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FORTY GUNS in 35mm
Music Box Theatre
Chicago, IL
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FORTY GUNS in 35mm
Monday, December 10 @ 7:00 PM / Music Box Theatre
Directed by Samuel Fuller  1957
As budgets and screens swelled in tandem in the 1950s, bread-and-butter genre pictures like musicals and westerns became bigger, louder, and safer. The exception that proves the rule: Samuel Fullers FORTY GUNS, a propulsive, devil-may-care Western shot in black-and-white Cinemascope in two weeks, complete with Jidge Carroll singing the ballad of The Woman with the Whip to a gaggle of men bathing in a sagebrush spa. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Jessica Drummond, the Tombstone titan who commands as many thieves as Ali Baba. Her central conflictprotecting her neer-do-well brother (John Ericson) or giving it all up for the ex-gunslinger she comes to love (Barry Sullivan)may sound rote, but the execution and emotional nuance are anything but. The overall attitude owes something to other proto-feminist westerns of the era, such as THE WOMAN THEY ALMOST LYNCHED and JOHNNY GUITAR, but the melancholy/mercenary savoir faire is specifically, spectacularly Stanwyck. As an independent producer contracted with 20th Century-Fox, Fuller enjoyed an unusual degree of creative freedom, staging elaborate dolly-shot excavations of Tombstone storefronts with a gusto that any studio chief wouldve found alarming. Still, Fullers experience was not without some compromise; as he complained in his posthumous autobiography, For Chrissakes, my gunman had to think about box office receipts before pulling the trigger. (KW)
80 min  Globe Enterprises  35mm from 20th Century Fox
Cartoon: Wild and Woolfy (Tex Avery, 1945)  8 min  16mm


Music Box Theatre (View)
3733 N Southport
Chicago, IL 60613
United States



Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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