The Gauntlet (1977) Poster



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More than 8,000 rounds were used for the climactic shootout scene.
Steve McQueen and Barbra Streisand were tentatively cast in the lead roles, but the two did not get along. After they both backed out, Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke picked up the project.
The police officers shooting at the bus in Downtown Phoenix were actual Active and Reserve Phoenix Police Officers.
One of only three cop films made during the "Dirty Harry" era of the 1970s and 1980s which Clint Eastwood played a police detective character who was not Inspector Harry Callahan. The films include Tightrope (1984), The Gauntlet (1977) and City Heat (1984).
This was the first ever "cop movie" directed by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood would go on to direct the cop movies Tightrope (1984) (uncredited), Blood Work (2002), The Rookie (1990), Sudden Impact (1983).
The movie is well known for its massive shooting firepower on a bus finale. But the film actually featured three major action set pieces involving massive amounts of gunfire fired upon three entities which were first a house, then a car, and third and finally, a coach (bus).
According to the book "Clint Eastwood: Hollywood's Loner" (1992) by Michael Munn, the desert hideaway house that got shot-up cost US $250,000 to construct and featured seven thousand drilled holes that were used to house explosive squibs which would be set off to simulate gunfire. A team of fifteen men worked eight hour days for a month rigging the dwelling with the squibs for a shoot-out sequence that would result in the demolition and collapses of the building. Special effects co-ordinator Chuck Gaspar said, "Needless to say, we only had once chance to film the take!". And Clint Eastwood said of the sequence that he wanted "not just an ordinary explosion...I wanted the house to collapse to the ground as though it was being eaten away by a gigantic mass of termites".
The movie's special effects team had a crew of thirty-five people and a budget of one million. FXpert Chuck Gaspar said at the time that the movie was made and released that the picture involved the most challenging special effects tasks he had ever been given to that time.
The yellow passenger jet at McCarran Airport is from the now-defunct airline Hughes Airwest, a.k.a. "The Flying Banana".
The illustration on the film's original theatrical release poster was by Frank Frazetta.
The second of six movies made by former real-life couple Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke.
Sam Peckinpah wanted to direct with Kris Kristofferson as the male lead. Walter Hill was also interested, and he too approached Kristofferson. Peckinpah and Kristofferson instead made Convoy (1978) with Ali MacGraw, whom Peckinpah considered as the female lead in The Gauntlet.
The entrance to the Phoenix Police Department seen twice in the first few minutes of the film is actually Phoenix Symphony Hall. The word, "Hall" can even be seen above the front doors.
The travel route of the cross-country trip that cop Eastwood escorted witness Locke went from Las Vegas, Nevada to Phoenix, Arizona.
Clint Eastwood's fifth film for the Warner Brothers studio.
The sixth feature film directed by Clint Eastwood
According to 'Halliwells', "this was the first film to give a credit for first aid".
Second of three cinema movies that actor Pat Hingle has made with Clint Eastwood. The pictures are [in order] Hang 'Em High (1968), The Gauntlet (1977) and Sudden Impact (1983). Each picture was made in a different decade, one in the 60s, one in the 70s and one in the 80s. The pair also collaborated on an episode of Rawhide (1959) [See: Rawhide: The Book (1965)].
According to ClintEastwood.net, "At $5.5 million this was the most expensive Malpaso film to date. The special effects made up a fifth of this cost, the exploding helicopter and bullet-ridden house accounting for $250,000 each".
The engine of the chopper in the car-helicopter chase sequence was built without an engine for the crash sequence. The scene where the helicopter gets entangled in some cables and crashes into a high-tension tower in the canyons about twenty-five miles outside Las Vegas cost $250,000. The sequence required about two dozen people to construct a 75-85 foot tower which ended up being exploded by the special effects crew.
One of around seven collaborations of actor Bill McKinney and Clint Eastwood.
The rest of The Bikers were actually played by real life members of a Motorcycle Club called The Noblemen. They were from both Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. And Clint Eastwood wanted them for some of the roles of our Antagonists in the movie itself. However, they were one of the few in the Las Vegas area. Some of the real life Bikers by the names of Bear and the McHaney Brothers are still some of the original members and are still hanging about.

