6.8/10
10,526
51 user 23 critic

Shoot to Kill (1988)

An F.B.I. Agent teams up with a tracker to pursue a murderer after he vanishes into the mountains and infiltrates a hiking group.

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode

Writers:

Harv Zimmel (story), Harv Zimmel (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Poitier ... Warren Stantin
Tom Berenger ... Jonathan Knox
Kirstie Alley ... Sarah Rennell
Clancy Brown ... Steve
Richard Masur ... Norman
Andrew Robinson ... Harvey
Kevin Scannell Kevin Scannell ... Ben
Frederick Coffin ... Ralph
Michael MacRae Michael MacRae ... Fournier
Robert Lesser Robert Lesser ... Minelli
Milton Selzer ... Mr. Berger
Les Lannom ... Sheriff Arnett
Walter Marsh ... Sam Baker
Frank C. Turner ... Crilly
Sam Hiona Sam Hiona ... Inspector Hsu (as Samuel Hiona)
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Storyline

Sidney Poitier returned to the big screen in this action-thriller, after a decade-long absence. When a cunning murderer vanishes into the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest, pursuing FBI agent Warren Stantin (Poitier) must exchange familiar city streets for unknown wilderness trails. Completely out of his element, Stantin is forced to enlist the aid of expert tracker Jonathan Knox (PLATOON'S Tom Berenger). The killer has infiltrated a guided hiking trip led by Knox's girlfriend Sarah (Kirstie Alley, at the height of her Cheers fame). Viewers don't know which of the hikers is the killer, and the tension lasts well into the movie. Written by Donny Dollar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about staying alive. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mountain Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,300,090
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanton says the suspect "used a 9mm automatic". The antagonist is shown with a Colt 1911 normally chambered in .45 ACP. In the 1980s, it would have been extremely rare for a criminal to use one in 9mm, as the guns were very uncommon and notorious for feedway stoppages. However, 9mm 1911s were common as production props due to the stoppage problems experienced with the 1911 when using .45 ACP blanks. See more »

Goofs

Knox's boots change as he is climbing the cliff. See more »

Quotes

Warren Stantin: [Out of breath] You need some more rest.
Jonathan Knox: No, I don't!
Warren Stantin: [Knox is getting up, ready to keep hiking and Stantin pulls him back down] *I* need some more rest!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love A Parade
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Music by Harold Arlen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some Inconvenient Allies
14 January 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

After an eleven year absence from the screen, Sidney Poitier chose to return in an action/adventure film where he plays an FBI agent in search of a killer.

He's got good reason to want this guy bad. His quarry is ruthless and kills without mercy. Poitier loses a hostage and the ransom he's asked for. But some good detective work has traced the man to a remote part of the Pacific Northwest.

Where the perpetrator has killed again and joined a party of dry fly fishermen being guided by Kirstie Alley into the rugged mountains. No place for a city kid like Poitier, says mountaineer/hermit Tom Berenger who has the prerequisite skills to get the job done. These two are forced into an alliance of inconvenience.

The best thing I liked about Shoot To Kill is the guessing game we play for the identity of the perpetrator. Any one of the five men in Kirstie Alley's party could have been the killer. Look at the cast list and you'll recognize a few names who've played some pretty loathsome villains in the past. The identity is revealed suddenly and quite shockingly.

What I didn't like with Shoot To Kill is the fact that the final confrontation with the perpetrator is in big city Vancouver where he's escaped with Alley. He needed her in the woods, not any longer, she should have wound up dead. And Berenger and Poitier should have confronted him in the woods.

That script decision made the climax a rather ordinary one that you see in a whole lot of police chase films. Still all the players do fine here, my favorite being Kirstie Alley as the woods smart guide.


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