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Messages - John Omohundro

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The Dirty Harry Films / Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
« on: July 16, 2004, 08:21:25 PM »

Flattery will get you everywhere.


Actually, I'm just well-read, and have good sources of information.


The Dirty Harry Films / Re:Dirty Harry's Pistol
« on: July 16, 2004, 02:38:40 PM »

Regarding what you said about Harry using .44 Special loads in his .44 Magnum revolver, I respectfully disagree, for the following reason:

Whenever a muzzle-on view  of the revolver is shown in the films, the bullets shown in the revolver's cylinder (dummy rounds, I'm sure  :)) are flat-nosed lead[/i] bullets (commonly called "Keith-type" bullets, after the late Elmer Keith, whose suggestion to Smith & Wesson and Remington back in 1955 led to the development of the .44 Magnum revolver and cartridge), and the standard factory load for the .44 Smith & Wesson Special uses a 246-grain (15.9-gram)  round-nosed lead bullet, at 755 Feet Per Second, with a muzzle energy of 310 Foot-Pounds, making it roughly one and one-half times as powerful as a .38 Special 158-grain load.

Since it's also unlikely that Harry would use handloaded
ammunition (even in the 1970's, a police officer using a non-standard sidearm had to use ammunition approved by his commander if he wished to remain employed, because of the risk of lawsuits), I suspect that he was using a reduced-power factory load--that is, a cartridge loaded by a commercial manufacturer, but one that was slightly less powerful than regular .44 Magnum ammunition (even a reduced-power .44 Magnum load would pack more of a wallop than the .38 Special revolvers that most police departments were issuing then, and some reduced-power .44 Magnum loads were equal or superior to a full-power .357 Magnum (the police-standard 158-grain (10.2-gram)  lead bullet was launched at 1235 Feet (376 Meters) Per Second, with a muzzle energy of 535 Foot-Pounds).

Remington Arms's ammunition division loaded a reduced-power .44 Magnum round several years ago, but it's no longer offered. IIRC, it threw a 240-grain (that's 15.5 grams, for those of you who are fans of the Metric system  ;)) cast lead bullet at about 1000 Feet Per Second (305 Meters Per Second), which yielded  533 Foot-Pounds of muzzle energy--roughly two and one-half times the muzzle energy of the standard .38 Smith & Wesson Special police duty load in use at the time (158-grain (10.2 gram) bullet at 755 Feet Per Second (230 Meters Per Second),  yielding 200 Foot-Pounds of muzzle energy), and only slightly less powerful than the standard .357 Magnum police duty load in use at the time (see above).

Another problem with that idea is that the .44 Magnum load that I just mentioned didn't come out until about 1980 or so--well after the 1971 release of  DIRTY HARRY[/i].

The Seventh Edition of CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD, published in 1993 (I have a copy, and it's the source of all the ballistics information quoted above), lists a reduced-power .44 Magnum load in its entry for that cartridge (with the ballistics that I mentioned above), but does not identify the manufacturer.

Sorry if I rambled (I tend to do that), but I hope this helps. Also, please accept my sincere apology if I insulted you--unfortunately, I tend to bruise other people's egos when I'm trying to make a point.  :)

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:What was wrong with Indio in FAFDM?
« on: May 31, 2004, 08:25:49 AM »

Sorry about that. :(

To be honest, I didn't know about the novelization of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS[/i].

I read the novelization of FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE several years ago, and  A COFFIN FULL OF DOLLARS a few years before that, and I guess I just made an assumption. (First mistake. :))

Screaming Eagle: You're right. In addition to A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), Kurosawa's YOJIMBO (1961) was the inspiration for at least three other films that I know of--MAD MAX II: THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981), starring Mel Gibson; STEEL DAWN (1987), starring Patrick Swayze; and LAST MAN STANDING (1996), starring Bruce Willis.

