The Shooting (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

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.

Watch it now


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
View All

Critic Reviews for The Shooting

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (1)

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…

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

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

An ambiguously motivated and almost surreal revenge film so open to interpretation it could be the '2001' of Westerns.

November 13, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Hellman's superb frontier cryptogram

July 30, 2014 | Full Review…

What is most intriguing about "The Shooting" is the constant sense of undefined menace throughout.

February 1, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

One of my favorite Westerns.

February 11, 2006 | 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

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features