'realistic, but still very entertaining movie gunfights'


January 15, 2003, 10:04 PM
Nightcrawler posted here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4175) in his excellent "Gun Movies You Wish They'd Make" thread the following statement:

I'd like to see more movie gunfights like those in Way of the Gun; realistic, but still very exciting

I agree... which lead me back to thinking about the idea I've been pondering of writing a screenplay for a killer gun battle.

Maybe the High Roaders can help me out:

In your opinion...

..what would happen in the ultimate 'best' movie gun fight?


I vote for realistic ballistics and behavior of those injured. Nothing seems more 'fakey' to me than seeing a big guy lifted up OFF THE GROUND from a gunshot.

Also, maybe a scene where the guy recovers a foreign pistol and has to figure out its operation quickly... compared to just 'instantly' getting it.

Also: people not wearing muffs would probably go deaf and would have to yell to talk to each other. (Made me angry on the show '24' recently... totally unrealistic)

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January 15, 2003, 11:58 PM
Saving Private Ryan and Band of Bros seemed to have done a pretty good job of depicting movie gun fights. People just sorta drop dead all over the place after getting shot. Sorta looks like they tripped 'cept they're bleeding from the chest. I read that in BOB that they cut down the amount of fighting scenes because the production people didn't think the general audience could take a series like Saving Private Ryan where there's so much graphic depictions of how war grinds and tears up people.

Mike Irwin
January 16, 2003, 12:37 AM
So far, the BEST and most realistic movie gunfight I've seen is the one with Bud White and Edmund Exley vs the mob killers at the Victory Motel near the end of L.A. Confidential.

No magic sighting devices that allow hits at 1 billion meters, no magotopia of endless shots, no a .38 snubby bullet picking a guy up and throwing him 50 feet...

January 16, 2003, 01:26 AM
I vote for the old TV show, "Combat" for realism.

January 16, 2003, 01:33 AM
Have to agree with Mike. The several times I've seen that ending I've always thought that it was well done and realistic.

Except for the part where one of the characters called a magazine a 'clip' :cuss:

January 16, 2003, 02:03 AM
I love that show, hansolo.

January 16, 2003, 02:48 AM
The bank shootout in HEAT is one of the best I've seen (as long as you don't pay attention to the location of bullet holes appearing in cars). There was a whole lot of spraying that didn't hit anyone. The getaway driver was killed by random headshot as everyone was hosing the car. The other two BG's hit were both done by aimed shots from long guns. Handgun armed cops just huddled behind cars.

Joe Demko
January 16, 2003, 08:16 AM
I'd like to see more war movies where people are permanently maimed and disfigured as a result of their wounds. It seems they depict things as you are either killed outright or suffer inconsequential wounds. As I tell my students when they consider the military: "I know you aren't afraid to die. How do you feel about having your legs and genitals shredded by a land mine? How do you feel about having one or both eyes put out? ow do you feel about being so badly burned that women faint and men puke at the sight of you? How do you feel about having your spinal cord severed and being paralyzed from the waist down? From the neck down? How do you feel about having your jaw shot away? How would you like to have hooks in place of your hands?" Saving Ryan's Privates and Band of Brothers did a wonderful job of depicting the death aspect of war, but went kind of light on the other possibilities. Not everyone who is wounded dies, but not everyone who is wounded makes a complete recovery, either.

January 16, 2003, 08:28 AM
Johnny Got His Gun would be a good movie to redo to show the life of wounded veterans. I read the book a very long time ago, and it has been the only book to give me nightmares! Only thing left of that man was his mind, and eventually that gave up the ghost too...

And imagine the first part in the Trenches with a SPR level of detail and realism...


January 16, 2003, 08:32 AM
Did you watch the same Band of Brothers that I did? :confused:

Joe Demko
January 16, 2003, 09:06 AM
Presumably, I did, Tamara. But, I only watched a couple episodes, not the entire series. At the time it aired, I was working 2 full time jobs and watching TV wasn't even on the radar screen of priorities. I wan't enthused enough by what I saw to want to rent or buy it and watch the entire series.

January 16, 2003, 12:49 PM

I think maybe you should watch the entire BOB series if you ever get time. Not everyone that got wounded died or returned to the line.

2nd Amendment
January 16, 2003, 01:33 PM
We Were Soldiers Once... seems to have made a couple glaring statements about the maiming aspects of war injuries.

January 16, 2003, 02:00 PM
My sis-in-law gave me the complete Band Of Brothers DVD set. So far, I have only seen 4 episodes, but as I recall, at the end of one, there was a mention that 1 of the soldiers never recovered from his sounds, and died in 1948.

Although my Dad is long since deceased, I do remember him talking some about his time in the Fiji & Admyralty (?) Islands in WW2. I didn't pay it much attention then, but looking back on those stories now, I remember a look of sadness and horror in his face that I just can't shake.

January 16, 2003, 07:10 PM
I just watched all of the Band of Brothers Sunday. My brother got the complete series on DVD and we borrowed it.

