|Directed by||Henry Hathaway|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Written by||Will James (novel "The Lone Cowboy"), Marguerite Roberts (screenplay)|
|Music by||Dave Grusin|
|Edited by||Archie Marshek|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|October 13, 1971|
Shoot Out is a 1971 western film directed by Henry Hathaway. It stars Gregory Peck and Patricia Quinn. The film is adapted from Will James's 1930 novel, The Lone Cowboy. The film was produced, directed, and written by the team that delivered the Oscar-winning film True Grit.
This was the second-to-last of the 65 films directed by Hathaway.
Clay Lomax is released from prison after serving nearly eight years. He goes looking for Sam Foley, a bank robber who shot Lomax in the back and left him to be arrested. Learning of his release, Foley hires a trio of young thugs—Pepe, Skeeter, and Bobby Jay Jones—to track Lomax's movements. Lomax locates an old friend, Trooper, and offers him money for the name of the town where Foley is staying. The thugs catch up to Lomax and force Alma, a prostitute working for Trooper, to spend the night with them.
While on board a train to retrieve the money he promised, Lomax is told of a young girl named Decky and that she is to accompany him, with her previous guardian dead. Lomax acquiesces and takes charge of Decky, receiving the money in exchange. He takes it to Trooper and then tries to find someone who would take care of Decky, but is unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the thugs fatally wound Trooper and rob the saloon, taking Lomax's money and Alma, before continuing to follow Lomax. Lomax learns of Trooper's death and that he mentioned the location Gun Hill with his dying breath.
During the journey, Lomax and Decky bond. One night, the thugs attempt to attack Lomax, but he disarms them, and tells them to run back to Foley and tell them that he is coming for him. Later, a rainstorm forces Lomax and Decky to take shelter at the house of a woman named Juliana, who becomes infatuated with Lomax and offers to watch over Decky. The thugs then return and take them prisoner. Bobby Jay gets drunk and eventually kills Alma in his inebriation. Lomax escapes, with Bobby Jay accidentally killing Skeeter in the process.
Bobby Jay grabs Decky and flees the house to find Pepe. When Pepe insults him, Bobby Jay kills him, and Decky takes advantage of his distraction to escape. He then goes to Foley for his money, but kills him when Foley tries to reach for a gun. Bobby Jay is then ambushed by Lomax, who psychologically tortures him while demanding Decky's location. When he confesses that he has no idea where she is, Lomax places a cartridge on top of Bobby Jay's head, and tells him that either the cartridge will explode and kill him, or Bobby Jay will be fast enough to kill Lomax. Bobby Jay tries to outdraw Lomax but cannot and is shot dead. Lomax leaves the money, tells the maid to call law enforcement, and finds Decky at Juliana's house.
- Gregory Peck as Clay Lomax
- Patricia Quinn as Juliana Farrell
- Robert F. Lyons as Bobby Jay Jones
- Susan Tyrrell as Alma
- James Gregory as Foley
- Rita Gam as Emma
- Jeff Corey as Trooper
- Dawn Lyn as Decky Ortega
- Pepe Serna as Pepe
- John Davis Chandler as Skeeter
- Paul Fix as Frenatore
- Arthur Hunnicutt as Homer Page
After filming I Walk the Line, Gregory Peck was looking for a successful film as a follow-up. Believing teaming with the director of True Grit, Henry Hathaway, along with the same producer (Hal B. Wallis) and screenwriter (Marguerite Roberts), would bring similar success, Peck started filming the project in 1970. As the film even followed a similar path - teaming a crusty gunfighter with a young girl for a companion - Peck deferred his usual salary for a percentage of the profits of the film. This allowed the production to come in on a tight budget of $1.19 million.
The film was released in America on October 13, 1971. It was released in Sweden on August 16, 1971.
The film received negative reviews from a number of critics, especially in light of the blatant repetition of the formula seen in the earlier John Wayne film. Michael Kerbel from the Village Voice wrote that Shoot Out did have some semblance of True Grit, "'but the humor and charm are missing and what remains - a predictable revenge story - becomes tiresome.'" Others remarked about the slump in Gregory Peck's career: Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "served 'mostly as a glum reminder of the inadequate use'" of the Hollywood star, while Paine Knickerbocker of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote "'Peck, m'boy, what the hell are you doing here?'"
Home media release
The film was released on DVD on October 1, 2002.
- Gary Fishgall (2002). Gregory Peck: A Biography. New York, NY: Scribner. p. 274.
- "Shoot Out (1971) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- Gary Fishgall (2002). Gregory Peck: A Biography. New York, NY: Scribner. pp. 274–5.
- Gary Fishgall (2002). Gregory Peck: A Biography. New York, NY: Scribner. p. 275.
- "Shoot Out (1971) - Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-01-26.