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Forty Guns (1957)

Not Rated | | Romance, Western | September 1957 (USA)
Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.


Samuel Fuller


Samuel Fuller
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Jessica Drummond
Barry Sullivan ... Griff Bonell
Dean Jagger ... Sheriff Ned Logan
John Ericson ... Brockie Drummond
Gene Barry ... Wes Bonell
Robert Dix ... Chico Bonell
Jidge Carroll Jidge Carroll ... Barney Cashman
Paul Dubov ... Judge Macy
Gerald Milton ... Shotgun Spanger
Ziva Rodann ... Rio
Hank Worden ... Marshal John Chisum
Neyle Morrow ... Wiley
Chuck Roberson ... Howard Swain
Chuck Hayward ... Charlie Savage
Sandy Wirth 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 !


Romance | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Condemned in the US because of its brutal handling of the narrative, but praised in Europe for its stylistic vigor. See more »


During the opening gunfight the telegraph office windows are shot out, yet just a little while later they're all unbroken. See more »


Griff Bonnell: [on being offered her foreman's job] Why me?
Jessica Drummond: I need a strong man to carry out my orders.
Griff Bonnell: And a weak man to take them.
See more »


Featured in Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991) See more »


High Ridin' Woman
by Harold Adamson and Harry Sukman
Sung by Jidge Carroll
See more »

User Reviews

A Decent And Odd Western
5 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

If you've never seen this film, I think you'll find it a bit different from most classic westerns. It's really more of a film noir, I thought, and I liked that angle. I say "film noir" because of feel. This western had stark black-and-white photography with tons of shadows and it had a dramatic scene near the end that was very noir-ish. I was very impressed with the ending, and that's all I will say as to not spoil it for others.

The DVD has the option of fullscreen or widescreen. Please consider the latter, because that is how it was presented: in "cinemascope," and you'll want to see photographer Joseph Birac's work in all its glory.

For Barbara Stanwyck fans, this might be a little disappointing because Barry Sullivan is the star of the film, not her, despite the billing. Sullivan plays "Griff Bonnell" and he is the principal figure in the movie, although Stanwyck's presence and character in the story are very strong as "Jessica Drummond." "Griff," along with his brothers, played by Gene Barry and Robert Dix, have more lines than Stanwyck, who doesn't even come on screen until 20 of the 80 minutes have elapsed.

All the characters are pretty interesting, however, no matter what their screen time. Those include some strange supporting roles, particularly two lawmen who don't sound and act like lawmen: Hank Worden's marshal role in the beginning and Dean Jagger's stint as the sheriff who has designs on Stanwyck.

To repeat, this is an odd story. I mean, how often does one see a tornado in the middle of a western movie? Some of the lines in here were quite profound, too, and some were uttered really stupidly. It's a curiosity piece, that's for sure.....but definitely worth watching if good photography and odd characters interest you.

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Release Date:

September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman with a Whip See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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