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Film / Six Shooter

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Surprisingly, not a Cymbal-Banging Monkey

Six Shooter is a 2004 short film (27 minutes) directed by Martin McDonagh, starring Brendan Gleeson.

The film opens with a man named Donnelly (Gleeson) being told that his wife died. Donnelly leaves the hospital and boards a train for the ride home. He sits across from a foul-mouthed and garrulous young man (Rúaidhrí Conroy) who will not stop with his endless stream of obscenities. While Donnelly seems amused in spite of himself, the young man's foul talk antagonizes the only other passengers in the car, a married couple who have just lost their infant son to a "crib death." Tragedy ensues, followed by a surprising twist.

No connection to The Six Shooter radio drama.


  • Black Comedy: A gory and violent story Played for Laughs and farce throughout.
  • Bloody Hilarious:
    • The young man's ridiculous story of the cow with "trapped wind", which ends with the cow literally exploding, sending beef flying everywhere.
    • The young man's jump of surprise after the woman thumps against the outside of his window leaving a smear of blood (she's just leapt from the train) is funny.
    • Then there's the rather absurd shot of Donnelly holding his headless rabbit after the gunshot takes its head clean off.
  • Downer Beginning: The first line of dialogue has Donnelly, in the hospital, being told his wife died at 3 a.m.
  • Driven to Suicide: The young man's cruel jokes about how the mother must have killed her ugly baby lead to the mother jumping from the train to her death.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: "I don't believe in God. Not no more." So says Donnelly, grieving for his wife.
  • Farts on Fire: The young man tells a silly but supposedly true story of a cow swelling up from trapped flatulence, and how a bystander stabbed the cow with a screwdriver to vent the methane. That worked, but when the bystander made the major mistake of lighting the methane venting from the cow, the cow blows up. The young man calls it "the greatest moment of me life."
  • Foreshadowing: The doctor's comments in the opening scene about having had to deal with "a couple" of crib deaths as well as a woman getting her head blown off, the young man's comments about how he finds it amazing that parents don't kill their children, the young man revealing that his mother was murdered the previous night, and the cop's "don't I know you?" question to the young man. Turns out the young man was responsible for all the deaths, and the police were already looking for him.
  • Guns Akimbo: The young man pulls out two revolvers and fires off both of them at the cops waiting outside the train.
  • Motor Mouth: The young man keeps up a constant stream of talk throughout the film.
  • Nameless Narrative: Not quite—Gleeson's character is addressed as "Mr. Donnelly" in the opening scene but no other names are used.
  • No Ending: Donelly attempts to shoot himself in the head after shooting his pet rabbit, but he accidentally drops the gun, which fires. The last shot is of him sitting there.
    Donelly: "Jesus. What a fuckin' day..."
  • One Bullet Left: Donnelly comes home with the gun he stole off of the young man. He opens it up and sees that there are exactly two bullets left. Then he realizes something has to be done about his pet rabbit.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Donnelly and the young man after the young man is filled full of lead and crumples to the floor.
  • Police Are Useless: So, Donnelly got away with one of the guns, hm? The police, who saw the young man wielding Guns Akimbo, didn't notice that one gun was absent?
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The young man is given to this, like when he goes on a spiel about how tall people can't be jockeys.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Approximately every fifth word from the young man's mouth is a swear word.
  • Twist Ending: The young man, who is exceedingly foul-mouthed and obnoxious but seems generally unremarkable, turns out to be a Serial Killer that murdered at least two babies as well as his own mother.