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The Hunter

Fact that the overlong pic is based on adventures of a modern-day bounty hunter may have hampered filmmakers' imagination, as attempt to render contradictions of real-life Ralph 'Papa' Thorson, who's into classical music and astrology as well as hauling in fugitives from justice, has made for an annoyingly unrealized and childish onscreen character.

Fact that the overlong pic is based on adventures of a modern-day bounty hunter may have hampered filmmakers’ imagination, as attempt to render contradictions of real-life Ralph ‘Papa’ Thorson, who’s into classical music and astrology as well as hauling in fugitives from justice, has made for an annoyingly unrealized and childish onscreen character.

Steve McQueen may have felt that the time had come to revise his persona a bit, but what’s involved here is desecration. Given star’s rep since Bullitt as a terrific driver, someone thought it might be cute to make him a lousy one here, but seeing him crash stupidly into car after car runs the gag into the ground. The Hunter [based on the book by Christopher Keane] is a western in disguise.

Only sequence which remotely delivers the goods has McQueen chasing a gun-toting maniac in Chicago. Pic’s finale, which has star fainting when pregnant g.f. Kathryn Harrold gives birth, merely puts capper on overall misconception.

The Hunter

  • Production: Paramount/Rastar/Mort Engelberg. Dir Buzz Kulik; Producer Mort Engelberg; Screenplay Ted Leighton, Peter Hyams; Camera Fred J. Koenekamp; Editor Robert Wolfe; Music Michel Legrand Art Dir Ron Hobbs
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1980. Running time: 117 MIN.
  • With: Steve McQueen Eli Wallach Kathryn Harrold Ben Johnson
  • Music By: