6.8/10
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52 user 22 critic

Shoot to Kill (1988)

An FBI agent teams up with a tracker to pursue a murderer after he vanishes into the mountains and infiltrates a hiking group.

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(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Warren Stantin
... Jonathan Knox
... Sarah Rennell
... Steve
... Norman
... Harvey
Kevin Scannell ... Ben
... Ralph
Michael MacRae ... Fournier
Robert Lesser ... Minelli
... Mr. Berger
... Sheriff Arnett
... Sam Baker
... Crilly
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 »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mountain Man  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,300,090
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The knife Berenger is seen using is a Gerber BMF Survival Knife and was influenced by the those used by Sylvester Stallone in the Rambo franchise. The canyon scenes where Berenger crosses on the cable to retrieve the cart is the same location used in First Blood. See more »

Goofs

When Stantin crashes through the boxes in the alley in pursuit of Steve, one shot from inside the Caprice shows some sort of mechanical device on the roof of the Jeep. See more »

Quotes

Warren Stantin: [after he has dragged Knox up a cliff with a rope] Do you mountainmen do this kind of shit a lot?
Jonathan Knox: Every damn day!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Bushwhacked (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love A Parade
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Music by Harold Arlen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Music
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User Reviews

 
Some Inconvenient Allies
14 January 2008 | by See 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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