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September 15, 2007

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Movie Guns

Hollywood has a gun problem. It can’t make up its mind whether to worship guns or wallow in ignorance about them. Because greed defines tinseltown as much as anything, perhaps it isn’t surprising that Hollywood has chosen to do both.

Movie makers treat firearms with fetishistic reverence and, in fact, seems nearly unable to create films without them. They are in love with the gore, violence and sense of menace that firearms bring to the screen. Yet the distain of this crowd towards sportsmen, shooters and the Second Amendment is hardly a secret. Shootemup2_2

Whether it is Rosie O’Donnel’s incoherent logic , the vilification of hunters (see #20) in the all-time greatest piece of animal-rights propaganda , or Jodie Foster opining that the last thing a person in a life-or-death situation should have access to is, gasp, a gun—the Hollywood bias against firearms couldn’t be more apparent.

Of course worship and ignorance go hand in hand. Hollywood’s cluelessness about firearms is not unlike that of the prehistoric shaman who is convinced that the best way to stop the ground from shaking and the lava from flowing is to toss a virgin into the volcano’s smoking maw.

So it is always entertaining to watch how guns are mishandled in the movies since it is the rare film or TV show that demonstrates how the bloody things actually work, shoot and sound.

I saw terrific example of this ignorance on display in an advertisement for the newly-released movie Shoot ’Em Up. In the image we are treated to a montage of the stars, Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci and Paul Giamatti. The two men are both handling firearms and trying to look menacing, an affect that Owen pulls off more convincingly than the soft-chinned Giamatti. Not helping Giamatti’s effort to establish his cred as a Hollywood heavy is the rifle he’s carrying (shown above). The tagline for the movie says, “No name, no past, nothing to lose.” Well, in Giamatti’s case there certainly was something to lose…in this case the bolt to his rifle. Yes, in the picture he’s standing there with rifle in one arm, pointing straight up, finger through the trigger guard (of course) with a look on his face that says, “Now where the hell did I put that thing?” 

Otherwise the rifle itself seems like a completely serviceable hunting tool. It has a sporter configuration, a heavy stainless barrel (with a stainless scope and mounting hardware to match) and a plain black synthetic stock. Slung underneath the forend is a bipod of some sort, legs folded up into the carry position. Looks like a good rig for a western hunter going for antelope or mule deer. In my mind’s eye it is chambered in .25-06, a lovely cartridge for open-country shooting.

But this is moot speculation. Because until Paul figures out where he hid that bolt, his rifle might as well be a fake movie prop, nothing more.

John Snow



Interesting comment coming from Jodie Foster considering her latest film, "The Brave One", just took first place in total box office receipts this weekend.


Great post from Petzal on F&S's "Gun Nut" the other day on "3:10 to Yuma.


What I find interesting is that a lot of movie guns are large, but have small barrels, like they are 22 or something.


Hahaha, excellent. I hadn't noticed that about the promo posters.


I think you may have mis-characterized Miss Foster's remarks:

"You know, the division between sanity and insanity is so arbitrary. Isn't it possible that we all have that bit of insanity in us? That's why I'm for gun control. Absolutely. Hunting, I get that -- let's protect hunting. But I don't believe that people should have access to life-or-death situations at any emotional time in their life. I don't really believe that a human being who feels [things] should have the option at their fingertips to use this many calories. [Mimes pulling a trigger]"

Which to me reads that she doesn't like the idea of emotional nitwits having the power guns give them to exercise a life-or-death decision to off themselves or others, rather than being against the right of the people to self-defense with a firearm.

I don't actually agree with her viewpoint, I'm just quibbling with your interpretation of her statement. Just for clarification, I don't think we need more laws (to purportedly) stop a killer from killing, thats what our arms are for.

Jack Petersen

Is it possible this is a right handed rifle, and therefore the bolt is on the right side of the weapon and therefore not visible? My Mini-14 is right handed and the bolt is not visible when viewed from the left side.


Methinks thou protest too much.

Face facts, without Hollywood, there probably wouldn't be gun loons. After all, Hollywood movies foster the fantasy shared by each gun loon is that the streets teem with bad guys/terrorists/aliens/commies etc. out to get them. And the only thing that stands between them and certain death/dismemberment/loss of precious body fluids etc. is a gun. Preferably many guns; preferably ones that resemble military weapons.

In fact, many of your firearms are marketed in the same manner as action films.


jadegold, If you look closely between the scope mounts you"ll see a gaping hole where the bolt should be ir the actio were closed. If the action were open the bolt would be visible at the rear of the rifle.


Welp. The bolt is in place in this photo.

John Hardin

Actually, it does look like the bolt is present. The photo looks like it's been reversed, and if you look just over his index-finger knuckle you can see what looks like light reflecting off the ball at the end of the bolt's handle. The bolt might be black...

Windy Wilson

Wasn't Jodie Foster in "Panic Room" five years ago? Two hours of a woman cowering in a room until big men with guns rescue her.

Chris in AZ


Please cite ANY firearms you have seen advertised the same way as a movie! Where was it? In a newspaper? On TV?? A major magazine??

In fact the only place to see firearms advertised is in gun magazines, a market limited to us "gun nuts". The last time I saw scary black rifles/ pistols in an ad (in fact MOST times I can remember)they seemed to be courting the LEO market. I saw NO mall ninjas, psychos, etc.