One of the very best films by the uncompromising American director Samuel Fuller ( — also: one of the very best, and most iconoclastic, Westerns ever conceived) was also a mid-career triumph for the brilliant Barbara Stanwyck. Forty Guns finds Fuller at the height of his game.
Jessica Drummond (Stanwyck, with her iconic night-nurse babyface) is avatar of the consummate Brooklynite, transplanted here to the dusty crags of the West – Cochise County, Arizona, to be precise – where as a wealthy landowner she exerts a powerful influence over town affairs and commands a league of some “forty guns” to enact her will. The appearance of interloper Griff (a character name that recurs throughout all of Fuller’s body of work, embodied this time by Barry Sullivan) precipitates Jessica’s domain’s slide into chaos…
Originally intended by Fuller to be titled The Woman with a Whip, Forty Guns represents an apex of 20th Century Fox’s filmmaking while the studio era still shone. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Forty Guns on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK in a special Dual Format edition.