Films and guns go well together. A famous scriptwriter once said to write films larger than life. What better way to make a situation larger than life than with some guns and explosions? After making the film Cop Out, director Kevin Smith said that his Dad would have finally been able to recognize his work as an actual movie, mostly because it has guns in it. Here I will try to sort through the madness and choose the five best gun movies of all time.
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – Created by well-known British director Guy Ritchie, this was his first major film. His film took audiences on a journey through England’s sordid (and often hilarious) underworld. While this movie may not have had any big shootouts or spectacular explosions, the entire plot of the film revolves around two antique 12 gauge sidelock double barrel shotguns. While an official make is never given, the two shotguns are unquestionably the stars of the movie. Also featured prominently is a Bren MK1 LMG. Guy Ritchie’s next film, Snatch, would feature an infamous scene involving a Desert Eagle.50.
- Dirty Harry – No list like this would be complete without Dirty Harry. Clint Eastwood portrays a hard-walking, hard-talking cop who doesn’t need to play by the rules and relies heavily on his Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver. The famous scene in which Inspector Harry Callahan asks a fallen criminal whether he feels lucky would shoot the.44 caliber handgun to superstardom. Interestingly, the Model 29 was only used in close up shots. At the time there were no.44 Magnum blanks, so a Smith and Wesson Model 25 chambered for.45 cartridges was used instead. The famous Model 29 used in the movie actually belonged personally to the film’s director.
- The Matrix – Arguably one of the best action films of all time, The Matrix enjoyed huge success and was hailed as one of the most inventive action movies of the modern era before spawning two sequels that weren’t very good. The famous scene that involves Neo and Trinity running through a lobby while strapped with a veritable armory was one of the movie’s best moments. Featured guns include the GE M134 Minigun, a pair of Micro Uzis, the Browning Hi-Power and Mouse’s unique automatic shotguns that were crafted specifically for the film. Apparently they fired 900 rounds per minute, yet he missed every round.
- Heat – It’s features Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in it and it has a lot of guns. Heat was hailed by critics in part for its realistic shootouts and portrayal of techniques used by both sides of the law. One of the most memorable guns includes the Colt M1991A1 Series 80 Colt Officers ACP with ivory grips that Al Pacino carries for the entire movie. Another notable one is the custom FN FNC-80 that Al Pacino wields during the famous shootout scene. The barrel was cut down and an M16 birdcage was attached. Al Pacino was instructed to only fire it in semi-auto mode because the police would want to minimize the risk of injuring bystanders.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Well the greatest film ever made might as well be on the list. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, as it was originally known, features many antique guns and probably the most famous standoff scene in history. Clint Eastwood’s character carries a Colt 1851 Navy with its famous silver snake grips. The 1851 Navy is used by many characters in the film. The ones that are actually fired all have cartridge conversion kits on them, so it is usually possible to tell during a scene if a revolver will be fired. At the time the movie was set, cartridge conversion kits did not exist yet, so their presence is an anachronism. Another notable gun seen is the Remington 1858 “Cattleman’s Carbine”. This unique firearm was a rifle version of the 1858 revolver.
These films will make for a fine distraction on those dreaded airsoft down days. More creative people may even find some inspiration for scenario games. Just remember to get off the couch and get back to playing airsoft as soon as possible.