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Terminator 2 (courtesy

See? Now that’s funny! But I really enjoyed this scene, where Arnie’s Terminator couldn’t terminate a terminator despite multiple shotgun blasts. etc. It’s not as subtle as the tense, drawn-out gunfights you find in old Westerns, but then they didn’t have a gargling dinosaur Harley soundtrack. What you favorite gun scene in a movie? (Feel free to leave YouTube links for your fellow readers’ dining and dancing pleasure.)

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  1. Too many to choose from; but, Way of the Gun final shoot and Heat bank robbery come to mind first. Open Range final as well, just to throw in a western.

    • I like the Open Range shootout because of the way Kevin Costner manages to shoot two guys before the rest of the gang even manages to pull their pistols, which I believe makes it one of the more realistic Hollywood shootout scenes I’ve ever seen. When those with a will to brag are confronted by those with a will to fight, the braggarts are at a distinct disadvantage.

      I also like Costner’s Peacemaker with the 16 chamber cylinder that blows men right off their feet. Well, the start of the fight was realistic anyway.

  2. Beach landing scene and taking out a machine gun nest in Saving Private Ryan

    Bank robbery in Heat

    A terrible movie, but Battlefield LA (I think that’s what it was called?) did a great job of capturing the sound of M4’s and 249’s going at it

  3. Kelly and his Heroes v Tiger Tank. Great take off on the Wild Bunch.

  4. That’s easy. Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. “Did he fire five shots, or six?…”

    Actually, there are at least three classic scenes in that movie featuring his Model 29. Honorable mention would go to him with his Garand (“get off my lawn”) in Gran Torino.

    • Loved Gran Torino, but the BEST gunfight scene (only) in that movie was in the end when he reached for his Zippo.

  5. The bar gun fight in Desperado. It’s silly but fun and an earlier commenter took John Wick.

  6. I always liked the scene in Good, the Bad, and the Ugly when the character Tuco wanders in out of the desert goes to the general store and builds a revolver out of parts from all the other guns in the display case. I know it’s not realistic with guns from that time but still cool.

    Or the scene from the same movie where Clint Eastwoods character is cleaning his gun when the gang is coming after him. I always clean my pistols with a ready backup at hand just because of this potential situation.

    • Quigley Down Under has almost all of my favorite gun scenes.

      The first one, where he nonchalantly hits that bucket waaaay out on the horizon. Then when he takes out the guy who left him for dead as the guy is frantically trying to ride out of range (pointless effort; if Quigley can see you, you’re in range). And that scene where all you can hear is the bullets smacking into the bad guys, then the rifle reports echo across the plain 3 seconds later.

      And you nailed the best payoff line in any movie ever in that clip. “Said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.”

  7. The last shooting scene in Deadpool when he kills the Brit bad guy with a 25 cal Saturday Night Special with a shot to the forehead (calm, cool, determined and funny) and then makes Colossus vomit. Out of the radar for everybody but think about a bit, a lot of mayhem and destruction and then a very simple and cold solution to the “bad guy problem”. Otherwise go for the last firefight in Saving Private Ryan.

    • I love that even the villain is rolling his eyes while Colossus is lecturing Deadpool.

  8. Any scene with Reggie Bannister’s quad-barrel shotgun in the Phantasm movies. Nevah bin dun befo’!

    • Yeah, that was pretty good. And the way he sawed off the barrels you could have stabbed someone with the shotgun barrels as well if you ran out of ammunition.

  9. The bar scene in John Wick, or the bank robbery in Heat. Both are tense, exciting and excellently choreographed.

  10. The movie Predator when they first see the alien hunter and let loose with all their firepower — including a minigun — and create a path in the thick jungle where no path previously existed.


    • That’s one of those put on the hearing protection, back it up and play it again scenes.

  11. I grew up watching the Bourne Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum so I love all the gunplay in those films. But right now, John Wick clearing his house/moving through the nightclub. UNBELIEVABLE. Keanu Reeves does three gun and it shows.