Also, Kurosawa's other famous film, THE SEVEN SAMURAI[/i] (1954), has been the inspiration for several other films as well-- THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) (and its sequels, RETURN OF THE SEVEN (1966), GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1969), and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! (1972)), as well as a short-lived TV series (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1998)), and THE SEVEN MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS[/i] (1983).

--John Omohundro

Just wondering:

Did anyone else catch the goof with the money stolen from The Bank of El Paso by Indio's gang in FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE?

It's only on camera for a few seconds after Colonel Mortimer cracks the safe, but I believe that the banknotes which appeared briefly on camera were stamped "CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA".

Not unusual in  and of itself, except that the films were all set in the mid-1870s/early-1880s, and Confederate money was worthless to anyone except a currency collector after April 1865.

Funny how they'd make a mistake like that, especially since THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY wasn't filmed until later (it was the last one filmed, but the first one chronologically), and it was the only one of the three set during the Civil War.

--John Omohundro

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:What was wrong with Indio in FAFDM?
« on: May 30, 2004, 01:39:59 PM »

You're right.

Colonel Mortimer's sister did commit suicide--with Indio's revolver, I believe. He made the mistake of leaving it where she could get her hands on it. (Personally, I've always wondered why she didn't shoot *HIM*, but I guess it's because the movie would have ended too quickly.  :D)

Also--In the novelization by Joe Millard (who also did novelizations of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, and A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS[/i]--his version was called A COFFIN FULL OF DOLLARS--as well as the Gene Hackman/Oliver Reed film THE HUNTING PARTY[/i] ), there was an monologue by Colonel Mortimer just prior to his final showdown with Indio. It went something like this:

"I see you still have the watch, Indio. Like it? Remember how you got it? Think back--it was ten years ago. You'd just gotten out of prison. There were two people in the house you picked to rob-- a young man, murdered by you on his honeymoon, and a young woman, ravaged and dead by her own hand on her wedding night. She liked my watch so much that I commissioned a duplicate for her to give her husband as a gift. You didn't give either one of them much time to enjoy it, did you?"

Of course, that explains Colonel Mortimer's motivation--REVENGE. For him, bounty hunting was merely a means to an end--he knew that, if he kept hunting criminals for a living, he'd eventually find the one he sought, unless someone else caught him first.

--John Omohundro

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Rifle in Joe Kidd
« on: May 28, 2004, 03:26:12 PM »

Just thought you'd like to know--

I looked up ALL THREE of the rifles I mentioned  as possibilities for Mingo's weapon on earlier--that is, the Remington-Keene and Remington-Lee rifles  (under "Remington Rifles--Pre-1899") and the Winchester Hotchkiss (under "Winchester rifles--Pre-1899"), and none of them seemed to match the rifle used by James Wainwright in the film.

--John Omohundro

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:What was wrong with Indio in FAFDM?
« on: May 28, 2004, 03:20:55 PM »

Um, I believe the young lady who was raped and murdered in the flashbacks was COLONEL MORTIMER'S sister.

Remember the exchange at the end (please forgive me if I'm not dead-on with the quotations, as it's been quite a while since I last saw the film):

Manco: "There seems to be a resemblance."

Colonel Mortimer: "Naturally, between BROTHER AND SISTER."

Although the film didn't go into it, the novelization of FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, by Joe Millard, hinted that Indio had somehow interrupted Colonel Mortimer's sister on her honeymoon. She'd liked his pocket watch so much that he'd commissioned the maker to build a duplicate, which he'd then given to her to give to his new brother-in-law (the young man killed by Indio in the flashback) as a wedding gift.

As we all saw in the film, she'd just given it to him when Indio burst in on them, and the rest is familiar to anyone who has seen the film.

Also: Regarding Indio's periods of "zoning out"-- I'm not a mental health expert, but I recall reading that certain forms of mental illness are prone to "fugue" states; that is, the afflicted individual enters a trancelike state in which he/she is unresponsive to most forms of external stimuli.

