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Forty Guns Review


Very Good
A Western that's thoroughly urban in its outlook, Sam Fuller's Forty Guns was made at the height of his most fertile filmmaking period in the 1950s - he released China Gate and Run of the Arrow the same year - and represents a studio director working at the peak of his form: fast, vicious, and cutting all necessary corners. The forty guns of the title are the passel of mercenaries backing up Jessica Drummond (Barbara Stanwyck), a rancher who's the unofficial boss of a whole Arizona county and packs more of a wallop on her own than all her hired guns. At this stage, a few years past her bombshell prime, Stanwyck still cuts a mean, black-clad figure whipping her white horse into the horizon. (No stunt rider for this actress.)

Justice arrives in the laconic form of Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan), the federal marshal who comes to town with his two brothers, Wes (Gene Barry, grizzled) and Chico (Robert Dix, resembling a young Robert Vaughn), ready to clean things up. This interferes with the desire of Jessica's wastrel brother Brockie (John Ericson) to do things like get drunk and terrorize the town with the forty guns, and so the big showdown is set up. Jessica gets stuck right in the middle, torn between wanting to protect little Brockie and falling in love with Griff, a legendary gunslinger who's just about as granite-hewn as she is; an impressive feat.

Continue reading: Forty Guns Review

The War Of The Worlds (1953) Review


Excellent
Though he died more than 50 years ago, novelist H.G. Wells was a visionary, and many of his visions have stayed with us. A utopian and socialist, Wells nevertheless wrote dark books that were out of step with the progressive mood of his time. (For example, in The Time Machine he offers a rosy picture of the future - where one half of the human race eats the other half as food.)

Wells was one of the inventors of science fiction, and perhaps the first writer to think about just how bad an alien invasion could be. His novel The War of the Worlds was so effective that a generation later, the radiocast by Orson Welles convinced many Americans for a few hours that the invasion was real.

Continue reading: The War Of The Worlds (1953) Review

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Forty Guns Movie Review

Forty Guns Movie Review

A Western that's thoroughly urban in its outlook, Sam Fuller's Forty Guns was made at...

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