“ Odd, but Compelling Western .
“ However, now in retrospect I discover that various details that seemed pointless at first do make sense and reinforce the idea that Frank tried to mess with the Order of Things, like the very fact that Frank wanted to read – it was not his place to know how to read, like it had not been the place for humans to possess the fire given to them by Prometheus, these were devices of a higher order and those who dared to mess with them (both the wretched humans, and Prometheus respectively Melissa) had to pay dearly.
“ Not to mention that changing the way they tackled the problem may have made the story more interesting, like this it got a bit repetitive: slaughter, brief scene with Brandt grinding his teeth, Frank and Melissa in tears over dead friends (and outraged by the meanness of their pursuers, oh why didn't the bad guys just stop the chase already!
“ I admit the long range shooting was exciting though.
“ Underrated, exciting--if derivative--western with interesting casting...
“ It's tough, gritty, and exciting.
“Thrilling and moving musical score by the Italian Riz Ortalani.
“ Others see this film as bland or metaphorical.
“Over all, a well-made and enjoyable film showcasing some of the best talent of the era.
“ Oliver Reed delivers another stunning performance; Reed was incapable of giving a bad performance.
“ Incredibly entertaining and completely uninterested in the worth of a human life.
“ Seeing how this is the pessimistic and violent movie world of the early 70's we're talking about, if it's going to be predictable, you can at least be sure it's going to be bloody and grim and nihilistic in the process.
“ "The Hunting Party" is slightly overlong and contains a handful of tedious sequences, notably the romantic parts and the whole sub plot revolving on Melissa learning her kidnapper how to read.
“ I am also somewhat surprised that I appreciated the allegory, as I usually find them dull; I suppose that I am annoyed by transparent fables, those obviously meant to teach us something deep, while this was a very unexpected allegory, talking less about oughts and shouldn't-s and more about the local fate of some daredevil characters, who fitted surprisingly well over mythical figures and ancient plights.
“ There's riveting, if too minor support from Mitchell Ryan, L.
“ This movie had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
“ Three quarters way through, the film starts to drag as basically the same thing keeps happening with predictable symmetry.
“ Bland shoot-em-up .
“ Exciting and very dramatic western .
“ Strangely compelling, despite serious flaws .
“ Even worse is that Reed's group are constantly being stalked by Hackman's clan and I'm guessing this was meant to be intense stuff.
“ It is very intense and qlearly influenced by the Italian westerns in terms of camera work and sceneries.
“ Then, when they realist that the hunters were after Melissa, it was perfectly natural for the other robbers to try to get rid of her, and if Frank wanted to keep her at any cost, the natural course of action would have been for the others to leave Frank.
“ Oliver Reed is stunning as Frank Calder, the tough leader of an outlaw gang who wants to learn to read.
“ She doesn't understand why she's there, and even if so, she always tries to escape Calder and return to her abusive husband, confusing the idea of what care really is.
“ The picture was just a series of scenes showing one group of men chasing another group across the badlands with lots of dull dialogue thrown in as filler.
“ It's the acting: Hackman, Reed, and Bergen all contribute focused, intense, and charismatic performances.
“I'll be honest, the stale plot isn't earth-shattering, and even though the movie results in a bleak, uncompromising, and tragic manner, it's pretty predictable.
“ But "The Hunting Party" is pretty pointless.
“ The tracking and stalking just comes across boring and if the director's was trying to go for some sort of psychological drama then he failed.
“Aside from the inclusion of some awful process shots on an exterior train scene, the film's technical credits are top notch and cinematographer Cecilio Paniagua's dusty vistas are powerfully evocative.
“ I found it to be an engrossing, if somewhat uneven, story of vengeance that stands the test of time.
“ The bloody carnage is slowly drawn out, in a despicably cowardly (mostly sniper shots) and brutally in your face manner.
“Well worth watching.
“ THE HUNTING PARTY lives up to its reputation as being a very bad film and what's really sad is how pointless it all is.
“ I managed to get an uncut version of this rare western, and I thought it was very engaging.
“" Presumably, this must have inspired Jules Levy and Arthur Gardner, well known for their family oriented television series "The Rifleman," to produce this riveting western shoot'em.