IIRC, Indio snapped out of his trance only when another member of his gang called his name, tapped him on the shoulder, or both. If so, he might have been suffering from such a condition.

--John Omohundro

Questions & Answers / Re:his .45 Win. Mag Pistol ?
« on: March 08, 2004, 02:24:10 PM »

Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE.  ;)

Seriously, though, you're QUITE welcome. It was my pleasure, and I'm glad I could be of service.

Nice to know that all of the "useless trivia" which I can't seem to forget (blame it on a misspent youth; I read a lot, because I wasn't very disposed towards physical activities, i.e., sports and such, when I was younger) isn't ALWAYS useless....

--John Omohundro

Questions & Answers / Re:What was wrong with Lightfoot?
« on: March 08, 2004, 02:20:08 PM »
Thanks, KC!  :)

I know we've never met (face-to-face, anyway   ;)), but I do appreciate the sentiment in your kind remarks.


Questions & Answers / Re:his .45 Win. Mag Pistol ?
« on: March 05, 2004, 07:09:35 PM »

The film in question was the fourth of the (currently) five films in the DIRTY HARRY[/i] series, 1983's SUDDEN IMPACT.

Incidentally, the weapon was NOT a .45 Winchester Magnum. It was a .44 AutoMag, built out of parts left over from the original production run by Arcadia Machine & Tool (AMT) of California. (To the best of my knowledge, the only film to use anything resembling a .45 WinMag was 1985's DEATH WISH 3[/i], starring the late Charles Bronson. In that film, he carried a modified Wildey automatic pistol, chambered for a proprietary (i.e., available from no other manufacturer) cartridge called the .475 Wildey Magnum.)

There were actually TWO pistols used in the film, both .44 AMP caliber with 8.5" barrels. The first weapon, known as "CLINT 1", was set up for LIVE ammunition,  and was used in the sequence when Harry and Detective Horace King (the late Albert Popwell) did a little target shooting while they were discussing whether or not Harry was going to resign from the SFPD.
The second gun, known as "CLINT 2", was modified to fire blank cartridges, and was used by Mr. Eastwood, as Harry, in his final confrontation with Mick (Paul Drake).

Incidentally, if you can find a copy of it, GUNS & AMMO[/i] magazine had a cover article on the two pistols I just mentioned in their June, 1984 issue.

Hope this answers your questions. :)

Questions & Answers / Re:What was wrong with Lightfoot?
« on: March 05, 2004, 02:11:28 PM »

Not being a doctor, I can't be entirely certain, but it's also possible that Lightfoot could have suffered what is referred to as a contre-coup  injury (also known as a coup-contre coup injury), by the medical profession. That's a particularly severe form of brain injury which occurs as the result of the direct application of force to the head, which is what would have happened to Lightfoot when Red Leary (George Kennedy) kicked him in the head.

Essentially, what happens with this type of injury is that the brain suffers TWO forms of injury: the initial injury itself, or the coup, in the area where the original blow was struck, and the secondary injury,  or contre-coup, which occurs when the area of the brain opposite the part of the skull that sustained the impact is damaged, because the victim's brain literally bounced off of the inside of his skull as a result of the blow.

Judging by the gradual deterioration of Lightfoot's coordination and the slurring of his speech, I would guess that his brain's speech center and motor control center (the part that regulates voluntary motion and coordination, i.e., walking and such) were affected first, followed by the gradual deterioration of his involuntary actions (heartbeat, breathing, etc.) as his brainstem or medulla oblongata (the areas of the brain that control such things) were affected by the injury, which led to his death.

The effect could have been caused by internal hemorrhaging into the brain itself, or by swelling of the injured area as a result of the initial impact, which could bring about death as a result of incresed pressure on the medulla oblongata or brainstem. Either one is a possibility with that type of brain injury. The effect would be similar to that of a massive cerebral hemorrhage, as Matt mentioned in his post, but would be the result of an externally-applied force, whereas cerebral hemorrhages are usually--but not always--triggered by natural causes, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or arteriosclerosis.

