Whisky in the Jar / The Brothers Four Many versions of the great folk song.
This one is good.
Westerns have guns. Lotsa guns.
In fact, along with horses, it’s questionable whether it’s really a Western
if it doesn’t have guns in it. Or even worth watching.
Yet I don’t often profile Guns in the Westerns anymore. I stopped.
Not for Political, Social or Spiritual reasons. But because most Westerns use the same guns.
Over and over.
It just became redundant. Ben Hall, however, has a few new (old) Guns that I’ve never seen before.
Let’s check ’em out.
Firstly, you might be wondering why Ben and his friends are bristling with a rather large number of firearms.
There was a good reason.
This was the Cap and Ball era. Pre-cartridge.
Re-loading was a timely exercise – very impractical during a fight.
Solution: carry lots of guns.
I’ll cover Cap and Ball loading and Bullet Making in my next post.
Below: One of Ben’s revolvers: 1856 Tranter .38 caliber, double trigger, five shot, percussion revolver. A revolver of this make was found with Ben Hall at the Billabong where he was killed.
Here’s it’s Cap and Ball Gun Kit.
1856 Tranter .38 caliber, double trigger, five shot, percussion revolver gun kit. Unlikely Ben toted a kit around – but he definitely had all these tools.
May I now confess that I am no gun expert?
I cannot identify everything in this kit.
Though I was in the Calgary Highlanders Militia
and did a lot of shooting when I was kid, I don’t even own a gun now – of any kind.
And haven’t shot one in a long – except in computer games (Where I’m an expert).
Those of you out there who can ID the items in the kit please step forward.
There’s no reward, but I’ll be grateful.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of your guns was essential.
Otherwise jamming, misfires, fouling and other evils could occur.
Another of Ben’s revolvers:
Most of the gun images are from:
Ben Hall Gallery
Stunning Soundtrack by Ronnie Minder. Haunting and powerful.
There’s lots of posters for The Legend of Ben Hall. But I discovered that some are made by fans.
If so, they’re damn good. I’m certain there’s no intention at deception. They just liked the movie.
I’ve created more than a few images myself for other Westerns that are circulating around the net.
I hope people like and enjoy them. Just for fun.
The third of the Preview Trailer of The Legend of Ben Hall:
‘6 out of 10’? I don’t agree. But I’m often not in agreement with Critics.
I wouldn’t say that The Legend of Ben Hall is a Western Classic. But it’s a damn good Western and a well made Movie.
And I’ll watch it again. As I said, I think the average Western Fan would appreciate it.
Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is probably the foremost Movie site on the Net. And it has a lot of good features.
One thing it doesn’t have though (that Rotten Tomatoes does) is an Audience Score.
Which I think is definitely important.
Below you can see why:
The Audience liked The Legend of Ben Hall. “79%“.
That’s a 30% difference with the Critics!!!
Myself I rate it 8 out of 10. 80% The Audience and I agree!
I’ve been trying to get hold of this movie for months.
Back in May I did a post called “6 New Westerns” and did a small preview of each. The Legend of Ben Hall was not new however – it had come out in 2016, but I hadn’t heard of it before.
My gut feeling was that this was a pretty good Western and Western fans would probably like it.
I found it to be a quality production all the way around.
Wikipedia says: “Bushrangers were originally escaped convicts in the early years of the British settlement of Australia who had the survival skills necessary to use the Australianbush as a refuge to hide from the authorities. By the 1820s, the term “bushranger” had evolved to refer to those who abandoned social rights and privileges to take up “robbery under arms” as a way of life, using the bush as their base. Most were simply criminals and thieves.”
In the American Western we’d call these guys Outlaws.
BUT an Outlaw seems to be something different in the eyes of Australians.
Their distinction seems to be that you wouldn’t be referred to as an Outlaw until you had murdered someone.
Then, if caught, you would be hung. Prior to that it seems you could commit
almost any kind of skullduggery and would be jailed/imprisoned instead.
Though I’m sure the prisons of those days might have been worse than death.
The Legend of Ben Hall does not sugar coat Bushrangers. Ben Hall is not portrayed as a Hero.
And, at times, this is not a comfortable movie to watch.
A series of misfortunes forced him into the life of crime.
And according to this film it was a life of deep regret.
Despite being a Bushranger, Ben Hall definitely had certain lines he would never cross. Killing a man of one of these. And it’s believed that he never did.
A hell of story.
I couldn’t guess what the life expectancy of your average Bushranger might be.
But it was not likely very high.