I am velvety-smoothReview is BELOWI am veltely smooth, too
DVD: Forty Guns (1957)
    Film Music Masters: Jerry Goldsmith    
Review Rating:   Standard   
...back to Index
20th Century-Fox 
Catalog #:


...back to Index
1 (NTSC)

May 24, 2005



Genre: Western  

Loyalties are tested and divided as a series of conflicts between a ruthless land baroness, a weak-willed sheriff, and two ex-gunslingers battle for order.




Directed by:

Samuel Fuller
Screenplay by: Samuel Fuller
Music by: Harry Sukman
Produced by: Samuel Fuller
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck,  Barry Sullivan,  Dean Jagger,  John Ericson,  Gene Barry,  Robert Dix,  Jidge Carroll,  Paul Dubov,  Gerald Milton,  Ziva Rodann,  Hank Worden,  Neyle Morrow,  Chuck Roberson,  Chuck Hayward,  Sandra Wirth,  Eve Brent
Film Length: 79 mins Process/Ratio: CinemaScope/2.35:1
Black & White Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Dolby Surround),  English (Stereo),  Spanish (Mono) / English & Spanish Subtitles
Special Features :  

Full Screen version on B-Side / Theatrical trailer for "Forty Guns"

Comments :

By the late-Sixties, Sam Fuller's career output had slowed down considerably, but the previous decade yielded a prolific spurt of crime, war, and western films that bore his stamp of explosive emotions, stylized dialogue, and an aura of genuine, inimitable weirdness. That X Factor is perhaps what grabbed the attention of the original Cahiers du cinema critics. Fuller's direct involvement in writing, directing, and producing many of his films make it clear he fell under the auteur moniker; as Hitchcock fixated on the ice cool blonde archetype who nudges an ordinary man into extraordinary circumstances, Fuller's characters often participated in extreme behaviour, and his direction within traditional genres was anything but conventional.

The release of "Sam Fuller's Forty Guns" - billed just like that on film, and validating the auteur geeks - is a mini-celebration for western fans, reinvigorated with some eccentric touches. Long, beautifully composed wide shots counter-point some kinetically edited action scenes; and a rabidly aggressive female lead (Barbara Stanwyck) flirting with a partially emasculated nemesis/lover (Barry Sullivan) are major highlights. Our black-clad matriarch even gets her own theme song - a sleepy vocal number performed on-camera - and the metaphors that pepper Fuller's prose are sometimes outrageously sexual.

Though no extras grace this disc, the gorgeous CinemaScope version is actually on Side B (erroneously stamped as being on Side A), and the reverse side contains an older pan & scan transfer. The mono mix holds some rich sound effects, and Harry Sukman's operatic score conveys an appropriate level of ridiculous melodrama.

Much of Fuller's work deserves the label of Guilty Pleasure - the opening showdown uses massive close-ups later appropriated by spaghetti western maestro Sergio Leone, and action master George Cosmatos - but there's a lot to admire in the structure of Fuller's non-nonsense narratives, and his knack for delivering some marvelously edited action.

© 2005 Mark R. Hasan

_IMDB Entry________Script Online ______Artist/Fan/Official Film Site____Cast/Crew Link
_IMDB Detailed Entry_______Scripts available online ________Scripts available online________Additional Related Sites
___Amazon.com ________Amazon.ca _______Bay Street Video__________Comparisons__
_Amazon.com info__Amazon.com info___Basy Street Video info_______Compare Different Region releases_
_Soundtrack CD__________CD Review__________LP Review__________Composer Filmog.
Soundtrack Album_______Soundtrack Review_______Yes, VINYL_________

Site designed for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 16M colours, and optimized for MS Explorer 6.0. KQEK Logo and All Original KQEK Art, Interviews, Profiles, and Reviews Copyright © 2001-Present by Mark R. Hasan. All Rights Reserved. Additional Review Content by Contributors 2001-Present used by Permission of Authors. Additional Art Copyrighted by Respective Owners. Reproduction of any Original KQEK Content Requires Written Permission from Copyright Holder and/or Author. Links to non-KQEK sites have been included for your convenience; KQEK is not responsible for their content nor their possible use of any pop-ups, cookies, or information gathering.