The origin of two pistol shooting

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Rino C, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Rino C

    Rino C Agent

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    Please settle a bet on the origin of shooting with pistol in each hand so popular in today's action movies.

    My earliest recollection of that type of shooting is Chow Yun Fat in John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow." I say he started the whole trend. My friend thinks since John Woo has been influenced by Westerns, it must a Western. I do not ever remember seeing such kind of shooting in a Western.

    Unfortunately I also believe that John Woo and Chow Yun Fat also started the magic gun trend... you know, the pistols with unlimited supply of bullets.
     
  2. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    yep
    thats when it became a style
     
  3. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    Quite a few of B western stars in 1930's and '40s wore two matching revolvers, and fired them simultaneously from the hip. I don't recall seeing any two gun pistolaros in a serious western, although Josey Wales wore four or five. [​IMG]
     
  4. John Macri

    John Macri Stunt Coordinator

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    You're probably right, as didn't Steve Buscemi fire 2 pistols in Reservoir Dogs?
    However, as anyone with handgun experience knows, firing 2 pistols simultaneously is wildly inaccurate & the mark of a rank amateur. BTW; the "gangsta" style (holding the handgun horizontally)is also very poor technique and will get you killed quickly in a real firefight...
     
  5. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    I believe the originator was Yosimite Sam.:wink:
     
  6. Kenny Goldin

    Kenny Goldin Second Unit

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    How long have double action revolvers been around? Certainly one could not shoot with both hands on the single action revolver.
     
  7. Gary Mays

    Gary Mays Agent

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    The Colt model 1877 was double-action. The Colt Lightning, another double-action revolver, was introduced in 1889. Smith and Wesson's Double Action First Model was introduced in 1881. There may have been earlier double-action revolvers.

    Not that it matters much. You certainly CAN cock a single-action revolver with one hand.
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I seem to remember John Wayne riding on a horse firing off two repeater rifles one after the other in "True Grit". It certainly seemed cool at the time.
     
  9. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Both akimbo pistols and inaccurate magazines were a staple of early films, but John Woo really took it to a different place. Rather than having the revolvers that fired eight or ten shots, he had guns that made a point of not caring how many rounds were fired.

    I remember that Dirty Harry became so memorable because he was actually counting rounds fired, which brought something fresh to the table.

    As far as your bet goes, both existed before either planned (in the case of dual gunslingers in the west) or because of laziness/continuity problems, but John Woo made them cool.
     
  10. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    Kevin Costner used two pistols in Silverado (1985).
     
  11. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    I think John Woo is the man that really put the two gun thing on the map. He just made it look cool. And as for Reservoir Dogs doing it, that came a few years after The Killer, the Woo classic. The Killer was released in 1989 I believe, someone please correct me if I am wrong.

    As for the ridiculous sideways gangsta style, the film that i think popularized that was The Usual Suspects, they even talked about it in the old commentary track on my OLD VHS deluxe set, how they will be blamed for holding guns wrong in the future.

    On a side note about the gangsta style shooting, go to any arcade and watch these winners play the gun games like Time Crisis. It is hilarious trying to watch them get anywhere by being cool and shoot like that. I actually stepped in on a game of Time Crisis 2 with someone shooting sideways style and by the end of the level, I had a score about 4times his, and I only played half the level, did most of the work for him.
     
  12. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Certainly not the first time, but there's a great scene in the Columbia serial THE SPIDER'S WEB (1938) in which the hero of the title jumps up onto a bookstand in a bus station after learning there's a bomb on one of the buses and fires a pistol in each hand yelling "Get out! There's a bomb on the bus!!"

    Meyhem ensues, and of course he gets caught in the place, ending the chapter until next week, when some young scamp could learn that he jumped out of the way just in time and repeat the process over again.

    That to me is a cool scene in an action film.
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    In this famous painting by Delacroix (Liberty guiding the people, 1830), we see the guy on the right with a pistol in each hand. Before the days of the repeating pistol, two handed shooting was apparently common. Pirates used to carry a "brace" of pistols in their hands, and would have six or more on bandoleros.
     
  14. Ian_H

    Ian_H Supporting Actor

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    Who wants to see endless shots of reloading? Just gimme the action! I always assume they reload off camera![​IMG]


    --Ian
     
  15. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    John Woo characters have to be descendants of the Saint of Killers from the Preacher comic book. For he had two pistols that never needed reloading and always found their mark, and were always lethal.

    Not that I am complaining.
     
  16. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    Here's a clip from "The Great Train Robbery" (1903) with a bandit using guns two-fist style. This is pretty much the very first western, so it was obviously there in movies from the very beginning.

    [​IMG]

    Of course, Woo and Fat took two-gun style to a whole new level... I believe "A Better Tommorow" (1986) was Woo and Fat's debut of super-cool two-gun style.
     
  17. Rino C

    Rino C Agent

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    Fat is Chow Yun Fat's "middle" name. His last or family name is Chow. I don't know why but Chinese insist on putting their last or family name in the beginning when they are in the West. For example, the basketball player Yao Ming's last name is Yao, not Ming.

    I understand that in the Far East, last or family name is given first but Japanese and Koreans do usually flip their name around and follow local convention when in the West, i.e. given name then last name.

    It's even odder in Hong Kong. Their name goes in the order: English given name, last name, Chinese given name, i.e. John Woo Yu-Sheng.

    I don't know if it's a pride thing and I may get critized for trying to impose Western conventions on other cultures, etc., but I am a follower of "When in Rome..." Otherwise it causes needless and avoidable misunderstanding.
     
  18. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Whoa Dennis! She's better than Janet!

    Glenn
     
  19. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    people did use two guns before woo but he turned it into a visual style
     
  20. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    Then conversely, shouldn't Westerners living in Asian countries submit to custom and use their last names first to avoid misunderstanding?
     

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