Roaring Guns (1944) Poster


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Environmental concerns were evident in 1944
Environmental concerns were evident in 1944 when Warner Brothers decided to use stock footage left over from earlier films, and the end result is this turkey. If you watch this short because it was directed by the great Jean Negulesco, who later went on to direct such hits as "How to Marry a Millionaire" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told", prepare to be disappointed. A weak script, low budget, and excessive use of stock footage combined with a dull leading man, Robert Shayne, results in a 19 minute short whose sole redeeming feature is whatever impact it might have in your becoming concerned about environmental rape and destruction. I think this type of film resulted when a studio had a lot of people, actors, editors and directors who needed something to do. It is just too bad the story by Clements Ripley and the screenplay by Ed Earl Repp was inadequate for the resources assigned to the project. Unless you really want to take a brief look at strip-mining concerns, my advice is to skip viewing this film. You can find something better to do with your 19 minutes of free time.
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Western with a Message
Michael_Elliott12 August 2011
Roaring Guns (1944)

** (out of 4)

This two-reeler was part of Warner's "Santa Fe Trail" series and features Robert Shayne playing a cowboy who comes to the mountains to help a mining company with their ways of using high water pressure to cut through the mountains. What he doesn't realize is that this quick method is causing mud flows, which is killing the land of the farmers and they want revenge. ROARING GUNS isn't a very good movie but it does feature some political overtones that weren't necessarily common during these days. I think it's fair to say that the writer wanted to get a message across that destroying land wasn't in anyone's favor but the film is just so boring that it's really hard to care about anything going on. Director Jean Negulesco seems more worried about getting the film done on time and under budget that he never really seems to be worried about getting an interesting story across. The entire film is about as bland as you can get as there's not a bit of drama, suspense or any type of energy that's going to keep the viewer interested. The one bar fights comes off boring. The love story is boring. The villains are boring as are the heroes. There's not one bit of energy to be found in this thing, which is a real shame because there's a decent story here that something better could have been done with. Fans of Shayne will want to check this out but others should just stay clear and watch one of the hundreds of other Westerns out from this period.
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