Some movies are instant classics for their acting, their direction, or their cinematography. Some movies, on the other hand, become cult classics based on the character in the film and the guns they use. While these movies certainly have good acting and direction, they became instant classics in part because of the guns and the main characters' affinity for them. While this list is in no way supposed to be comprehensive, it’s a great starting place for any serious gun connoisseur.
In no specific order, let’s check out five classic movies and the guns that made them.
1. Dirty Harry: S&W Model 29
The original “Dirty Harry” is so iconic that it’s been replicated and imitated in enough shows and movies that one loses count after a while. The most famous scene is, of course, the one where Clint Eastwood’s character, Harry, stops would-be thieves from robbing the bank and pontificates on whether he has fired five shots or all six in his S&W Model 29, the “most powerful handgun in the world.” You gotta ask yourself if you feel lucky, and the rest is history.
While Eastwood was already a big star and huge draw at the box office, this iconic movie and scene further propelled his career. As a result, the “Dirty Harry” series went on to spin off four sequels after the original.
2. Lord of War: AK-47
Everyone loves a good Nick Cage flick, whether he is covering himself in paint or fighting off a plane full of convicts, his acting has brought a lot of entertainment to both critics and fans alike. “Lord of War” is a classic Nicholas Cage movie in which he delivers one of his best performances. Not only does “Lord of War” have one of the greatest title sequences ever produced, but it also lives up to its name with gratuitous gunfire.
As a gun runner, Cage’s character, Yuri Orlov, loves all guns. But he has a special affinity for the AK-47, which he pays tribute to in a beautiful ode to Kalashnikov.
3. Die Hard: Beretta 92 FS
You know what they say, it’s not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls from Nakatomi Plaza. Similarly, it’s not a gun movie list without “Die Hard,” the classic Bruce Willis action movie. While there are tons of iconic guns in this movie, including MP5s, Steyr AUGs, and Hans Gruber’s famous P7, let’s not over embellish the bad guys. Instead, let’s focus on the steel John McClane used to take out Gruber and his gang, the Beretta 92 FS. In what is perhaps one of the best bad guy deaths of all time, McClane gets the girl and sets off on a journey that would spin off four more sequels.
Warning: Spoiler in the movie clip. But if you haven’t seen “Die Hard” yet, you should probably stop whatever you’re doing right now and just go watch it.
4. Beverly Hills Cop: Browning Hi-Power
Following the trend of classic 80s action movies and their guns, we have “Beverly Hills Cop,” which catapulted Eddie Murphy into the stratosphere as one of the biggest stars in the world. The action/comedy showed Murphy could crossover from a pure comedy role and play a foul-mouthed, tough-guy cop from Detroit named Axel Foley. He sported a beautiful Browning Hi-Power that was prominently displayed on the movie poster for this instant classic.
Toward the end of the movie, Foley’s best display of shooting is with the Browning steel in his hand as he closes in on Victor Maitland. The movie proved to be so popular that it spun off two sequels, with a third supposedly in the works right now.
5. James Bond: Walther PPK
James Bond and his Walther PPK are among the most iconic duos in cinema history. While the PPK can be seen in Bond films as far back as “From Russia With Love” (yes, it was mentioned in “Dr. No,” but he actually carried a PP in that movie), we’re looking at a more modern take. The classic gun was still on full display – suppressed nonetheless – in the opening scene of “Golden Eye,” which debuted in November of 1995. While “Golden Eye” went down as one of the great Bond films, it spun off a video game that is perhaps even more iconic. Countless 80s and 90s kids can recall being crowded around a TV, jacked up on Mountain Dew, and battling their buddies in one of the best first-person shooters of all time.