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Author Topic: Forty Guns (1957)  (Read 7598 times)
cigar joe
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« on: August 15, 2007, 09:59:54 PM »

Dir. Sam Fuller starring

 Barbara Stanwyck ...  Jessica Drummond
 Barry Sullivan ...  Griff Bonnell
 Dean Jagger ...  Sheriff Ned Logan
 John Ericson ...  Brockie Drummond
 Gene Barry ...  Wes Bonnell
 Robert Dix ...  Chico Bonnell
 Hank Worden ...  Marshal John Chisum
 
This film is as wierd as Johnny Guitar but it holds a lot of quotes that Leone turned to magic.

This is a retelling of the Earp/Clanton story with Stanwick substituting for Old Man Clanton. Hank Worden is a going blind sheriff that is a victum of Stanwick's hotheaded brother.

Stanwick plays a black clad cattle baroness (Jessica Drummond) ruling over Tombstone & Cochise County, with 40 "Dragoons" that she has as escorts. She even has dinner with them and they sit at this enormously long table.

Barry Sullivan, Gene Barry, and Robert Dix play the Bonnell's,  Earp like gunmen turned peace officers. There is a lady gunsmith and a lot of sexual refrences concerning guns. example: Stanwick asks to see Sullivan's gun and as he hands it to her he saya" be careful or it may go off in your face". There are others.

There is an early stand off in the street that uses Leone closeups of just the eyes of Sullivan as he approaches. There is a shootout where a howling cat plays a part.

The Bonnell's dress like Col. Mortimer minus the long duster.

Its ridiculously dumb but entertaiming.

There is a classic Mexican Standoff where the villian grabs Stanwick (who has become the love interest of Sullivan) and stands behind her as Sullivan approaches down the street. You expect the usual ending to this type of thing but you get the unexpected, Sullivan calmly shoots Stanwick! Who drops out of the villians grasp then he enpties his gun in the villian. cool!

The score is symphonic blandness, and it also has a few sung ballads that sound like they were recorded in a sound stage.

rent it if you can found it on Netflix.



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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 11:49:09 PM »

Gave it a view two years ago and didn't like it.
I personally thought the Stanwyck should have used her 40 gang members to break her lover out of Jail. Would have been more interesting and would have actually incorperated the 40 guns of the title (which had little to do here).

The Cemetery without Crosses's dinner scene seems to be a homage to the dinner scene in this.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2007, 08:47:47 AM »


There is a classic Mexican Standoff where the villian grabs Stanwick (who has become the love interest of Sullivan) and stands behind her as Sullivan approaches down the street. You expect the usual ending to this type of thing but you get the unexpected, Sullivan calmly shoots Stanwick! Who drops out of the villians grasp then he enpties his gun in the villian. cool!
This is the shoot-the-hostage gambit later used in Speed. Works pretty good if the hostage lives.

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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2007, 09:55:13 AM »

yea she lives but you don't know that until later.

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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 08:23:08 PM »

My wife watched it also and she thought it had pretty bizzare love twists.

Almost forgot to mention that Dean Jagger plays the corrupt sheriff, he played the sleepy store clerk in Firecreek.

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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2007, 10:49:45 PM »

You could do a whole thread on Dean Jagger's roles in Westerns . . .

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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 04:00:01 PM »

Apparently I'm the only one around rating this very high. Probably because I caught only 30% of the dialogue, as my dvd has no subtitles. But this is very exciting from beginning to end, always unpredictable as to how scenes are twisted (wonderful the one with the killer on the window; and the shots come all unexpected like the ones while the protagonist and Stanwyck are romancing; and when the brother is killed at the wedding, and the murder in the jail...). And the beautiful windstorm scene? And the beginning with all those riders coming through the three brothers on the cart? And the way the songs are introduced in the plot? Not to talk of the finale.
The weak point of this is just Stanwyck. She just doesn't belong here both as to age and as to character. But I think Fuller had Johnny Guitar in mind when he did this. Or maybe Stanwyck came cheap. 8\10

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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 04:17:30 PM »

I got this just a few days ago, will watch it ASAP.

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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 06:24:49 PM »

Weird, I was just going to bump this thread. Anyway, I'm with Titoli, this is a great movie. The plot is a bit jumbled but everything strangely works. I don't really think there's anything "dumb" about Forty Guns. The cinematography was amazing, the score was good, and the performances were adequate across the board.

8/10


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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 06:27:20 PM »

I thought that this was a fantastic American western. It was so surreal and moved at a dream-like pace.

Plus, there are many notable features in this film such as extreme close-ups on faces, and in one sequence the eyes (used to great effect), ridiculously large gangs, and use of shocking violence; all of which would become devices of the Italian western.

The only negative would have to be the forty gunmen. They ride really fast for the opening scene, sit at a long table for the dinner scene, then they disappear! It would've added so much to the film had they been put to good use.

Otherwise, I think this is one of the greatest AW's ever made, just because of how innovative it was.





*******SPOILERS AHEAD***********



The most shocking moment for me, and most others, would have to be the utterly ruthless way in which the hero defeats the villain. First shooting a hostage, which is a woman, a woman whom he has had a love affair with! Then shooting the baddie, who's her brother, who's only suppose to be around 18 years old, even after he begs him to stop. He doesn't just shoot him once, he shoots him about 4 or 5 times. And after all that, he just walks away!

This is incredibly violent for any decade, let alone the conservative 50's! I'm amazed that such a scene got by the censors.



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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 08:01:00 PM »

This is incredibly violent for any decade, let alone the conservative 50's! I'm amazed that such a scene got by the censors.

and there's a line (the dinner scene) in which BS asks about a gun which could be seen as innuendo for manhood; the reply, "be careful it doesn't go off in your face".

rrpower's grandfather must have contributed to Fuller's script.

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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2009, 04:46:11 PM »

Watched Forty Guns and liked it. I suspect the main reason this movie is not so well known is that it's too complex for general taste, besides, like often with Fuller's movies, missing the ''pure entertainment'' factor. Now, it's all there, it really is, but I feel it often gets pushed aside by ideas and philosophy. The scene in the windstorm is a jewel.


7.65/10

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titoli
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2009, 08:11:03 PM »

Watched Forty Guns and liked it. I suspect the main reason this movie is not so well known is that it's too complex for general taste, besides, like often with Fuller's movies, missing the ''pure entertainment'' factor. Now, it's all there, it really is, but I feel it often gets pushed aside by ideas and philosophy.

Which ones, in this case?

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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2009, 12:26:58 PM »

A couple of twists too many, but that's more about my preferences than the objective quality of the movie, which is a good W.

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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 03:44:55 PM »

Fuller is a great genre director but he botched this one.
I am always interested in westerns that allegedly influenced Sergio and this had a couple of scenes/shots that might have made thier way into his films.
But, I doubt the Maestro really cared for this one.
bruce marshall

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