Blog # 3 “The Shooting”
1968, Nixon, and the Inward Turn
“The Shooting” was a western film in1966.It was shot in1965 in the Utah desert. It was directed by Monte Hellman and a screenplay by Carole Eastman using her fictitious name, “Adrien Joyce.” The cast was Warren Oates, Millie Perkins, Will Hutchins and Jack Nicholson.
The Shooting opened with bounty hunter Willet Grashade (Oates) returning to a far out mining camp and found his friend Coley (Hutchins) with a very important story for Willet. When Willet’s brother Coigne was in Winslow, he accidentally trampled a young boy to death. Coley heard Coigne and his partner Drum arguing in camp. Coigne suddenly left and Drum was shot down by an unknown assailant a few minutes later. The very next day a mysterious woman (Perkins) came into camp and offered Grashade and Coley a thousand dollars to take her to Kingsley for reasons she refused to reveal.
Grashade didn’t trust her but he went, hoping he could find out about his brother Coigne along the way. After a while they were joined by a hot headed gunslinger Billy Spear (Nicholson) who seemed to be in cahoots with the woman. He tried to force Coley into a fight. Along the way there were mysterious happenings in regards to the woman and Coigne and a lot of violence and a difficult journey that went nowhere with a shocking turn of events.
The film was a low budget of $75,000and began shooting April 15, 1965 with a production crew of only seven people. The first two days were almost impossible with so much rain fall where they planned on shooting the film. Because of the budget no light equipment was used. The entire film was shot in natural light. It was never released theatrically and had very few television showings. The ones who did view the film were very enthusiastic about the film.
“The Shooting” is an astonishing film that plays beautifully today and deserves to be considered among the great westerns