Premiere - 05/01/2005
"[The film] has conviction, velocity, innovation, and a final showdown as bizarre and memorable as any you can cite."
New York Times - 05/24/2005
"FORTY GUNS is above all a movie of wildly inventive imagery..."
USA Today - 06/03/2005
"Borderline operatic and certainly on the crazy side....[A] cult CinemaScope Western..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Tougher-than-nails landowner Jessica Drummond (Barbara Stanwyck) has ruled over her county in Arizona with such power that even the local sheriff (Dean Jagger) won't stand up to her. And when gunslinger-turner-U.S. Marshall Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) and his brothers seek to restore law and order, they meet with harsh resistance - that is until Jessica falls in love with Bonnell. But when the man's brother is murdered and the two families become bitter enemies, Jessica's loyalty is divided, and Bonnell faces his biggest moral dilemma: how to avenge his brother's death and still maintain his vow of non-violence.
Barbara Stanwyck (STELLA DALLAS) stars as Jessica Drummond, a rancher who runs her Arizona cattle ranch with an iron hand and a private army of 40 hired guns. The tough-as-nails matriarch has a troublesome brother whom she nonetheless dotes on, and when he shoots the sheriff she comes to his aid, unable to say no. This instigates an all-out war, which is further complicated by the fact that the new Marshall, Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) falls hard for Jessica, and she returns his feelings. A gem from auteur Samuel Fuller (THE BIG RED ONE) that reads as a noir dressed as a western, the film ingeniously invokes genre tropes to investigate the intricacies of sex and love; its conclusions are less than optimistic, but the film retains a fascinating, almost surreal allure.