Blithe was the scared kid who took one in the throat and died from his wounds years later. Two others each had one their legs blown off at Bastone, and one of the fellows was interviewed so he must have lived till the making of the series. I presume without the use of his leg. One fellow suffered PTSD and was sent home after the two had their legs shelled off. They even made a point as to the horrible rate people were getting killed and wounded in Easy Company.

I thought it was quite convincing as to the horrors of war. As I did Saving Private Ryan , remember the guy trying to find his arm on the beach in the opening scene.

Beer for my Horses
January 16, 2003, 07:25 PM
I second Heat as having one of the most realistic gunfights in the movies. The Negotiator was realistic not just in its shooting scenes but in its depiction of hostage rescue techniques and SWAT breaching tactics. Band of Brothers was excellent in every respect. We Were Soldiers was too realistic for most people, but I thought it also was excellent.

While we're discussing best movies, I have to nominate one of my favorite movies for having the least realistic gunfights: REPLACEMENT KILLERS. I'd love to get my hands on one of those 100 round Beretta 92's that Chow Yun Fat sports throughout the show.:D

January 16, 2003, 07:50 PM

But I sure do share the above views on L.A. Confidential.

Joe Gunns
January 16, 2003, 08:41 PM
Dunno 'bout realistic. But I like that classic western LAST MAN STANDING.

Like SOLDIERS ONCE, LA CONF, for reasons given above by others of good taste and judgement.

Like ZULU for its demonstration of the effect of disciplined volley-fire.

January 16, 2003, 09:46 PM
Some of the Miami Vice stuff was pretty good, but Sam Peckinpaugh was the master(and inventor I believe) of the "pink Mist".

Sean Smith
January 16, 2003, 10:05 PM

For realism, I think the "big three" modern war movies (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, We Were Soldiers) are shockingly good, especially for Hollywood fare. Not what I'd call "entertaining," though.

Hearing Blackhawk helicopters that actually sounded right for the first time on THX digital surround sound gave me the willies. :D

For fun-but-realistic, I'd say Way of the Gun and Heat. Also give Thief a look... another Michael Mann crime flick with some groovy 1911s. :cool:

January 16, 2003, 10:10 PM
I liked Predator.....but then I'll like any movie with a Minigun.

January 16, 2003, 10:44 PM
Saving Private Ryan---the first 30 and last 30 minutes.
Blackhawk Down
Proof of Life--the rescue/shootout
Heat--the shootout with the cops after the bank job
LA Confidential-the final shootout between Ecksley and White and the bad cops.

January 16, 2003, 11:52 PM
I'd like to see some westerns that don't have the indians jump up from 50' away and start yelling.

Show them for the fighters they were.

I'd also like to see a western that doesn't have all the town folks as yellow bellied pushovers.

January 17, 2003, 02:26 AM
The Wild Bunch is one of my favorites, and ya gotta admit that was one heck of a shoot-out at the end.

January 19, 2003, 09:07 PM
I would suggest "Ronin". I really like that movie, and the gun handling and shooting scenes are pretty good. Their are a couple of goofs but most of them I think are about bad editing. As far as I can tell there is only one ocassion in which any gun fires more then its normal number of rounds (13 out of a mil-spec 1911) but in the DVD extras, you see the same scene being filmed and the missing reload is there, but it was proabably edited out. It has some incredible car chaces as well, though if you pay attention the cars seem to gain and loose damage a couple of times, and one just plain changes between two very similar models ( actually two years of the same model of Citroen, and you can tell the difference only by the placement of the hood logo, on centered on off-center.)

However it is a trully good movie, and I've added it to my meager DVD collection.


January 19, 2003, 10:12 PM
I'm with Ledbetter, that .44 in the hand really was something.

January 19, 2003, 11:37 PM
"While we're discussing best movies, I have to nominate one of my favorite movies for having the least realistic gunfights: REPLACEMENT KILLERS. I'd love to get my hands on one of those 100 round Beretta 92's that Chow Yun Fat sports throughout the show."

Have you ever counted the number of berettas he has at the final shoot out? I think I counted nine, NINE full size 92s concealed during the fight. Unfreakinbelievable

January 21, 2003, 05:08 PM
Ever see "Pat Garret and Billy the Kid?

Billy shoots a guy with a shotgun that's full of dimes on top of the cartridge. Yeesh.:eek:

January 21, 2003, 06:10 PM
The Way of the Gun had a couple great gunfights. Lots of good elements in them - team tactics, single-handed shooting/reloading, and taking targets of opportunity (like when Benicio del Toro deliberately shoots a guy in the foot, because that's all he can see).

Heat also had a really cool shoot-out. The characters made good use of cover and seemed to do a pretty accurate job of engaging multiple targets. It also highlighted the advantages of the rifle over the pistol, like when Pacino takes down one of the robbers who is holding a child as protection by taking careful aim and firing a single shot when the angle is optimal.

January 21, 2003, 06:24 PM
The bank shootout scene in Heat was referred to as 'world war III' by the crew during shooting. The sound design for that scene is just as impressive as the visuals. They placed several microphones down the side streets away from the action to capture the sounds of the blanks as the report travelled down the streets of the city. That huge, open, reverberant sound that the weapons have was captured live during the shooting and then mixed in very heavy in post. I just love the way that scene sounds. It's flat-out awesome.

- Gabe

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