At any rate, if that was the type of head injury that Lightfoot received, he was pretty much done for. The normal remedy for such an injury is emergency brain surgery to relieve the pressure and repair as much damage as is possible (i.e., stopping any bleeding), as well as drug treatments to reduce the swelling of the brain itself. I believe that such procedures, while advanced, were available in 1974 (when the film was made).  

I myself underwent surgery for what could be called "a hereditary closed-head brain injury" only 2 years later (I'm hydrocephalic--look it up if you're curious, because the explanation is rather complicated--and I've had between 15 and 20 surgeries for it, starting when I was about 2 years old (I'll be 40 on May 30 of this year)). However, I'm not certain whether Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood) could have gotten his partner to a hospital in time, even had he realized what was happening to him (and besides, Lightfoot's death was part of the script  ;)).

Hope this answers your question.

--John Omohundro

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:A Question about Joe Kidd
« on: February 24, 2004, 11:44:29 AM »
I'm not an expert on cowboy lore, but I read just about every Louis L'Amour novel I could get my hands on when I was younger. ;D
(That ought to count for something... :))

I don't recall exactly where I read it, but a "one-loop outfit" is, I believe, Western (cowboy) slang for a ranch that was small enough for one man to work on his own, or with a few hired hands to help him.

Also, while I originally thought that "the Big Wash" referred to the Wa$#!ta or Ouachita Rivers, I now realize that this isn't likely, as JOE KIDD takes place in New Mexico.

The Wa$#!ta River flows eastward for approximately 35 miles, from southeastern Roberts County, Texas, through southern Hemphill County, and enters Roger Mills County, Oklahoma.

Similarly, the Ouachita River begins in Camden, Arkansas, and flows in a more or less southerly direction for approximately 335 miles until it joins with the Tensas River near Jonesville, Lousiana, and becomes the Black River for the last 40 miles or so of its length, until it meets the Red River.

However, I did turn up something in WEBSTER'S NINTH NEW COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY[/i] . According to them, a "wash", in Western slang, is "the dry bed of a stream--called also dry wash".

Is it possible that the phrase "...the big wash...", used by Robert Duvall in the role of Frank Harlan, refers not to a specific body of water or area, but rather to the fact that Kidd's ranch is located in the vicinity of a large stream, or possibly a river, that has either been dry for quite some time, i.e., that only fills up during the rainy season (likely in a state such as New Mexico), or else that the aforementioned body of water has always been dry--that is, that it hasn't held water within the lifetimes of the current inhabitants of the area?

Just asking. :)

Questions & Answers / Re:Movie Clint dies in?
« on: January 15, 2004, 08:07:03 PM »
I wish that I COULD remember, KC!

I'm reasonably certain that it's true, but I can't prove it because I haven't any supporting information.

Good thing I'm not a lawyer and this isn't a court case, isn't it? :)


Questions & Answers / Re:Movie Clint dies in?
« on: January 15, 2004, 10:49:53 AM »

I'm not certain if this is true, but I seem to recall reading that THE GAUNTLET[/i] (1977) was originally supposed to be the FOURTH and FINAL film in the DIRTY HARRY series, and that the main character was supposed to die at the end.

However, somebody made a last-minute script change, probably because Warner Brothers didn't want to kill off one of their longest-running film series just yet, and the lead character's name was changed to "Ben Shockley", with the location being changed to the Phoenix, AZ area.
A further revision was made just before the final scene was filmed. Somebody evidently remembered that the films in which Clint's characters "die" on-screen aren't very popular with his core audience, so they changed the final confrontation with Police Commissioner Blakelock (the late William Prince) so that Shockley would be badly wounded (multiple gunshot wounds), but would survive.

--John Omohundro

General Discussion / Re:The Gauntlet Revolver
« on: January 09, 2004, 06:59:10 AM »

According to the Blue Book of Gun Values, Twenty-First Edition, by S.P. Fjestad, the Smith & Wesson Model 657 was introduced in 1986, nine years AFTER the release of THE GAUNTLET.

