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 Posted:   Apr 10, 2014 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

Maverick director Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop) has revealed that The Criterion Collection is working on a Blu-ray release of his early western The Shooting (1966), starring Warren Oates, Millie Perkins, Jack Nicholson, Will Hutchins, and Brandon Carroll. A preliminary street date for this upcoming release has not yet been revealed.

Recently, director Hellman left the following comments on Facebook:

"Spent the day working on the color correction on the Criterion Blu-ray of THE SHOOTING. Working from a scan of the original negative. What a revelation! Saw it side by side with the IP. At least twice the information. It's not possible for any print to be as good as a blu ray made from a 4K transfer. A DCP would be even better.

I will tell you now, you've never seen this movie before. I've never seen this movie before. Warren in one scene has tears in his eyes which were never visible in any print, video cassette or DVD. I'm only sad that Greg Sandor isn't here to see it. It's the way it looked when he shot it."

 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 1:31 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

It's about time!

If memory serves -- I haven't listened to the commentaries in a long time -- According to Monte Hellman's commentaries on the authorized DVD's released by VCI in 2000, THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND entered pre-production in January, 1965. They were budgeted between $70,000 and $75,000 each a minuscule amount of money. THE SHOOTING was written by Carole Eastman under an alias; she would be nominated for an Academy Award for writing FIVE EASY PIECES in 1971. Jack Nicholson wrote RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND, loosely based on an incident in A.S. Mercer's classic report The Banditti of the Prairie; Or, the Cattleman's Invasion of Wyoming in 1892, first published in 1895 and then suppressed by the Cattleman's Association until 1935. The two westerns were filmed back to back in southern Utah between April and June and delivered to Roger Corman in June, 1965. They had a sporadic release until Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Academy Award for FIVE EASY PIECES in 1971 at which time they were re-released as a double-feature. Both films were restored in late 1998-99 and projected at the Egyptian Theater in a special event sponsored by the American Film Institute. The VCI discs went out of print real fast. Criterion bought the rights over a decade ago and have kept the films out of release ever since. I guess Criterion is finally getting around to them.

THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND are dry, austere chamber plays, but not lacking in action and suspense. Although different in tone and approach, they have a lot in common with the scripts Burt Kennedy wrote for Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott in the late 1950s. Monte Hellman pulled off quite a feat in getting them made at all, with hardly any money to work with. Although produced on a shoestring, they don't look cheap. They are stories so well-told that they undercut the bigger, more flamboyant studio westerns of the 1960s. They are extremely well-crafted films; indeed the level of craftsmanship is very high. There are excellent, thoughtful performances by Jack Nicholson and Millie Perkins in both films, by Warren Oates and Will Hutchins in THE SHOOTING and by Cameron Mitchell in RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND.

I consider THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND to be among the most important westerns ever made and two of the best westerns of the decade.

 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 1:51 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I agree. Those are two excellent and quite subversive westerns (starring my favourite actor Nicholson). Highly underrated and often dismissed as pure B-movie pulp.

Here's my thread on THE SHOOTING:

 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 2:00 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

"ride in the whirlwind" DESERVES IT MORE!
a much better film

 Posted:   Apr 11, 2014 - 2:08 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I don't agree with that. THE SHOOTING has far higher artistic ambitions.

 Posted:   Apr 12, 2014 - 12:51 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I saw THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND double-feature in a theater in 1971. The photochemical restorations released on DVD by VCI, with Monte Hellman's participation, introduced RIDE THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOTING to a new audience. I bought mine and have been watching them occasionally ever since. The reputation of both films soared. They went out of print real fast, prices soared, and cheap public domain editions of inferior quality proliferated. After suppressing the films for over a decade I'll believe Criterion is releasing them when I see it. Let's hope the excellent commentaries by Monte Hellman and Millie Perkins are carried over.

 Posted:   Apr 12, 2014 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I don't agree with that. THE SHOOTING has far higher artistic ambitions.

That's the problem!

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