Except Roy Jenson, Dan Vadis, Samantha Doane (who played Wanda, one of our Antagonists in The Enforcer (1976)), Michael L. Cooley (who played a Police Detective in Stuart Rosenberg and John Huston's "Love & Bullets" (1979) and a Police Detective in Mel Damski's "The Child Stealer" (TV Movie) (1979)), Mike Mangiaruca and the beautiful Singer-Musician Marneen Fields were not any of the members of The Noblemen. They were just Actors and Actresses who played the roles of Bikers and Biker Chicks.
The building they crash in front of is not Phoenix City Hall, or a court building. It's the Phoenix Symphony Hall.
Second consecutive back-to-back cop movie for actor Clint Eastwood whose previous picture he had starred was the 'Dirty Harry' movie The Enforcer (1976).
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The nickname of Augustina Mally (Sondra Locke) was "Gus". The character is billed in the credits as Gus Malley.
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The make and model of the coach that got shot up at the end of movie was a Kässbohrer 1962 Eagle Model 01 single-deck bus.
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At one point in the film, a biker says to Clint Eastwood, "This is my bike Charlie!", to which Eastwood replies, "This is my gun Clyde!". Eastwood's next movie would be Every Which Way But Loose (1978) in which he would co-star with an orangutan character called Clyde. Clint and Clyde then re-teamed again a couple of years after this for Any Which Way You Can (1980).
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Apparently, Barbra Streisand first brought the project to the attention of Clint Eastwood. For a time, the picture was considered to be a vehicle for both of them to star team incorporating some musical numbers in it. Reportedly, according to the Feb/March edition of 'Movie News' (Australia),"the deal did not work out". Then, according to ClintEastwood.net, Eastwood bought the script off Streisand.
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The movie was made and released after there had been three 'Dirty Harry' pictures, the third, The Enforcer (1976), released the previous year before this film. The picture is considered an inversion of Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" screen persona where Eastwood is instead a cop who is on the receiving end of the violence. This is so most of the screen violence in the picture is directed at Eastwood instead of him being the deliverer of it. 'Allmovie' has said that the picture "sends up his Dirty Harry-ness in this 1977 cop film-action movie-romantic comedy" and Eastwood's "Ben Shockley is the opposite of Eastwood's ultra-capable loner Harry Callahan from the Dirty Harry series, allowing Eastwood to poke fun at his image...the exaggerated action set pieces also parody the Eastwood cop hero's usual invincibility".
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In the scene where the Constable is murdered by the Arizona State Police, one of the troopers is armed with an Iver Johnson Enforcer pistol - a variant of the M1 Carbine.
The nickname of Augustina Mally (Sondra Locke) was "Gus".
The "Shockley" surname of Clint Eastwood's character, Ben Shockley, had a rhyme similarity with the "Locke" last name of his co-star and former real-life partner Sondra Locke.
The "Shockley" surname of Clint Eastwood's character, Ben Shockley, had a rhyme similarity with the "Locke" last name of his co-star and former real-life partner Sondra Locke. Moreover, the "Blakelock" surname of another character in the film, Commissioner Blakelock (William Prince, also had a rhyme similarity with the "Locke" last name.
The movie featured chases, escapes and action sequences involving a variety of vehicles. These includes a car, a van, a bus, a train and a motorcycle.
The make and model of the motor-bike that Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke ride on was an American Harley-Davidson Knucklehead.
The cave that Sondra Locke and Clint Eastwood spend overnight in is a real life landmark which is part of a group of scenic rock formations. It is known as "Hole in the Rock" and is situated in Arizona in Papago Park, Phoenix. According to Wikipedia, it "is a series of openings (tafoni) eroded in a small hill composed of bare red arkosic conglomerate sandstone. The sandstone was first formed some 6-15 million years ago, theorized to have been the accumulation of materials sliding off a much higher mountain, which, made of different materials, has long since eroded away, leaving what looks like petrified mud cakes. The tafoni are thought to have been eroded by water".


Fritz ManesClint Eastwood's regular producing partner as a helicopter gunman. The appearance was one of seven that Manes has made in Eastwood's movies.

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