Review: ‘Handgun’

Handgun takes a subject which is the stuff of exploitation and steers it towards social commentary. The result is an intelligent analysis of the political and sexual values of male society in Texas.

Handgun takes a subject which is the stuff of exploitation and steers it towards social commentary. The result is an intelligent analysis of the political and sexual values of male society in Texas.

Pic is cast in three chapters that follow the maturing of a pretty young girl who goes to the midwest to teach history after a protected Catholic upbringing in Boston. She’s just too soft to counter the approaches of a macho attorney who’s obsessed with guns and hunting. It’s only when he decides to have his own way with her that she realizes what she’s up against.

Karen Young is sharp in her depiction of a nervy girl whose eyes are slowly opened. And Clayton Day plays all the subtleties of a decent chap who, nevertheless, has swallowed whole a value system that debases women and seeks to protect its integrity through violent confrontation.

Handgun

UK

Production

Kestrel. Dir Tony Garnett; Producer Tony Garnett; Screenplay Tony Garnett; Camera Charles Stewart; Editor William Shapter; Music Mike Post Art Dir Lilly Kilvert

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Karen Young Clayton Day Suzie Humphreys Helena Humann Ben Jones
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