Shoot to Kill (1988 film)

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Shoot to Kill
Shoot to kill.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoger Spottiswoode
Produced byDaniel Petrie, Jr.
Ron Silverman
Screenplay byHarv Zimmel
Michael Burton
Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Story byHarv Zimmel
Music byJohn Scott
CinematographyMichael Chapman
Edited byGeorge Bowers
Garth Craven
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • February 12, 1988 (1988-02-12) (USA)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[1]
Box office$29.3 million[2]

Shoot to Kill (known outside North America as Deadly Pursuit) is a 1988 American adventure crime thriller film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Sidney Poitier (in his first role in ten years), Tom Berenger, Clancy Brown, Andrew Robinson and Kirstie Alley.


A man is discovered breaking into his own jewelry shop in the dead of night. Questioned closely, it is discovered that his wife is being held hostage at their home by Steve, a brutal extortionist who demands the diamonds in the shop's safe in exchange for the woman's life. After Steve kills the family maid, FBI agent Warren Stantin hands over the diamonds, but Steve kills the jeweller's wife anyway, and escapes. Feeling that he has failed, Stantin becomes obsessed with finding Steve, and chases him into the rugged forests of the state of Washington, where Steve joins up with a group of sportsmen who plan to trek into the wilderness on a fishing trip. Steve's plan is to kill them and force their guide, Sarah, to lead him through the wilderness to the Canada–United States border.

Stantin must team up with Sarah's mountain-man boyfriend Jonathan Knox to pursue Steve. Jonathan does not believe city slicker Stantin can keep up on a tough cross-country hike that includes some rock climbing, and Stantin is determined to prove himself. They pursue Steve and Sarah into the wilderness and eventually to the streets of Vancouver. After a long chase through the BC Ferries Queen of Vancouver, Stantin manages to shoot Steve in an underwater struggle.

Main cast[edit]


The killer's identity is not revealed until midway through the film. He attempts to evade detection by killing a member of a hiking expedition and taking his place. To keep the audience guessing as to the true identity of the villain, some of the hikers were played by actors known for playing bad guys: notably Clancy Brown (Highlander, Bad Boys), Frederick Coffin (Mother's Day), Andrew Robinson (Dirty Harry) and Richard Masur (the vicious drug dealer in Who'll Stop the Rain).


Critically well received, the film currently holds a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3][4][5][6]

Box office[edit]

The film was a box office success.[7][8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Shoot to Kill at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (1988-02-12). "Movie Review - Shoot to Kill - Film: 'Shoot to Kill'". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  4. ^ "Shoot to Kill (Deadly Pursuit)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (1988-02-12). "Shoot to Kill Movie Review & Film Summary (1988)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  6. ^ Benson, Sheila (1988-02-12). "MOVIE REVIEW : Aim Is Off on 'Shoot to Kill' - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  7. ^ Mathews, Jack (2006-11-30). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : 'Shoot' Leads Black Film Group - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  8. ^ Cieply, Michael (1988-02-19). "3 Black-Keyed Films a Hit and a First at Theater - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2013-10-15.

External links[edit]