For more movie guns of Denzel Washington, go here Washington started his career with a bang and a small role in the WWII movie, A Soldier’s Story, and it was all uphill from there, with one of his early roles in the Civil War movie Glory earning him his first Oscar. Check out all the guns from the first stage of Denzel’s career below:
A Soldier’s Story (1984)
A Soldier’s Story is an adaptation of a Pulitzer-Prize winning play of the same name. It was directed by Norman Jewison and is set during WWII following an African-American military investigator who is assigned the case involving an African-American drill sergeant who may have been murdered by one of his recruits.
Washington plays PFC Peterson, who draws a Colt M1911 pistol during a confrontation while on guard duty. During the scene we get numerous good closeups of the pistol, making it easy to ID.
Washington, along with Adolph Caesar and William Allen Young also appeared in the play’s original Negro Ensemble Company off-Broadway theater production in New York City.
In 1989, Washington caught his first big role that catapulted him into the realm of lead Hollywood actor and into the exclusive Oscar-Winner club with his emotional portrayal of Pvt. Trip in Glory.
The movie recounts the formation of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War, which was the first all-black Union regiment to fight in the war.
In addition to Washington, Glory also stars Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman.
At one point, the men of the 54th receive a shipment of British-made Enfield 1853 rifles, which they use for the rest of the movie. The guns used in the movie were reproduction Enfield Pattern 1853s made by EuroArms, London Armoury. The guns are also seen being used by Confederate troops.
The guns are presented in the movie as having serial numbers, which original Enfields didn’t have. The reproduction is also of a variant that wasn’t brought into North American during the Civil War.
The Mighty Quinn (1989)
The same year that Glory hit theaters, a much lesser know movie of Denzel Washington’s also opened in theaters.
Named after a Bob Dylan song of the same name, Washington plays Xavier Quinn, a police officer who becomes embroiled in a plot involving his best friend, a briefcase full of $10,000 bills, and murder.
Quinn carries a Smith & Wesson Model 10 HB (heavy barrel) revolver in .38 Special. This isn early model, but made after the 1950s as it has a non-tapered barrel, which makes it easy to mistake for a .357 Magnum.
Later in the movie, Jose Patina (Alex Colon) is caught carrying a concealed Heckler & Koch P9S pistol fitted with a suppressor. Quinn fires the weapon into the wall near Patina’s head to interrogate him, and it is later used by CIA agent Miller (M. Emmet Walsh) to execute Patina.
There were a ton of thrillers released in the 1990s of all different flavors. Ricochet stands as an example of the more dark and hyperviolent variety with hard-R ratings that were popular at the time.
Washington plays Nick Styles, a former LAPD officer who becomes an ambitious city attorney after his very public apprehension of a notorious criminal, Earl Talbot Blake (John Lithgow) that was caught on video.
When Blake escapes from prison, Styles finds his life being secretly taken apart in various ways.
Blake is one of those ridiculously evil bad guys who is like a force of nature. For example, after his arrest, Blake makes a .22 zip gun out of a pen. He uses it to kill a parole board member during his own parole hearing.
During Blake’s arrest at the beginning of the movie in the carnival scene set in 1984, Styles draws his duty gun, a Smith & Wesson Model 15 revolver. Blake, who had just murdered several drug dealers, jumps out of a window and lands at Styles’ feet.
In an effort to distract Blake, Styles begins stripping off his uniform.
The stunt buys Styles the second he needs to draw his backup gun, a Beretta 950 Jetfire that he keeps holstered in the band of his jock strap. He shoots behind his back and hits Blake in the knee, causing him to drop his Ithaca 37 “Stakeout” shotgun.
In the present day, when Styles is working as an attorney, he has a Colt Official Police revolver. He pulls it when he thinks his children are threatened and points it at the suspected assailant.
Later in the film, Det. Larry Doyle (Kevin Pollak) chases Blake down with a Beretta 92F 9mm pistol. When he gets shot, he gives the gun to Styles, who empties a whole magazine at Blake, but misses.
Malcolm X (1992)
In 1992, Washington scored another nod from the Academy with a Best Actor nomination for his biopic portrayal of civil and human rights activist, Malcolm X. The film’s scope is sprawling, depicting the controversial leader’s early life and career as a small time gangster, his time in prison, and his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.
As many controversial people’s lives are, Malcom’s was punctuated by violence.
In his younger years, Malcolm is portrayed as a firebrand, and something of a loose cannon, willing to take crazy risks.
In one scene, Malcolm X (at the time, Malcolm “Red” Little) uses a Smith & Wesson Model 36 to play Russian roulette with Rudy (Roger Guenveur Smith).
The S&W Model 36 was chambered in .38 Special and held five shots, it was distinctive in that it was the company’s first revolver with a flat latch cylinder release.
A few months after initially receiving death threats, Malcolm’s house is firebombed. Here, we see Malcolm leading his family away from the burning house with an M1911 pistol in his hand. Earlier, we see him load the gun and chamber a round.
An M1911 is seen again at Malcom’s assassination.
After the death threats are first receive, Malcom is seen guarding his home while armed with an M2 Carbine with two magazines taped together jungle style. This scene is a reference to a famous photograph of the real Malcom X holding the same firearm.
The M2 Carbine was a select fire upgrade of the M1 Carbine that was developed late in WWII, in later 1944/early 1945—so late that it was never issued before Germany surrendered. They were common during the Korean War and were also used by the Army of The Republic of Vietnam.
In addition to firing in full auto, the M2 also came with a 30-round magazine.
The Pelican Brief (1993)
The Pelican Brief was part of a spate of moody thrillers with big name stars that came out in the 1990s, with plots that often involved some kind of cover-up or conspiracy. This one is based on a John Grisham novel by the same name about a young law student, Darby Shaw (Julie Roberts) and a Washington Herald reporter, Gray Grantham (Washington). Shaw writes a legal brief detailing her theory about by two Supreme Court Justices were assassinated.
When she gives her brief to her professor, Thomas Callahan, it gets to an FBI lawyer, who is subsequently killed. When assassins come for Darby, she goes into hiding and ends up getting assistance from Grantham, who is looking to expose the story.
There is a lot of running in this movie, but not too much action, though Washington does use one gun on screen.
While at his cabin, we see that Grantham keeps a Winchester 1894 lever action rifle at his cabin in the woods.