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Forty Guns (1957, Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan)



The legendary Barbara Stanwyck is in all her glory in Sam Fullers classic western Forty Guns. Stanwyck is Jessica Drummond who has used her posse of 40 hired guns to pretty much take control of Cochise County, enter US Marshall Griff Bonnell (played by Barry Sullivan) and his two brothers who plan to restore some law and order to the town, their problems begin though when Jessica takes a liking to Griff and decides to spoil his forthcoming wedding, which sets things up for a nice, action packed showdown.

Sam Fuller (a former crime reporter turned first screenwriter and then director) packs a huge amount into the barely 80 minutes running time here (he could surely teach a thing or two to the modern raft of film makers who generally seem to think that 2 and a half hours is still cutting things a little short!) and such is his quality as a director that he quite easily over rides any B movie oater credentials that the film may have had in its planning stages (incidentally the films working title was Woman With A Whip!) to turn in a hugely under rated gem and one that would influence such film makers as Jean Luc Godard. Forty Guns itself is very clearly heavily influenced by the events of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, even down to incorporating key moments both from fact and movie versions of the facts.

production details
USA | 80 minutes | 1957

Writer and Director: Samuel Fuller

John Ericson as Brockie Drummond
Hank Worden as Marshal John Chisum
Dean Jagger as Sheriff Ned Logan
Barbara Stanwyck as Jessica Drummond
Barry Sullivan as Griff Bonell
Gene Barry as Wes Bonell
Robert Dix as Chico Bonell
Jidge Carroll as Barney Cashman
Paul Dubov as Judge Macy
Gerald Milton as Shotgun Spanger
Eve Brent as Louvenia Spanger
Ziva Rodann as Rio