Shoot (1976)

Shoot (1976)

“I knew I shouldn’t have come on this mother f**king trip.”

A group of macho war veterans (led by Cliff Robertson) are ambushed while hunting in the Canadian hills, and return fire. Suspecting a future retaliation, they gather together more army comrades, stock an arsenal of weapons, and head back to the hills for a final shoot-out.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Canadian Films
  • Cliff Robertson Films
  • Ernest Borgnine Films
  • Hunting
  • Revenge
  • Veterans

Response to Peary’s Review:
While Peary argues that this unusual Canadian action flick is meant to take a stand against “NRA types” who would open fire on the entire world if given a chance, I disagree. Instead, I see it as a freaky portrayal of war veterans whose “instinct” to engage in combat hasn’t left them. While not entirely successful, the film does make us wonder whether Robertson is correct in assuming there will be another ambush, or if the entire venture is a figment of his overactive imagination. As Peary notes, the “unexpected ending is terrifying”.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Ernest Borgnine as Lou
  • Henry Silva as Zeke
  • Incredibly tense and violent shoot-out scenes

Must See?
No, but it’s an interesting revenge flick and worth watching once.


One thought on “Shoot (1976)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see – mainly because it doesn’t make any sense. It is now a largely lost and forgotten film. The person who posted it on YouTube claims that that is the only place the film can be found. I believe him.

    Director Harvey Hart mostly worked in television and made very few feature films. Of the latter, Hart gave us such films as ‘The Pyx’, ‘Bus Riley’s Back in Town’ and ‘Fortune and Men’s Eyes’. He’s not a particularly bad director but it seems his work has sometimes been interfered with for one reason or another.

    ‘Shoot’ is a particular case in point. Because some of the plot appears to be missing, we don’t understand why any of what we see is happening.

    At IMDB, I happened upon this viewer comment below. It’s a little lengthy but it seems to shed some light on why the film appears to be incomplete:

    [This film was created and financed by CIA/CI Chief James J. Angleton
    GPHemming21 April 2001

    CIA Counterintelligence Division Chief was anxious to depict for the general public and specific employees of the U.S. Government an event that had actually occurred on North American sovereign territory. The facts of this incident were that small units of the Soviet Special Forces [Spetznaz] were indeed crossing the U.S./Canada border and conducting special operations near our missile sites in the Dakotas and Montana, and were permanently based in numerous sanctuary sites within Canada. Moreover, the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police]had repeatedly failed to locate and identify these numerous safe-sites and safe-houses. It was discovered later that Soviet moles within the Canadian Government were responsible for sabotaging ALL of the RCMP counterintelligence and law enforcement efforts for years!

    The writer “Douglas Fairbairn” was actually a CIA Officer using a cover name, and selected the name because of his fondness for the “Fairbairn” Commando Knives that were part of large collection, and respect for the famous British Police Officer [based in Hong Kong] who had designed the knife during World War II.

    Unfortunately, security and political concerns caused extensive censoring of the final movie script and within a year of its release it was pulled out of circulation and became extremely difficult to locate and obtain, even to this day!

    Limited portions of Angleton’s files were released under the JFK Act and the CIA Historical Review Act. Numerous attempts [via The Freedom of Information Act/FOIA] to declassify files that refer to both this movie and the activities of Soviet Special Forces inside the United States have been thwarted at every turn. This includes attempts by the Assassinations Records Review Board [1990s] and the House Select Committee on Assassinations [1970s] investigators.]

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