I'm not certain, but I think the revolver in question was, as you said, a Smith & Wesson  Model 66 .357 Magnum with a 2.5" barrel.

Another possibility would be one of the custom short-barrelled heavy magnums that were developed by several custom shops (such as the various modifications of the Model  29 .44 Magnum with 2.5" or 3" barrel and a rounded-off butt), but I think that those are also more recent developments.

The same book lists the stainless-steel Model 629 .44 Magnum as new in 1978, although the 100 or so revolvers made that year were listed as "pre-production" models, i.e., they were, in essence, hand-made. There was a variant called the "Lew Horton Special" (after a famous distributor of sporting goods) which had a 3" barrel and a rounded-off butt. It's possible that Eastwood, as "Ben Shockley", was carrying one of these. (Unfortunately, the Blue Book of Gun Values, Twenty-First Edition[/i], which I mentioned above, doesn't give a year of introduction for that model.)

--John Omohundro

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Basis for "Joe Kidd" ?
« on: January 06, 2004, 08:23:38 PM »
Oh, well...

I just looked at Elmore Leonard's Website, , and it seems that JOE KIDD was based upon an original screenplay, and was NEVER a novel.



Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Basis for "Joe Kidd" ?
« on: January 06, 2004, 03:35:25 PM »
Thanks, Agent!

I think I'll do that!


Clint Eastwood Westerns / Basis for "Joe Kidd" ?
« on: January 06, 2004, 01:57:10 PM »
Hello, all!

I was looking at on-line reviews of some of Clint's older films, and a reviewer at, the on-line bookstore, claims that JOE KIDD[/i] was based upon a book by Elmore Leonard.

I have the film on VHS videotape, and I know that he wrote the screenplay. I have also read that the original  title of the film was SINOLA[/i], after the nonexistent town in the New Mexico Territory where at least part of it took place. (Someone has a screenplay for JOE KIDD[/i]  on sale at, and mentions that SINOLA[/i] was the original "working title", but I'm not willing to pay their asking price of $200-plus.) However, I wasn't aware that there was a book from which the film was adapted.

Would anyone out there happen to know what the title of the aforementioned book might be?

--John Omohundro

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Rifle in Joe Kidd
« on: January 04, 2004, 06:44:54 PM »

Like you, I've been trying to identify the two rifles used in that sequence for YEARS--practically since the time I first saw the film, approximately 20 years ago.

I've no SPECIFIC information on that subject, but from its appearance, I think the rifle in question was a sporterized Mauser military rifle of some sort. In fact, if you look closely at the rifle in the scene in which it's actually FIRED, you'll notice that it has a military-style tangent rear sight just in front of the forward mount base for the telescopic sight. The scope MAY be a Lyman Model 5-A or Winchester Model A-5 (they were virtually identical, the second being essentially a license-built copy of the first), which was a fixed-power 4-power scope with external adjustments made during the 1950s (a rather obvious error in a film supposedly taking place in the New Mexico Territory at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th Century). However, if it WAS one of those two designs, then someone either (A) MOUNTED THE SCOPE BACKWARDS, or (B) REVERSED THE SCOPE IN THE MOUNTS, because the windage and elevation adjustments were ON THE LEFT SIDE and TOP (respectively) of the FORWARD mount. Normally, they'd be on the REAR mount, with the windage adjustment to the RIGHT.

As far as caliber, I'm not certain--the 6 X 57 mm Mauser (which appeared in 1895),  the 6.5 X 54mm Mauser (which appeared around 1900), the 6.5 X 57mm Mauser (which appeared in 1893-94),  the 7 X 57mm Mauser (.275 if you're British, which appeared in 1892-93),  the 8 X 57mm Mauser (the original 1888 loading with the .318"-diameter bullet, NOT the .323"-diameter variant which replaced that load in 1905), the 9 X 57mm Mauser (which appeared sometime after the introduction of its parent 8 X 57mm in 1888), and the the 9.3 X 57mm Mauser (which dates to around 1900),  are all possibilities. The weapon could just as easily have been chambered for any one of several early rimless or semi-rimmed American or English sporting or military cartridges of the day.

