Review: ‘The Hunting Party’

It isn't as hard to believe that excellent actors Oliver Reed and Gene Hackman would accept roles like those they are given in The Hunting Party because they were undoubtedly well paid (indeed, overpaid, considering the performances they give). But to find such fine supporting players as Mitchell Ryan, Simon Oakland and Dean Selmier in this minor effort is really surprising.

It isn’t as hard to believe that excellent actors Oliver Reed and Gene Hackman would accept roles like those they are given in The Hunting Party because they were undoubtedly well paid (indeed, overpaid, considering the performances they give). But to find such fine supporting players as Mitchell Ryan, Simon Oakland and Dean Selmier in this minor effort is really surprising.

Basically, Reed (who’s illiterate) and his gang, kidnap a teacher (Candice Bergen) who turns out to be the wife of the local cattlebaron (Gene Hackman), who is out on a hunting party with some other millionaire friends. When he hears the news, Hackman starts a search for the gang, armed with new high-power rifles capable of killing from 800 yards. One by one the gang is picked off from a safe distance until the eventual showdown with only Hackman trailing Reed and Bergen (by now in love with the outlaw, of course) onto a desert.

Seldom has so much fake blood been splattered for so little reason.

The Hunting Party

UK

Production

United Artists. Dir Don Medford; Producer Lou Morheim; Screenplay William Norton, Gilbert Alexander, Lou Morheim; Camera Cecilio Paniagua; Editor Tom Rolf; Music Riz Ortolani Art Dir Enrique Alarcon

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Oliver Reed Candice Bergen Gene Hackman Simon Oakland Mitchell Ryan L.Q. Jones
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