Clint Eastwood escapes more than 8,000 rounds in The Gauntlet

The Gaunlet used more than 8,000 rounds for the climactic shoot-out scene

I am going old school and diving into my extensive DVD collection. The Gaunlet was my pick for the night. I love the Frank Frazetta movie poster commissioned for the movie. This is not a Dirty Harry movie. Clint Eastwood plays Ben Shockley, an alcoholic cop from Phoenix who is given the task to escort witness Augustina “Gus” Mally from Las Vegas to Phoenix.

Clint Eastwood was full-throttle as an action hero in 1977. We are ready to suspend our disbelief that a sniper in a helicopter is unable to shoot a lone motorcycle with Clint Eastwood and his prisoner in plain sight on a desert road with no other vehicles around. The shooter only manages to hit the bike’s engine before the helicopter is snarled into electrical wires and explodes. Clint comes out unscathed.

Clint Eastwood in The Gauntlet

The main sequence of the movie comes at the end when a bus is hailed by a barrage of bullets that are not able to stop the bus. The cops must have emptied the arsenal of bullets. Bullets hailed from rooftops and street level, but nobody shot the tires to slow down the bus. Clint gets a pass for this one. I love this movie. Only Clint can get a whole army of cops to shoot at him and come out alive. This must be the most bullets shot at Clint in any movie. More than 8,000 rounds were used for the climactic shoot-out scene. This is without the house being shot at in the beginning with Clint inside it. The house came toppling down without one single bullet hitting Clint’s character.

Clint Eastwood in The Gauntlet

I can go anywhere I please if I have reasonable suspicion. Now if I have a suspicion a felony’s been committed, I can just walk right in here anytime I feel like it, ’cause I got this badge, I got this gun, and I got the love of Jesus right here in my pretty green eyes.

“The Gauntlet” will no doubt be attacked in various quarters because of its violence, but it’s a harmless, pop-art type of violence, often with a comic quality. The wall of gunfire during the final bus ride up the steps of the Hall of Justice, for example, is an extravaganza of sound and action during which, incredibly, no one is killed. Eastwood himself fires his pistol only twice: once at a door, and once at a gas tank.

Overview
Ben Shockley is an alcoholic cop whose career is going nowhere when he is assigned to bring back a witness named Gus Malley from Las Vegas. When he gets to Vegas, he finds that Gus is a college-educated prostitute who is supposed to testify in a mob trial. She tells Shockley the chances of her making it to trial are slim because the mob has a hit out on them both. Unable to get help from his own department due to a mob informant, the two hijack a bus and turn it into a moving fortress. They must get past an army of police to get back to Vegas so that Malley can testify.