The Shooting (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shooting1967

The Shooting (1967)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Shooting Photos

Movie Info

Director Monte Hellman used his beloved "hunter as hunted" theme for his near-existential western The Shooting. Jack Nicholson and Warren Oates are starred in this bare-bones tale of an ex-bounty hunter (Oates) with a price on his head and the cocky young gun (Nicholson) who hopes to collect. The film seems to be exclusively populated by Life's Losers; but even with portents of doom throughout, the ending is still a jaw-dropping experience. Demonstrating the parsimony he'd learned while working with Roger Corman, director Hellman shot The Shooting in Utah simultaneously with another feature, Ride in the Whirlwind, for a combined budget of $150,000. Completed in 1967, The Shooting did not receive widespread release until after Jack Nicholson achieved stardom in the early 1970s.

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Jack Nicholson
as Billy Spear
Warren Oates
as Willett Gashade
Will Hutchins
as Coley Boyard
B.J. Merholz
as Leland Drum
Charles Eastman
as Bearded Man
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Critic Reviews for The Shooting

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (2)

The sound is poor. The colour erratic. It looks as if it has been shot on the backlot of Republic Pictures instead of on location. Yet better than any Western I have sees in, well, years, it conveys the original suspense of the genre.

June 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Hellman's tight telephoto shots press the characters entomologically against the barren landscape; he revels in the technical charms of the medium and the scruffiness of his B-movie budget as audaciously as a French New Wave director.

July 5, 2016 | Full Review…

It's easy to dismiss the deliberately obfuscated characters and inexplicable plot as arthouse pretentiousness. One's mileage depends on one's patience for postmodernism.

May 27, 2020 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Heilman a master in the art of putting his camera, quite unpredictably, in the right place at the right time. He matches the absorbing imprecision of his subject with a spectacular precision of technique

February 11, 2020 | Full Review…

[Monte] Heilman was a director who deserved attention, even six years ago.

January 8, 2020 | Full Review…

The Shooting keeps making the Western genre feel new, as though it had no conventions.

November 17, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shooting


warren oates is so friggin' great in this film. the near constant air of menace is mostly down to him and the soundtrack. a very young jack nicholson gets by more on his unusual looks and ability to ride a horse than anything else. and millie perkins' performance is odd to say the least. the paranoid, existential and so-called 'acid' western said to have been inspired by the kennedy assassination

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


A very unique movie, it's really basic and dreamy. It feels more like an acid trip than an actual movie, the camera never moves toward the focus of the scene but wherever it feels like going. For the very little dialogue and character development it has, Warren Oates and Jack Nicholson manage to have some very memorable characters. It's not exactly an essential part of film history or westerns, but it's interesting.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Peculiar Western...existential, indeed. Millie Perkins sure was beautiful, but I think she's out of her depth as an actress here.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

The Shooting Quotes

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