KPCC Radio's Washington correspondent Kitty Felde takes a tour of the Hollywood Guns exhibit:
Famous guns of Hollywood spotlighted at NRA museum
The Coen Brothers' “True Grit" is up for the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday. It's the only one of the 10 nominees that’s a real “shoot ‘em up” flick. At The National Rifle Association’s National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va.,
you can see a vast collection of famous Hollywood guns, including the Winchester used in the 1969 "True Grit" movie.
What would a western be without a repeating rifle?
Curly: "I’ll take the Winchester."
Ringo: "You might need me and this Winchester, Curly."
John Wayne’s Ringo Kid starred in the 1939 classic “Stagecoach.” So did that 1892 Winchester rifle.
(National) Firearms Museum director Jim Supica says the Winchester is a favorite of Hollywood prop guys – it’s available, it’s reliable and it easily shoots the blanks needed for movies. But Supica says Wayne’s Winchesters were specially crafted.
"The thing that he did with his that made it very unique," says Supica, "was he made an extra large loop on that lever. Now, he was a big man, he had big hands, and also a signature move that he initiated in 'Stagecoach' was the spinning of the rifle to cock it."
It was a move “The Duke” used with the same rifle 30 years later in the role that won him his only Academy Award: the aging lawman Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit.”
Read more about Kitty's visit to the museum here.