The Hunter (1980)

The Hunter (1980)
  • 4715
  • PG
  • Genre: Action
  • Release year: 1980 ()
  • Running time: 97 min
  • Original Title: The Hunter
  • Voted: 4715

In order to track down bail jumpers, Ralph 'Papa' Thorson goes on a series of routine and not-so-routine searches. Sometimes he takes down his quarry easily. At other times, he's forced to extreme measures which result in the injury or death of a lawbreaker. And then again, there are other moments when his own life is on the line. It's all enough to make Thorson question what he has done with his life.

1Steve McQueenPapa Thorson
2Eli WallachRitchie Blumenthal
3Kathryn HarroldDotty
4LeVar BurtonTommy Price
  • Simple but good. by 7

    This, of course, was McQueen's last role. It is nothing grand, and for the most part there really is no plot, but it is still a rather good movie. This movie revolves around McQueen's character who is a bounty hunter. This movie shows him go after various people and also shows his home life...which is a bit unique too. He goes after super big rednecks, small time crooks, crazy guys who blow things up, and one rather dangerous individual. Someone who he captured in the past also stalks him. All in all it isn't the greatest movie, but it mixes action and humor well. Even though McQueen was feeling the effects of his illness during the shooting of this one, he still does a great job.

  • The King Of Cool's Final Film by 7

    When i decided to watch all of Steve McQueen's films, i went the opposite direction and watched this film first, rather than starting with his early films. There seems to be a curse with great actors doing terrible films right before they pass away. Robert Shaw, Bette Davis, Peter Sellers, Henry Fonda (Fonda seemed to have appeared in just about every disaster film before his death in 1981), to name a few. I beg to differ in Steve McQueen's case. Sure this film isn't an earth shattering, Oscar winning experience. Sure this film seems like it was made for TV. Sure this film isn't McQueen's best work. But the great acting alone from McQueen, good supporting work from LeVar Burton and Eli Wallach, and the great subway chase at the end of the film, certainly raises this film above made for TV fare. So, to you Leonard Maltin, this film is NOT McQueen's worst film. It's a fine end to a great career for the King Of Cool.

  • McQueen's last by 7

    "Tom Horn," Steve McQueen's second to last feature, would have been a more appropriate swan song for the legendary star than this rather ramshackle production, but this action picture is much better than it is usually given credit for. There is an almost TV look about it (the director, Buzz Kulik, has amassed more credits for the small screen than he has in theatrical films), but McQueen, looking for all the world like the picture of health (a year after the film was shot, he'd be dead), is terrific and he makes it all worthwhile. The supporting cast isn't too shabby either, especially Kathryn Harrold as McQueen's woman, and, of course, the always welcome Eli Wallach.

  • Watchable as a time passer mainly because of McQueen by 7

    Steve McQueen's last film features him as an aging modern day bounty hunter who drives a crumbling jalopy barely strung together. He is only just managing to make a living. The story is based on a real life bounty hunter, Ralph Thorson, who worked as technical adviser on the production, I believe.

    This film has pretty much always been critically dismissed and, to be sure, it barely has a story line, just a series of incidents, some of them humorous, involved in Thorson's arrest of bail jumpers. There is a major chase sequence towards the end that is excitingly staged, involving a subway car passenger being taken captive, among other things. There's even a little bit of humour to be found here, as well, this prolonged chase sequence the highlight of the film.

    I have to say that I found the film to be quite watchable as a time waster, despite its mediocre reputation. I liked the (presumably) on location shooting of some of the seedy areas in which the character had to work.

    McQueen has a seasoned presence and is quite effective in his role, though he doesn't have much of a characterization to work with. There are also a few twists to be found here. One inside joke for McQueen fans is that in this film his character is a bad driver who can't seem to parallel park without mounting the curb several times and doing damage to the cars around him.

