Wallach, reunited with McQueen from one of McQueen's earliest triumphs in The Magnificent Seven. Wallach plays the bail bondsman who hires McQueen's services and is his friend and confidante.

McQueen's last illness came on him with suddenness, though he looks his 50 years, he doesn't look ill in The Hunter. As so he did not get the kind of cinema valedictory that John Wayne did in The Shootist. Still The Hunter is a fine film for a screen legend to go out on.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One movie, two (musical) scores
dimi-612 April 2004
Buzz Kulik's The Hunter is a slow moving action flick about America's last bounty hunter played by a tired looking Steve McQueen in his last role. The story is thin and for most parts television like episodic. Most characters are just out of the cardboard cabinet, the acting seems adequate.

This said, I have to admit I like the movie's and especially McQueen's relaxed rhythm and the ironic approach to the subject, which is reflected by the unpolished cinematography, the tv like editing and the music.

Which brings us to the one oddity of the production that separates it from similar films: the soundtrack. The original English language version of The Hunter features a musical score by French composer Michel Legrand who also did The Thomas Crown Affair and Le Mans for McQueen. Only one sequence in this version was scored by Charles Bernstein (who later in the eighties composed the score for A Nightmare On Elmstreet). Both composers are credited, Legrand during the main credits and on the poster arts for the US market, Bernstein during the end credits.

Most European Versions of The Hunter -at least the dubbed ones for Italy, Spain, France and Germany- feature a score done all alone by Bernstein, he also got main credit. And this soundtrack is -by all means- the one to be preferred. Like McQueen's acting, the unrushed editing and the slow development of the story (if there's any to speak of) it's totally of the school of cool (rhythm intended).

Its main theme with its mixture of elements of Jazz, Blues, Swing and deeply rooted country style gives the movie not only rhythm, it also structures it and keeps it on track through repetition and variation in the transition sequences. And there are a lot. It also reflects the irony which saves the film from being just out of touch with its time of production.

The US version has no musical main theme to speak of, most transition sequences have no music at all or just source music from McQueen's radio (Opera) which doesn't fit the mood of the movie. This also can be said from Legrand's score with its orchestral approach. Watching The Hunter with Legrand's score you get the impression the music was composed for a totally different movie twenty years ago. It's kitschy approach would fit a soap opera or a romantic love story of the sixties but no action movie.

Paramount must felt the same way. Obviously they couldn't change the music for the US release(maybe it was too late, maybe because of legal reasons, maybe because McQueen decided to use Legrand's music) but at least they did the right thing with the European versions: This is one movie that was saved by it's (alternate) music. And you can tell just by comparing the versions available.

By the way, the region 1 DVD made by Paramount for the US market features only the American version. The region 2 DVD also made by Paramount, this time for the European market, features both scores: Legrand's score on the English language track, Bernstein's score on the tracks in Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

Unfortunately, I don't know if there's an English language track with Bernstein's score available but I doubt it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hunting reality and catching Hollywood
flingebunt26 December 2005
In the 1970s many film makers had been seeing for many years the life on the streets that surrounded them, but was not being portrayed in the movies. Over time crept into the movies and this movie is one example, though not a good one.

Based on the true life story of Bounty Hunter Ralph 'Papa' Thorson, it portrays him as thoroughly human while also have a tough edge. It tries to show snippets of life that abounded at the time, but the result is patchy and inconsistent.

It is a movie from that time and era and relies far too heavily on interesting characters interwoven through superficially constructed chase scenes.

The whole crazy killer umbrella plot is just stupid.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed