The other day, I was looking at the list of John Wayne's films on the IMDb and my eye stopped on an unknown title. I thought I had seen all of the Duke’s pictures. But there was one listed from 1970 that not only had I never seen, but also had never heard of.
Wedged between “The Undefeated,” from 1969, and “Chisum,” from 1970, was “This Little Bullet.”
On the page for the film, the IMDb noted it was an 88-minute American movie.
But, reading further, I learned “This Little Bullet” was not a John Wayne western. Nor was it a contemporary cop film, like the ones he made late in his career like “McQ” from 1974 and “Brannigan” from 1975.
In fact, it wasn’t a John Wayne movie at all.
It was an 18-minute gun-safety film featuring Wayne and produced by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
John Wayne, wearing a cowboy hat, western clothes and holding a rifle, introduces the subject which he then turns over to a shooting instructor. The instructor, Jack Ellison of the Arizona Firearms Safety Program, then runs through several demonstrations. Wayne comments on the demonstrations and warns of the power and destructiveness of one little bullet. He returns at the end for some parting comments.
This little film is packaged with two other safety films in a DVD, which must account for the 88-minute running time.
A viewer on YouTube remembered “This Little Bullet” being shown in schools throughout Arizona.
No matter which side of the gun debate you come down on, this safety film, and John Wayne’s presence in it, is worth a look.
And – because the makers of instructional and corporate films rarely get any recognition – the film was directed and edited by Wes Keyes; written by Bob Hernbrode; photographed by Davd Daughtry; and had Dale Dundas as technical advisor.
(For more posts on film and television, check out Todd Mason’s blog.)