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Forty Guns [DVD] [1957]

Barbara Stanwyck , Barry Sullivan , Samuel Fuller    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £9.02
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Forty Guns [DVD] [1957] + Johnny Guitar [DVD] + My Darling Clementine [DVD] [1946]
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Product details

  • Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger, John Ericson, Gene Barry
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Producers: Samuel Fuller
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Aug 2004
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002HSDTG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,115 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Classic Western directed by Samuel Fuller, starring Barbara Stanwyck as Jessica Drummond, an authoritarian rancher who rules Cochise County in Arizona with her private posse of hired guns, brushing aside the authority of the spineless sheriff, Ned Logan (Dean Jagger). However, when a new lawman, Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) arrives to restore law and order to the county, the cattle queen finds her emotions interfering with her business for the first time as she falls passionately in love with the incomer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fuller only fitfully good 18 April 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First, yes, this edition of "Forty Guns" is in widescreen, but there's something odd about widescreen in Black and White, and it's not really a format Fuller took to until the brilliant "The Big Red One" The Big Red One - The Reconstruction (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1980].

Second, Fuller was a victim of regime change at the studio, and had a happy ending forced on him at the end. It is very unsatisfactory, and there were no Director's Cuts in those days.

Stanwyck is the nominal star, but it has to be said that she is not the main character and her ballsiness is comparatively subdued. The main character is Griff (Barry Sullivan), who is trying to give up the gunman's life, but placed in a situation where he has to shoot, and shoot his love as well. This is classic Fuller territory, direct from his ambivalence about his WW2 experiences. However, the final shootout feels rushed, and not nearly as operatic as Mr F was capable of on a good day.

There are three brilliant sequences which are pure Fuller. The trap for Griff set up by the corrupt sheriff, all agonised close-ups and weird angles; a furious tornado which looks pretty damn real and has 50-year-old Stanwyck doing her own stunt as her horse bolts with her foot caught in the stirrup; and a romance scene between brother Chico and Rio, the local gunsmith. A woman gunsmith? Pinned down the sights of a shotgun? ("I've never kissed a gunsmith before.." - "Any recoil?") Only in Fuller....

One thing which distinguishes the movie is its up-front sexuality and relentless innuendo. "Can I touch it?" says cattle queen Babs. "It might go off in your face.." replies Griff/Barry. Are they talking about his gun?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic B-Movie Western 12 May 2008
First thing's first; as another reviewer has mentioned, this DVD is in fact presented in the full widescreen 2.35:1 ratio. The film itself is a wonderful Western which is stylishly filmed and quirkily written and acted. It's a brilliant, wonderfully individualistic film which repays repeat viewings. Barbara Stanwyck is typically excellent and Barry Sullivan is highly effective in his role. Give it a chance and even if you don't like it much first time around, give it a second viewing as it improves greatly. Primarily recommended for Western aficonados, Sam Fuller enthusiasts and general B-Movie fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold, Brash and Sassy! 18 April 2010
Sam Fuller's films are hard to ignore. They are as bold as brass and are right in your face. His abrasive, raw emotional style assails the senses. In true auteur tradition he wrote, directed and produced this impressive little B western which was made in just over a week. An astonishing achievement it should be said! The film is a rather flamboyant mix of the delirious excesses of "Johnny Guitar"(54) and the more stylised "My Darling Clementine"(46). It is the sort of film you either love, or you hate. There is no in between. I fall on the love it side!

Fuller is clearly influenced by the famous "Gunfight at the OK Corral". Three brothers led by Barry Sullivan arrive at a small Arizona town. They are peace officers sent by the government to effect the arrest of a man employed by the magnificent Barbara Stanwyck. The man happens to be one of her "Forty Guns" who hold the territory in thrall. Sullivan plays Wyatt Earp to Stanwyck's Old Man Clanton. A much more attractive Old Man Clanton than that played by Walter Brennan in "My Darling Clementine", I might add. The brothers even wear the same clothes as the Earp's did. After the shooting of the town marshall the brothers become involved in restoring law and order and head to an inevitable showdown with Stanwyck's wild brother, played by a remarkably James Dean looking John Ericson.

The film contains a number of startling, eye opening scenes that influenced Fuller's younger European contemporaries. There is the famous gunfight scene where Sullivan walks his adversary down, using his mere physical presence to avoid violence, which he studiously tries to avoid. Then there is the rifle framing scene of Eve Brent which Godard copied in "A Bout de Souffle"(60).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
never seen a barbara stanwyck film i did not like
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