We all know that Hollyweird (no, that WASN'T a typo  ;)) rarely uses period-correct weapons in films unless someone involved with the project is almost OBSESSIVE when it comes to historical accuracy, but JOE KIDD[/i] appears to be an exception. The only major gaffe I noticed in that film (aside from the possible error noted above with the other rifle's telescopic sight; that is, a 1950's telescopic sight in a film set around the beginning of the 20th Century :)) was that the rifle used by Robert Duvall, in his role as "Frank Harlan", was a Savage Model 1899--okay for a film set in 1900 or so, EXCEPT THAT[/i] the weapon had a MODERN[/i] telescopic sight with internal adjustments. I'm not exactly certain as to the date, but I don't believe those came into general use until a few years prior to the beginning of World War I (August, 1914). I think it was about 1910 or so, which was approximately a decade after the events depicted in the film.

Mingo's rifle is more difficult. I think it was either a Remington-Keene (a .45-70 bolt-action, external-hammer design that appeared in 1869) {a scoped Remington-Keene was used by actor Brad Johnson in the role of professional killer "Beau Dorn" in the 2001 made-for-cable-TV Western CROSSFIRE TRAIL [/i], adapted from the Louis L'Amour novel of the same name and starring Tom Selleck} or a Winchester Hotchkiss (also a .45-70 bolt-action, but a more traditional striker-fired design that first appeared around 10 years after the Remington-Keene). Both were tubular-magazine designs, with the Remington-Keene's magazine being under the barrel, and the Winchester Hotchkiss feeding from a magazine in the butt, accessible through a small loading gate in the stock--a practice later carried over into several early .22 rimfire repeating rifles. The Remington-Lee, a striker-fired, bolt-action .45-70 which fed from a BOX magazine below the receiver (unusual for its day), is also a possibility, as it first appeared in 1879. Both the Remington-Keene and the Winchester Hotchkiss were designed as military rifles, but there were sporting versions of them as well. The Remington-Lee, however, was strictly a military weapon, being tested by the U.S. Navy in 1879, the Army in 1882, and finally adopted by the Navy as an official service rifle in 1885.

To be honest, I haven't the faintest idea what sort of telescopic sight was used, though; the rifle isn't on screen long enough to examine it in any real detail. All I know is that it was a long-eye-relief model, as it was mounted FORWARD of the rifle's action, instead of on the receiver, as was the case in the rifle used by Clint in the role of "Joe Kidd".

Hope this helps.

--John Omohundro

General Discussion / Re:Clint's "-handedness" (right-, left- ? both?)
« on: January 03, 2004, 05:56:42 AM »
Thanks, KC.

I must confess that I didn't know that!

That Mr. Eastwood was left-handed, I mean. (Guess I never paid attention when he used a pen or pencil onscreen.  ;))

Although I've watched many of his films and followed his career faithfully since I was about 10 years old, I must admit that I've never read much in the way of biographical information about him--apart from stuff published in film industry magazines and such.

Incidentally, my brother James and I (we're identical twins) are both southpaws, and we both wear glasses. He shoots left-handed; I shoot right-handed. His dominant eye is his left; mine is my right.

Also: one of my Dad's friends was like Mr. Eastwood in that regard. They both grew up in an era when people thought there was something "WRONG" with being left-handed. My dad's friend wen't through the same "forced re-education" as Mr. Eastwood. As a result, from approximately his mid-teens until the day he passed away 30 or more years ago (I was only a child at the time, and my memory has never been good when it comes to dates), he was functionally ambidextrous--something which served him well in his chosen profession. (He was a gunsmith--that is, he built and repaired firearms (mostly rifles) for a living.)


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