Forty Guns - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Forty Guns Reviews

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½ April 14, 2017
Fuller in purely experimental mode.
½ June 16, 2016
160616: Conflicted would be a fair description of how I feel about Forty Guns. Its seemingly fast pace is strewn with overly dramatic lulls and a couple, luckily, strange musical numbers (Jidge Carroll - look that one up). I initially thought it was going to be a fun and perhaps it was? Seeing a young Hank Worden (Marshal John Chisum) started things off right. Then Wes called for a "44-40" which really put me on track (unfortunately he refers to a "40-40" later). Throw in a hot gunsmith, Louvenia Spangler (Eve Brent), and within the first fifteen minutes I was hooked; sort of. I found the heavily pancaked Stanwyck detracted from my viewing pleasure on more than one level. Her acting was too theatrical and character, Jessica Drummond, unconvincing. Further, those previously mentioned lulls were killers, even if they only took a relatively small amount of time from an equally short film, 80 minutes. There is strangeness to the bathtub scenes, some close-ups and the musical numbers. There is a lack of cohesiveness. This film should've been great; perhaps is? In an attempt to understand my confusion, I watched it again, back to back. The second viewing definitely helped clarifying some things in my mind, but not my opinion. There are so many unique elements to this film including innuendo. It's either genius or a histrionic mess. Give it a whirl. You decide. If you're a western fan, I don't think you'll regret it. You may, however, find yourself wanting to watch it again. I'm giving Forty Guns a 3.5 but it may be a lot better than my limited film knowledge reflects.
May 15, 2016
Wow. This movie is not only incredibly stylish in a dark and gothic way that most westerns aren't, but it's just completely off the rails crazy. Especially considering that this is a big studio western film of the 50's, it feels more like a piece of irreverent indie exploitation western with nods to the 50's cliches than an actual 50's western. I could see the influence that this must have had on Sergio Leone in particular throughout the whole thing, especially in that the way Fuller frames the town reminds one of Once Upon a Time in the West. Not only that, but the film sparingly uses extreme close ups on the eyes, quick cutting, and odd angles. All later Leone style staples. I kept being reminded of Clint Eastwood's later "Unforgiven" as well in its visual style, not to mention Tarantino.
Forty Guns is just bizarrely violent and sexy for its era, and the whole thing flies right by you in its brief run time. I had a lot of fun being thrilled by the visual creativity of the film and the erratic extremity of its emotions.
½ February 28, 2016
This is a fairly violent Western from acclaimed director Samuel Fuller, who was highly influential on the French New Wave directors. It stars Barbara Stanwyk who is good in this film and does her own stunts. The problem is, I couldn't get into the story and found some of the acting pretty hokey. I recommend watching and judging for yourself for classic film fans.
½ January 25, 2014
Lovely chiaroscuro cinematography.
½ June 3, 2013
A layered and complex western that is not defined by its genre. Its not just shootouts and horse chases, there are fully developed characters and lots of chemistry. Fuller gets grand performances from his actors and it shows. It may seem rushed at times, but ultimately is a superior western than his debut: I Shot Jesse James.
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2013
Gorgeous western which borders on the artistic. This film and Johnny Guitar are at the forefront of the development of strong female characters in the very masculine world of the Wild West.
March 19, 2013
Barbara Stanwyck is the star and performs well as The Strong Woman, but Ziva Rodann as the gunsmith Rio, with her confident competence and percolating sexuality, steals every scene she's in. It's an odd movie which seems to always be suffering a crisis of identity. But it's interesting. Very interesting, in that it exists at all. I can imagine the production accounting saying, "Twenty guns, twenty guns would be just fine; still impressive. Ten guns, even. It's a lot of guns." But when all forty riders and gunmen fill the screen; it really is impressive. Great theme song, too.
½ January 15, 2013
One of the much better Westerns with some good twists. Superb performances and direction. Good mix of action and romance.
December 25, 2012
awesome cast brings this psychological western 2 life directed and written by sam fuller.
½ December 4, 2012
Pretty brutal Western. I liked all of the characters, but especially the Bonell brothers. It would have been even more interesting if this had been made when Stanwyck was younger and much prettier--and, therefore, a much better fit for her part. She's still a total badass though.
August 25, 2012
To understand the three stars I gave this movie, see the many good reviews in here: this is indeed a great effort from Fuller... But the ending and overall message shoots down the last two stars for me. A song played through the movie speaks of a "hard riding woman with a whip" that would, one day, have her whip taken away by a tall strong man, proving that without it she´s "just a woman after all". By the end of the movie (SPOILER!!) she goes after the hero´s wagon, running instead of riding her own horse, wearing not her riding outfit but a long dress, while the very end of the song plays over the scene. "Just a woman after all!"
½ July 30, 2012
Forty Guns has an alright story. It's only 75 minutes long but the ending is quite good.
½ April 1, 2012
Hokey and unfocused, this is one Western for which I don't see the reason for the admiration. Sure, Stanwyck is the center of every scene she's in, but she's not in every scene.
January 15, 2012
Excellent western! Had a great time watching this old school film! The cast is great & the story pretty well done.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2011
Great western with some really nice unexpected twists. Love that gun barrel shot. Looks like Sam Fuller beat James Bond to the punch.
½ October 10, 2011
How come this bumpy, lurid, foxy pre-pop western-drama extravaganza manages to work so well? I don't know and I don't care. This is Cinema, baby.
½ September 7, 2011
Boy that Sam Fuller. Sexual innuendo ahoy!

Barbara Stanwick: I'm not interested in you, Mr. Bonnell, it's your trademark (she's pointing at his gun). May I feel it? Just curious.

Barry Sullivan: It might go off in your face.

Barbara Stanwick: I'll take a chance.

There's a plot in this film? I think there is. Maybe, it's kind of spastic but who cares! Stanwick is, indeed, A Woman With a Whip (original title for the film and in the hilarious theme song).
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