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They Gave Him a Gun

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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They Gave Him a Gun
Movie Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by W. S. Van Dyke
Release Date March 17, 1937
Language English
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Main Cast
Character Actor
Fred P. Willis Spencer Tracy
James 'Jimmy' Davis Franchot Tone
Rose Duffy Gladys George
Sgt. Meadowlark Edgar Dearing
Lieutenant Francis X. Bushman Jr.

They Gave Him a Gun is a 1937 movie directed by W. S. Van Dyke. Jimmy, a shy guy, and Fred work at the circus who both have a crush on Rose Duffy. During World War I, Jimmy overcomes his fear and joins the army. After the war, he becomes a criminal. He marries Rose, but when she discovers that Jimmy is an outlaw, she makes sure he is arrested by the police. Rose can no longer make ends meet and take a job with Fred at the circus. Jimmy believes they are having an affair and escapes from prison to kill Fred.

The following weapons were used in the film They Gave Him a Gun:


Colt M1911

Sgt. Meadowlark (Edgar Dearing) can briefly be seen with a Colt M1911 pistol during his service during WWI. James 'Jimmy' Davis (Franchot Tone) make also use of an M1911 during the climax.

Colt M1911 - .45 ACP
Pinned down by German machine-gun fire, Sgt. Meadowlark holds his Colt.
Jimmy, freshly broken out of jail, fires at a searchlight tracking him.
The silhouette of the pistol seen in the foreground, as Rose begs him not to kill Fred..

Smith & Wesson Model 10

A Smith & Wesson Model 10-style revolver is seen with Police Officer Meadowlark at the end.

Smith & Wesson Model M&P Revolver with 4" barrel - .38 Special
Meadowlark makes his way to James' hiding place.
His revolver is seen on the left.

Submachine Guns

M1921 Thompson

One of the Prison guards is seen firing an M1921 Thompson. Later on, some Policemen are also armed with Thompson submachine guns.

Colt M1921AC Thompson with 50-round drum magazine - .45 ACP
The prison guards opens fire at the fleeing prisoners.
A police officer holds James at gunpoint.
The same officer with his Thompson.


Winchester Model 1897

A police officer uses a Winchester Model 1897.

Winchester Model 1897 Riot Gun - 12 gauge
The police officer with his shotgun follows Meadowlark.
He opens fire at James.


Springfield M1903

The M1903 Springfield is seen during the basic training of Fred P. Willis (Spencer Tracy), James, and other U.S. doughboys.

Springfield M1903 Mk 1 - .30-06 Springfield
Fred, James along with other recruits marching with Springfields.
Sgt. Meadowlark tells James how to use the M1905 properly.
The empty fired Springfield of Fred while on the shooting range.
"You think we're going over soon, Fred?"
Fred: "Not a chance. Don't start thinking about... Say, what was you thinking anyway?"
James: "I don't know. Just a... It ain't much fun only shooting ... targets."

Enfield M1917

As the American Expedition Force (AEF) is in France, the M1917 Enfield is the most rifle used by U.S. soldiers including Fred and James.

Enfield M1917 - .30-06 Springfield
An Enfield in mid-air thrown away by a gunned down Doughboy. This scene could have served as a source of inspiration for the 2001 movie Enemy at the Gates where a Soviet soldier also dropped his Mosin-Nagant Rifle this way.
James taking cover behind a stone wall fires his rifle.
Fred and James ready themselves to attack the German position.
Fred with his Enfield while looking up at the bell tower.

Mauser Gewehr 1898

German infantrymen carry Gewehr 1898 rifles. James is seen with a captured Gewehr 98 while in the damaged church tower.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
German soldiers fire their Mausers at advancing Yanks.
James takes aim with his captured Gewehr in the bell tower.
"Yes, boys! The fun's over!"
He kills every single Maxim-gunner; even that one with hands up desperately yelling KAMERAD. Although, he shouted exactly the same to the dead German.
A promotional image shows Fred surrounded by German soldiers aiming their rifles at him.

Winchester Model 1892

What appears to be Winchester Model 1892 rifles are used by the Prison guards and some police officers at the end.

Winchester 1892 - .32WCF/.38-40/.44-40/.25-20
A view of the muzzle.
A row of Winchesters in the guard's armory.
Closer view of the lever-action.
The police officer on the right is also armed with a Winchester.

Machine Guns

Maxim MG 08

A Maxim MG08 is used by German soldiers.

Maxim MG 08 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Rear view of the firing Maxim machine gun suppressing American troops.
The gunner unjams his gun.
Another gunner tries to shoot at James.


10.5 cm leichte Feldhaubitze 16

A German 10.5 cm leFH 16 is seen during the opening titles operated by American soldiers. More of these howitzers are seen in the U.S. Army base.

Leichte Feldhaubitze 16 - 105x155mmR
The gun-crew prepares the howitzer.
The gun gets turned what offers of the view of the one-stepped barrel.
Front view before firing right in the camera.
Two leichte Feldhaubitzen in the American Training camp.

Canon de 75 mm mle. 1897

A more correct French Canon de 75 mm modèle 1897 is briefly seen used by American troops.

Canon 75 mm modèle 1897 - 75x350mmR

Stielhandgranate Mockup

A short scene of one German soldier throwing a Stielhandgranate Mockup is seen that is taken from the 1925 movie The Big Parade.

The soldier takes cover after throwing a stick grenade. A bunch of more grenades is seen behind him. The scene is played faster than in the previous film.

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