This past weekend, I was blathering with a friend of mine whose business is, of all things, supplying firearms to theatrical companies who film movies and TV shows in and around New York City. I was comlaining about the many gun gaffes in 3:10 to Yuma, and he said:
“Listen. The movies sell myths. The movies sell dreams. The movies are not in the business of selling the truth. You’ve never going to see any realism in the movies.”
He also said:
“If you’re in my business and you’re smart, you don’t leave guns in the hands of actors between takes. You collect them after the director says ‘Cut!’ and you give them back only when the cameras are ready to roll again. If you leave actors with guns, they’ll only get into trouble.”
In the past 20 years, two actors have been killed in gun accidents while on a set. The first was Brandon Lee, who died because a fake bullet was stuck in the cylinder of a revolver, and when a blank went off behind it, the slug had enough force to take Lee’s life.
The second was an actor/model named John Eric Hexum, who was fooling with a .44 magnum loaded with blanks. Faking suicide, he put the muzzle of the gun to his temple and pull the trigger. What was supposed to be a joke turned out to be for real.