    • I read the books first and the movies didn’t live up to books. Still good movies, but they didn’t follow the novels enough for my liking.

  12. John Wick had the most realistic firefights I’ve ever seen in film, and I’m glad they chose to bring the character back for a planned trilogy.

    Honorable mention goes to the mini-series “Generation War” on Netflix. WWII films from the German perspective are few to begin with, but the combat scenes were surprisingly well done and had that gritty Band of Brothers feel.

    “9 April” is a great drama released last year from the perspective of those Danish soldiers unlucky enough to be caught in the 1940 invasion. Battles are short and smaller scale. Very calculated gunplay. Wounded germans and danes crawl behind cover and don’t die in overly dramatic ways. Kills are few. Everyone moves/shoots from cover to cover. German assaults don’t look like a bunch of frightened chickens running through a field. No cheesy music. It’s good stuff.

  13. Pretty much everything in Tombstone.

    Tombstone has interesting ethics as well: random, thuggish BGs with guns doing bad things because they can, shooting for no reason other than it’s fun; flawed, hard, mostly GGs with guns doing bad things to stop worse things, shooting only when they have to, even though it’s “fun” in a sense.

    Really, none of the “heroes” is a saint. Yet, though they carry guns, they generally look for ways not to shoot.

  14. Not the most realistic gun fights in any way, but all those are up above already; so my honorable mentions go to the firefights from Firefly and Serenity. They add good humor to them.

  15. I’d like to mention some that are easy to overlook, but worthy of consideration:

    A shootout that rivals “Heat” and “The Wild Bunch” is the finale of “Matewan,” John Sayles’s drama of the West Virginia coal mine wars. To me, it’s the most “pro-gun” movie ever made, and makes the case for the Second Amendment far better than the sum total of all the dogwhistle speeches about “thugs” and “shariah” with which we are being inundated.

    The final shootout in “Taxi Driver” is just brutal. DeNiro, Keitel, and blood on every wall.
    On the flip side, the “good ten dollars” scene from “Mean Streets” is the funniest gun scene ever filmed.

    “Sleeping with the Enemy” — Julia Roberts calls 911 to report she “just shot an intruder” BEFORE putting a couple of extra holes in her stalker-wife-beater husband.

    “The Devil’s Rejects”: the opening and closing sequences are fierce, horrific gun battles, and convinced me that Rob Zombie could direct one heck of a war movie if he was so inclined.

    • Matewan is a masterpiece. Plays fast and loose with history some, and is a deft piece of socialist labor propaganda, but you’re right — it is pro-gun and the shootout is a tour de force. Lone Star is my other favorite Sayles film.

      LA Confidential Victory Motel firefight — has anyone mentioned that one?

  16. John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. “Fill your hands, you SOB”
    Clint Eastwood in the entire movie The Outlaw Josey Wales but especially the last scene when he is out of bullets but checks anyway then kills guy w his own saber
    Clint again w “Smith and Wesson and Me.”
    Gene Hackman in French Connection. You know the scene.
    Multiple scenes from the Trinity movies. Hilarious.

  17. Josey Wales: Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?

    Hell is coming to breakfast:

    Pale Rider final shootout.

  18. Keanu for the win! John Wick and The Matrix-“guns-lots of guns”…especially the Wick scene with the Kel-tec shotgun.

    • Oh yeah Ah-nold in Commando for pure mayhem. Like when he cuts off the dudes arm…

      • Thought I saw something funny last time I watched Commando, so I slowed it down. Big bad Ah-nold closes his eyes every time he pulls the trigger….

    • Right there is the best advert for a tactical tomahawk.

      Not sure I wanna pay $250+ for one, tho…

    • These movie scenes where a parent takes swift, decisive, and extreme measures to protect a child are, shall we say, highly engaging.

