Throwback Thursday: "The Usual Suspects" Gun

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posted on December 24, 2020
keyser-sozes-smith.jpg
"Keaton always said, 'I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.' Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze." — Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects

Let's face it: Not many movies can offer the same shocks and excitement after 23 years that they did on their first release...and, unfortunately, sometimes it's the most popular movies that don't stand up to the test of time. Between subsequent parodies and homages (some of which can border on plagiarism), even the highest-quality films can seem a bit hackneyed after two decades. Fortunately, that does not hold true for the 1994 noir hit The Usual Suspects...nor for the gun featured in today's #Throwback Thursday. 

The gun, a semi-automatic Smith & Wesson 6909 chambered in 9mm, appears on screen only briefly...and most viewers will find themselves focusing on the person who is holding it, the enigmatic Keyser Soze. His face is never shown in the scene, because the identity of the bête noire is being withheld from the police interviewer, the audience and, in fact, all of the film's actors. Each one of the stars of the movie had been led to believe that he was playing Soze; it was only when the movie was first screened for the actors that they realized who Soze was.

The 6900 series of Smith & Wesson pistols proved quite popular as movie props during the last decade of the 20th century and, to a certain extent, the first decade of the 21st. Similar models were featured in Speed, Heat, Batman Begins, Reservoir Dogs and The World Is Not Enough

The movie, which regularly makes "Top Movies of All Time" lists and won two Oscars, stands up to watch after re-watch, with new details leaping out at the viewer each time. The film does have an "R" rating, thanks to language and violence; however, the the Smith & Wesson 6909 we're highlighting today, as well as all of the others in the "Hollywood Guns" display at the NRA National Firearms Museum, definitely counts as family-friendly entertainment. The Museum is open 364 days a year, except Christmas Day, and is free of charge.

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