Early 70s Western, featuring sharpshooter


Don't remember any of the actors, or even the overall plot. What I do remember: One group of travelers (men and women) are fleeing across country, followed by another group of men. One of the pursuers has a new type of rifle with a much longer range than was normal at the time. He follows the fleeing group and picks one of them off now and then.

I don't remember who's the good guys and who's the bad guys. Just remember the scene of the guy up in the rocks, far away, taking aim and killing a man standing by a camp fire. Very creepy.

It was my first drive-through movie on my own with high school friends, so that puts it pretty closely around 1971, 72 or so. Always thought I should go back and watch it ...
Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain ... only straw. Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain? Scarecrow: I don't know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they? Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right.

Wild Guess: Blutsbrüder?
“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
My first guess is Bad Company (1972). My second guess is Chato's Land (1972). My third guess is The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973), although that was actually my first thought and the only one I watched at the drive-in. My problem is that it's been far too long since I've watched any of them.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

My educated guess is the Eastwood starrer Joe Kidd (1972, John Sturges).

Sounds like the Remington with a long scope that Mingo (James Wainwright) uses to hunt John Saxon and the other Mexicans (one of whom is a woman) for Bob Duvall's character. Eastwood's titular character later sides with the fleeing exiles and swipes another long-range sniper rifle to battle Mingo in the desert highlands.

Though the most memorable gun in the flick is the short automatic Mauser with the full stock that Don Stroud's character packs and Eastwood later steals.

"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

Joe Kidd ... Pretty sure I saw that one too. Great guess, and I had some hope that it would be it. But there are too many crazy rifles in that one.

I discovered on IMDB that you can look at all movies by genre, by year. So I started looking at westerns from 1973 backward and after eyeballing hundreds of titles I found it:

The Hunting Party (1971)

Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen. Oliver Reed. And some great old character actors like L.Q. Jones and G.D. Spradlin. Now I just have to track down a disk ....