Thursday, August 16, 2018

Review of "Forty Guns," DVD version

Review of
Forty Guns, DVD version

Four out of five stars
 In an age when the female lead was supposed to gasp and turn away at any sign of trouble and always bend themselves to the men in her life, Barbara Stanwyck was a notable exception. She often played roles of a woman in charge of her life and destiny, and this movie is almost an example of that.
 Stanwyck plays Jessica Drummond, a hard and wealthy cattle rancher with a great deal of economic and political power in her county of residence. The forty guns phrase in the title refers to the number of hard men that ride behind Drummond when she passes through. She owns the local sheriff in the figurative sense and there are few in the area that dare challenge her.
 Barry Sullivan plays Griff Bonnell, a former gunslinger that is now a U. S. Marshall and he arrives in town with his two brothers on the mission to establish law and order in the county. Drummond resists the action of Bonnell and his brothers at first, but that does not deter him, he arrives armed with federal arrest warrants that the local lawmen cannot resist.
 The test of wills continues for some time until Drummond falls in love with Bonnell, with the movie ending with a scene of almost complete subservience to Bonnell. It is one of those, “all for love” incidents that is contrary to the strong woman of power. That weakens what could have been a powerful statement about strong women determined to maintain their position.

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