    The supporting cast includes Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harrold as McQueen's pregnant girlfriend, and Ben Johnson as a good old boy town sheriff who pulls a gun on McQueen to emphasize the fact he wants him out of his town. McQueen gives him no argument. Frustrating that the film uses so little of Johnson. He has two reasonably effective small scenes and then he's gone for good. What the film has plenty of, though, is Tracey Walter as a vengeful psycho sworn to kill McQueen. Walter's character likes to indulge in cat-and-mouse games. There's nothing subtle in this actor's over-the-top performance.

    I saw no sign of the cancer that would lead to McQueen's death in his appearance here. The actor found out about the asbestos-related mesothelioma shortly after filming on The Hunter was completed. (He died of a heart attack following a brutal operation to have tumors removed in Mexico).

  • Thrilling film with a spectacular final performance by the legendary Steve McQueen as a modern-day bounty hunter by 6

    He's not as fast as he used to be... That's what makes him human. He's a bounty hunter... And that's what makes him dangerous and he is constantly putting his life on the line. With the arrival of civilization and the closing of the American frontier in the early 1900s, the "bounty hunter" became extinct. But someone forgot to tell Ralph "Papa" Thorson...", the last of his kind - a man born into an age to which he really does not belong. Among other things, insurance companies will not insure his life, and he will never receive any social security payments . Steve McQueen stars the life of bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson, who traveling from one state to another in pursuit of fugitives as he has apprehended more than 5,000 criminals and bail jumpers . His schoolteacher girlfriend Dotty (Kathryn Harrold) is pregnant . A subplot involves an old enemy seeking vendetta (Tracey Walter) at Thorson . Based on real life of troubleshooter Ralph Thorson (performed three roles on this movie ,he acted as a technical consultant, had written the novel on which it was based, and played a small cameo), well portrayed by Steve McQueen in this movie, Ralph was killed by a car bomb in 1994.

    Action-filled film contains an uneven plot with familiar drama , thrills ,car races , pursuits and many other things . Very good acting by Steve McQueen as Thorson , an old-fashioned guy who has a love of antiques , classical music and drives a 1950s convertible . Steve McQueen's final film , when he arrived at one of locations used for the film, he was checked into a really nice hotel with all the amenities available at the time, then he found out that the crew was staying in a cheaper motel nearby, he checked out of the hotel and stayed in the motel with the crew. Supporting cast is frankly good just like Elli Wallach , Ben Johnson , Tracey Walter , Al Ruscio , Levar Burton and many others . Highlights of the film are a pursuit in a cornfield, where driver in a tractor try to mow down and a chase through Chicago atop a fast-moving train. Atmospheric and gripping photography Fred Koenekamp , one of the main cameramen of the 60s and 70s , he photographed classics such as ¨Patton¨and ¨The towering inferno¨ . Mediocre musical score by Michael Legrand , in fact , producers of this picture were not satisfied with Michel Legrand's musical score which was too baroque for a thriller, they said ; finally,they came to an agreement with the French composer. Legrand's music was kept on US copies but a new musical score composed by Charles Bernstein was mixed with the soundtrack for copies released in Europe.

    The motion picture was middlingly directed by Buzz Kulik . It was final theatrically released movie for director Buzz Kulik. Buzz was an expert filmmaker of TV movies and occasionally for cinema . He directed notorious series and TV films (The Lindberg kidnapping case , Pioneer woman , Brian's song , Riot , Rage of Angela) and adapted famous films for TV (From here to eternity with Natalie Wood , Women of valor) . Furthermore , he filmed some vehicles for notorious actors as Burt Reynods (Shamus) , Lee Marvin (Sergeant Ryker) , Steve McQueen (The hunter) and Pierce Brosnan (Around the world in 80 days) .

1Buzz Kulikdirector
2Ted Leightonwriter
3Peter Hyamswriter
4Christopher Keanewriter
5Ralph Thorsonwriter
6John Rester Zodrowwriter