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Forty Guns (1957)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  September 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,890 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 43 critic

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.



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Title: Forty Guns (1957)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Ned Logan
Robert Dix ...
Chico Bonnell
Jidge Carroll ...
Paul Dubov ...
Judge Macy
Gerald Milton ...
Shotgun Spanger
Ziva Rodann ...
Neyle Morrow ...
Chuck Roberson ...
Howard Swain
Chuck Hayward ...
Charlie Savage
Sandy Wirth ...
Chico's Girlfriend (as Sandra Wirth)


An authoritarian rancher, Barbara Stanwyck, who rules an Arizona county with her private posse of hired guns. When a new marshall arrives to set things straight, the cattle queen finds herself falling, brutally for the avowedly non-violent lawman. Both have itchy-fingered brothers, a female gunmaker enters the picture, and things go desperately wrong. Written by Tamsin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Taming of the Arizona Territory !




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Inspired by the events involving Wyatt Earp and Tombstone with Drummond being a female version of Ike Clanton. See more »


When the gunsmith is fitting Wes for a new rifle she had him holding the stock from a model 1898 Mauser which would not have been invented for another 20 years. Then Wes also picks up a Winchester barreled action & looks through it to see the lady gunsmith which is not possible due to there being no straight line of sight through the action. See more »


Griff Bonnell: What's the matter? You look upset.
Jessica Drummond: I was born upset.
See more »


Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller (2002) See more »


God Has His Arms Around Me
by Victor Young and Harold Adamson
Sung by Jidge Carroll
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User Reviews

"I never thought I'd love a gunsmith." "Any recoil?"
22 October 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I often record films off TCM or other film channels and I'll nearly always record westerns. Often I don't get past the first few minutes but every now and then I come across a real classic. I wasn't aware of this film or its cult status when I watched it so I was able to form an opinion without a prior bias.

Firstly I was impressed by the opening scene of Barbara Stanwyck and her forty horsemen thundering across the screen and richness of the black and white cinematography. The film itself immediately grabbed my interest and the dialogue was at times cheesy, at times full of sexual innuendo, but always interesting. It was only when it came to a scene where the Bonnell brothers are walking through Tombstone that I realised I was watching a single shot that went on and on and on. There's no merit in doing long tracking shots just for the hell of it but this was something that worked beautifully.

The composition of many shots and their realisation was quite magnificent and I would love to see this on a big screen now. One scene where a widow is shot from below and there is a long pan past the hearse to a singer under a tree and back again puts most modern music videos to shame.

It has to be said that this is also one of the silliest and campest films ever made with its emphasis, not to mention song, on a "high riding woman with a whip". The general fondling of firearms and sexual references are so blatant that it seems surprising that this film wasn't universally condemned by the usual suspects on its release.

I was also impressed by the cast who weren't what you might expect for a western. I especially liked Barry Sullivan's pre-Leone, pre-Eastwood portrayal of the gunslinger.

All in all a complete delight. I'm looking forward to watching it again.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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