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December 02, 2008

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Bourjaily: My Favorite Gun Movie

Today’s topic is Favorite Gun Movies, a category that includes any film in which movie makers actually try to get guns, hunting or shooting right. Winchester ’73 is a great gun movie (with showman-shooter Herb Parsons standing off camera, “stunt” shooting for Jimmy Stewart). Saving Private Ryan is a great gun movie. As a shotgunner, I really like The Shooting Party, a detailed look at a weekend of aristocratic driven-pheasant shooting on the eve of World War I.

My favorite, though, is 1975’s The Wind and the Lion. . It’s a hoot of a movie, a high-spirited, tongue-in-cheek politically incorrect tale of gunboat diplomacy in the era of The Big Stick. Set in 1904, it is very loosely based on a real historical incident, the kidnapping of American citizen Ion Pedicaris in Morocco by a Berber bandit named Risuli.

It has:

Brian Keith, perfect as Teddy Roosevelt. In the clip he discusses taxidermy and gun fit.

A pre-Murphy Brown Candice Bergen holding Dallas’ Steve Kanaly at gunpoint with a Model 97.

Sean Connery as a Berber bandit chieftain with a Scottish accent.

The Marines practicing a bit of successful regime change.

The Germans as the bad guys.

Lots of cool turn of the century ordnance, including Maxim guns, Colt Potato Diggers, Krag-Jorgensens, Model 97s, an 1895 Winchester, a broomhandle Mauser and more.

So that’s my favorite gun movie. I’ve seen it at least five times. The floor is now open to your nominations.


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Tom's of Wyoming

For recent noir firearms fare, Street Kings--definte combat pistol training in background. Also its interesting that so many of the gun movies mentioned, including Wind and the Lion, Jeremiah Johnson, Dirty Harry, Rough Riders, etc., all involved the talents of writer,director, producer John Millias, a lover of fine guns whose arch conservative views have led him to say that the rest of Hollywood considers him some sort of Grand Kleagle.


"The Wild Bunch."

As soon as I saw Pike pull out a .45 Colt from a Sam Browne belt, I knew this was going to be a very different Western.


How about the gangster movies Bonnie and Clyde or the Godfather.
Tommy guns, BAR's, Colt and S&W double action revolvers, and .45ACP's. Lot's of shoot'em ups.


Nuff' said. The Wind & The Lion has it all. Is it available on DVD? My vhs copy has been watched so many times it is almost worn out.


I'll define this as good movies in which guns played a major part...
Most of which have been named already.

Wind and the Lion: Lots of good scenes. With guns.
Outlaw Josie Wales: One of my favorites.
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I have never forgotten Tuko and the "build your own from spare parts" scene. There's some technical issues there, but good anyway.
A Bridge Too Far: To me, it was the end of the "Epic era". You won't ever get 60 or more major and minor stars together anymore to do a movie.
The Seven Samurai: Not guns, but swords, but about the best "weapons movie" ever.

And "Wind and the Lion" is on DVD. Just not common. You have to haunt the aisles at Best Buy. Every once in a while, there is a release of an old movie. They get a few in, and then you just never find them again.


I like all of these too - especially "Quigley Down Under" - keep 'em coming. I remember this coming up in one of the gun chat rooms. I like this round better - no one is pointing out the gun errors in everyone else's favorites!

Chas S. Clifton

Thanks! "Shooting Party" and "Wind and the Lion" both went into my Netflix queue.


The Way of the Gun has terrific action scenes and realistic tactics. Not to mention a ton of guns and gun battles.

Shooter was a huge disappointment. Somehow, the movie was taken on by a leftist director. Did anyone notice the Che Guevera t-shirts and other crap in the flick?


High Plains Drifter and First Blood should be in the mix.


Wasn't really a gun flick, but The Deer Hunter with DiNero did show some nice bolt action deer rifles.

De Oppresso Liber

I see these Che Guevera stickers on cars lately. What's up with that? Is that an Obama thing?

Don't they know our spec op bro's whacked him long ago? I think I will start slashing tires of cars I see with that commie bastard sticker on it. Or just whack the commie bastard driving it...


De Oppresso Liber-
Look closely at those Che Guevera bumper stickers. If they have obama faces under the beret, they are patriots. If they are indeed Che Guevera stickers, they are communist sympathizers.


Sorry crm3006 Obama campaign headquarters in texas had both the cuban flag and pics of Che hung on the walls.Oppressoliber don't slash the tires that is a demoncrat trick from Ohio just plug just pull the stems inconvenience not destruction.


What about "Dirty Harry" and "Death Wish" with Charles Bronson?

Guy Sagi

How about the scene in The Wind and the Lion where Brian Keith is practicing his marksmanship with a target of the czar? It still makes me laugh.

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