Set in the small town of Cochise, Arizona, Forty Guns tells the story of Jessica a tyrannical landowner who rules the town with her posse of hired guns, known as the Dragoons. She is the law of the town, with the Sheriff going along with anything she wants out of fear. One day Griff Bonnell, a once legendary gunfighter turned U.S. Marshall, arrives to restore law and order in the town. Things get more complicated with Jessica being attracted to this legendary gunslinger, while Griff falls for the Gunsmith's daughter, Louvenia. Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns is a stylized, fast-paced western exploring the moral landscape of the Wild, Wild West. The film captures this period in US history in all its glory, the tough and rugged-type of machoism it breeds while simultaneously observing the consequences this time had on the morality of all men, most notably Griff. Griff is a man who swore off violence long ago, opting to establish law and order. After a horrific event, Griff's vow of non-violence is put the test, pushing his new sense of morality and justice to the test. Samuel Fuller has such a great sense of how to design action sequences, using well timed editing and compositions that make even a simple sequence feel much more intense and exciting. While very stylized for the time, Forty Guns never feels over-stylized, with Fuller picking his moments, delivering on creating an intensity that a lesser director couldn't replicate. Forty Guns features cinematography and direction which are far ahead of its time, featuring editing and compositions which few westerns of this era even come close to matching. Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns captures the "Wild Wild West' in a way few films ever could, showcasing this constant pull between machoism and morality.
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