THE LAST HUNT REVIEWED
“The Last Hunt” is a film about buffalo hunting during the 1880s. Arriving as an early peak Richard Brooks’ film, the master director mines every cruel inch of the allegory onto frame. Hell, I wonder if the Warner Brothers of the 1950s truly understood what they were getting here. A professional hunter and a mean Indian hating drunk team up with a one-legged man and a half Indian kid to hunt down Buffalo. The result is a level of hatred to a native people unseen since The Searchers earlier in 1956.
What makes the film so amazing is that Richard Brooks never cuts away from Robert Taylor’s evil. Stewart Granger is forced to watch what happens when men in power are giving carte blanche to root and abuse all natives that get in his path. All the while, little Russ Tamblyn plays a half Indian kid who is forced to sit courtside to the abuse. Audiences of the era must have had no idea what to do with a movie that showed the great Western heroes as vile creatures backed by an uncaring government.
Over the next 103 minutes, Brooks did something astonishing for 1956. He made audiences look at their Western heroes and question everything they did. These weren’t savages being put down by a proper government. This was an invading force destroying families and food supplies. Animal rights people will take issue with the massacre sequences, as they don’t really pull away. Still, it’s quite worth checking out.
- Vintage TV Promotional Excerpts from the MGM Parade TV series
- 2.35:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0 master audio track
RELEASE DATE: 8/21/18
The Plot Thus Far
Robert Taylor (Quo Vadis) and Stewart Granger (The Prisoner of Zenda) star in this adaptation of Milton Lott’s novel. Charlie Gilson (Taylor), a black-hearted hunter, puts together a team for a government sanctioned cull of the sole remaining buffalo herd. Joining him are the reserved Sandy McKenzie (Granger), an ex-buffalo hunter, Woodfoot (Lloyd Nolan), a one-legged skinner and red-headed “half-breed” Jimmy O’Brien (Russ Tamblyn). But trouble drives the team asunder after Charlie massacres a group of Indians and kidnaps the lone survivors – a young mother (Debra Paget) and her child. Sandy soon realizes his partner is consumed with hate… and that he enjoys killing more than just buffalo. Lensed on location in the wild wide-open of Custer State Park, South Dakota, this ahead-of-its-time Western drama delivers intense, stark and haunting imagery along with a powerful performance from Robert Taylor’s rare antagonist turn on this eye-popping 1080p presentation on Blu-ray.
Fans can purchase at www.wbshop.com/warnerarchive or any online retailers where DVDS and Blu-rays are sold.