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American Gun (2002)

R  |   |  Drama  |  13 June 2002 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,042 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 14 critic

When his daughter is shot just before Christmas, Martin Tillman journeys across the U.S. using the gun's serial number to track down the truth behind Penny's killing.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mia
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Niesha Trout ...
Jesse Pennington ...
Jason Winther ...
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J.B. (as Walter Emauel Jones)
Andrea C. Pearson ...
Anthony Harrell ...
Toby Smith ...
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Storyline

A father who embarks on a nationwide journey to trace the line of ownership of the gun that killed his daughter. Starting with the gun factory, Martin travels to gun stores, trade shows, and individuals, also searching for his runaway granddaughter. Written by Conrad Gangone

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikai pisztoly  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'James Coburn''s last film. See more »

Goofs

While Coburn is reading the newspaper obituary of the gun maker's daughter at the American Gun factory, the date is shown as Thursday, March 18, 1988. However, 18 March 1988, actually fell on a Friday, not on a Thursday. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Martin: [narration] The first gun I ever held belonged to my grandfather. Grandpa said he fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill. But we never really believed him. Whatever it was he did there in Cuba, one thing is for sure, he brought home a service revolver. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw.
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Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memories
3 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"American Gun" directed by Alan Jacobs was a surprise. Not having heard about it before, intrigued me. Mr. Jacobs, directing from his own material, has created a movie that on on level is telling us we are going on one direction, but in reality, he is playing with us since the trip he is taking us is not what we had in mind.

If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you would like to stop reading.

Martin Tillman, the man at the center of the story, is a man that still remember his days during WWII; how can one ever forget those horrors lived in that, or any other, conflict? In flashbacks we get to know how young Martin and the lovely Anne, meet, fall in love and marry eventually. Their union seems to be a happy one. They have a daughter, Penny, a single mother, who returns home for the holidays after her own daughter, Mia, leaves her home.

Not all is happy among the Tillman family. Martin, who is in his seventies, appears to be a man not at peace with himself or the world. When Penny is mugged during a trip to the store to return Martin's Christmas gift for Anne. Penny meets an unexpected death, or does she? Mr. Jacobs is too devious to tell us the truth, thus contributing to the mystery surrounding Martin's resolve in finding the man who killed Penny.

Thus begins a series of trips into different areas of the country. All these trips end in failure. Martin keeps compiling data and we feel as though he is close to get his revenge. At this moment in the story, Mr. Jacobs intervene to show us in flashbacks the missing links of the gruesome murder. We realize then that Martin has not been interested in resolving the crime at all.

James Coburn made his last appearance on this film. He appears as though he is in great physical pain. As he proved in "Affliction", he was an actor to be reckoned with, although sometimes, his choice of projects was not exactly the best. Yet, he surprises us playing Martin Tillman. He obviously understood this troubled man and the price he is paying for his sins.

Virginia Madsen is seen briefly at the beginning of the story and in flashbacks. Ms. Madsen makes the best of the ill fated Penny. Barbara Bain plays the suffering wife, Anne. One wonders whatever went wrong in Anne's early love for Martin and the bitter person she turns out to be in her later years. The murder of Penny clearly contributes to alienate her from her husband. Ms. Bain short time on the screen makes an excellent contribution to the film.

Mr. Jacobs underlying message is about the American fascination with guns, but he is not judgmental on the issue, as some comments in this page seem to criticize him for doing. This is a serious movie dealing with an controversial subject.


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