  19. The end of Matewan is good, but i think the end of the spaghetti western “five man army” where Luis goes up on top of the adobe house with a BAR and levels the place is the best gun scene.

    • Speaking of campy spaghetti western shootouts with anachronistic weaponry, Duck You Sucker has James Coburn tearing a motorized Mexican Army column a new one with an Mg-42, during the Mexican Revolution…

      Ennio Morricone did a great job with the music as always.

  20. The battle of Camden in the Patriot. Though the actuall battle wasn’t anything like that, the depiction of that battle is the best example of an open field 18th century battle in cinema. The actual battle took place in a heavily wooded area, and probably looked a little more like the scene where the confusing mess of continentals and redcoats battle around the plantation early in the film.

  21. I’ve always liked the scene in Apocalypse Now where Willard and (a tripping) Lance are in the bunker. Theres a VC screaming in the background and this one GI is saying “get the Roach”. Cue the Hendrix music as this blissed out soul brotha calmly walks in, aims his blooper (m79) and grenades the VC. Willard says “do you know who’s in charge here?” and the brotha smiles cryptically and says “yeah” and calmly walks away.


    • While most of the gunplay in this movie was … cheesy at best. That last fight (starting at 4:45 in the above video) is one of the coolest fight scenes I’ve ever seen.

  22. 1. “Yo homey! Is that my briefcase?” from “Collateral”
    2. “I guess you’ll just have to kill me.” “It’ll hurt if I do.” from “Last Man Standing”
    3. “Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?” from “The Outlaw Josey Wales”
    4. The last gunfight from “Thief”
    5. The last gunfight from “Open Range”
    6. The opening scene from “The Letter” with Bette Davis
    7. The bathroom shootout in “Freebie and the Bean”
    8. The hotel shootout in the original “Getaway” with Steve McQueen
    9. The attack on the Bashaw’s palace in “The Wind and the Lion”
    10. The attack on the boom in “The Sand Pebbles”

    • Your list does not cover all of the best, but an argument could be made that it includes the ten best.

  23. ONE of my favorite (and most realistic) was the gun battle in HEAT after the bank robbery.

  24. Not a movie, but in Red Dead Redemtpion when SPOILER ALERT Marston comes out of the barn and gets gunned down by 50 army dudes despite his valiant effort.

    Movies is when Rooster Cogburn takes the reigns in his teeth and charges with a revolver in each hand. So badass

  25. A silly movie, but the final shootout in “Kindergarten Cop” was actually pretty good.

  26. lever-action duel….shot through the flower, and my favorite of all the great Ennio Morricone pieces.

    plus Tony Musante with the trigger discipline at 3:08

  27. Lone Survivor half the movie was a shootout. And just for fun Hard Target JCVD

  28. My favorite gun scene in a movie? You guys have covered the classics well, but perhaps something just a bit more obscure, and throw in some meta to boot…

    And while it’s not technically a gun, he does hold it in his arms, and there is fire

  29. Great. Now guess what I’m going to go do for the next half hour or so..dig through my library!

  30. The opening shootout of “The Devil’s Own” was a revelation. The first time I had seen a movie come close to how loud and chaotic shooting is. The rest of the movie is pretty boring though.

  31. “I like to keep this handy… for close encounters”
    Cpl Hicks to Ripley in Aliens (1986)

    • Yeah! One of the best shot and cut gunfights in cinema. Glad to see so many True Grit lovers, too. How many have tried to copy that scene?

  32. Nobody is going to vote for “The Replacement Killers”? Chow Yun Fat and Mira Sorvino shooting people for an hour and half. Plus it has Danny Trejo AND Michael Rooker!! C’mon man!

  33. If you’re going to name check Chow, you have to go with the hospital fight from Hard Boiled.

  34. +1 For John Wick.
    Django Unchained. Could watch the half hour of that movie over and over.
    The ending gun fight in 2 Guns.

  35. Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man.

    “Here they come, and they’re spending a fortune!”

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