Saturday, November 28, 2020

“Prodigal Gun” [archived newspaper article]


The Akron Beacon

March 13,1967

Alex Cord is learning to speak Spanish so he can “talk to the pretty girls” when he arrives in Spain for his starring role in Albert Band’s “Prodigal Gun.” Alex, who will be playing with two experienced gunmen, Arthur Kennedy and Robert Ryan, isn’t leaving anything to chance. He is working daily in Hollywood with fast-draw champ, Thel Reed.

[submitted by Mike Hauss]


  1. The movie's title was later changed to "A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die" and also features Aldo Sambrell, Antonio Molino Rojo, Mario Brega, and Alberto Dell'Acqua. As for the Thell Reed story, I found it interesting although I don't think Thell would remember having trained Alex Cord for the movie. They probably used blanks and then live ammo for comparison. I will say this. Thell Reed shoulda been there at the "Rust" film set when a certain somebody killed a certain cinematographer and wounded the producer with a blank. Had Thell Reed been there, none of that woulda happened. Thell's daughter, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is NOT to blame for the death of Halyna Hutchins. I don't care what anyone else says. Yes, she was there but I think it was Alec Baldwin who mishandled the gun. The gun in question was a replica of a Colt Peacemaker revolver in .45 caliber. It was imported by EMF Firearms out of Santa Ana, California, and made by Pietta in Italy. David Halls, the other armorer on set besides Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, handed the gun to Alec Baldwin and told him that the gun was "cold", which is the correct terminology for an empty gun. However, the gun was "hot", which is the correct terminology for a loaded gun. There was also evidence that the armorer as well as several crew members were using live ammo in the guns for target practice. This is a big no no. Why? Because the crew was practicing fast draw at 70 yards with live ammo on everything from beer bottles to cans to even a dozen fruits. When it was Alec Baldwin's turn to fire the gun he had the misfortune of being told to point the gun at Halyna Hutchins. Whether or not he was told to fire remains unknown but still he fired the gun and what happened next was that both Hutchins and the producer, Joel Souza, were both hit and Hutchins later died. Like I said earlier, if Thell Reed had been there, none of that woulda happened because Thell has been in the business long enough to know whether or not live ammo should go into a gun prior to practicing fast draw on a target for a Western movie or any movie that involves a gun period. Stop blaming Thell's daughter for what happened. It's not her fault! It's the fault of both Alec Baldwin and David Halls. David handed Alec a loaded gun and Alec fired. Like I said, I don't know whether or not he was told to fire but nevertheless he fired. And before you sensitive snowflakes come on here and tell me that I have no right to post this, let me tell ya something. I will NOT respond to any hateful comments you make demanding that I take back what I'm now saying. And you shouldn't blame Hannah Reed for what happened. She was there, yes, but even SHE wanted to leave the set due to unfair conditions. Have you ever thought about that? Almost everybody that worked on the Western "Rust" left due to unsafe and uncomfortable situations. Hell, I'd leave too if I felt the atmosphere was too much. But don't come on here and tell me why I shouldn't defend Hannah. I know all about her father, Thell Reed. And I know all about his work. I have a photo of the four main characters from the movie "Tombstone". Do you wanna know who taught them how to shoot a single action revolver better than they could before? Thell Reed! So don't come on here and tell me Hannah is to blame. I won't allow it. Have a nice day. And Thell, if you're reading this, I understand.

  2. I must now provide you with an update. I just found out that the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, had no idea why there was live ammo on the set of the Western movie "Rust" but Reed said that by no means was live ammo supposed to be on the set. Like I said before, she is NOT to blame for what happened. I found out also that she said she originally DIDN'T want to work on "Rust' because of the unfair and uncomfortable situations but ended up doing so regardless. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, honey, if you're listening, I don't blame you. You didn't know about the live ammo being there but you knew it wasn't supposed to be there. You did the right thing by saying that. I agree with your father, Thell, that this was unfortunate. Hannah, it's not your fault. You would have never known there was live ammo on set unless you had seen it for yourself. And at first, you didn't even wanna work on the movie and I will accept that. I believe you more than I believe Alec Baldwin. Even your father, Thell Reed, believes you. Don't let the haters of "Fake News" get ya down. You are a well-respected armorer even if you are a female. Don't blame yourself for another person's actions. Please don't. You had no way of But Alec Baldwin did or at least he SHOULD have. Hannah, I feel for ya. And even I wish it never had happened. If there's anything that Thell Reed or myself can do, just let us know. I know this has been hard on you, but you'll get through it don't worry. And Hannah, one more thing. We love ya. So for anybody who thinks Hannah Gutierrez-Reed should NOT be defended, I say this. Go stick your head in a bucket. And leave it there. I told you before that I wouldn't respond to hate. But Hannah, don't worry. It will all pass. And you will feel better this I know and this I hope. From everyone around the world, thank you. Have a nice day.

  3. I also wanna add that it's been a long time since any news of the "Rust" incident has been posted. And I have one more thing to say before I sign off. Dear Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, please don't blame yourself. You didn't know there was live ammo on set until it was too late. I know you're scared. I would be too. But you are not a criminal. Yes, they may take away your right to handle firearms but they CAN'T deny your impact statement. Unless they felt you were at fault, they can't really say for sure. But Hannah, either way, I'm sorry. Even if they find you guilty, we still love ya. But I really don't think it's your fault. And I really don't think you'll be guilty. I just think the state of New Mexico wants to put you of out business so they can reward Alec Baldwin with hush money if he's found NOT guilty. But if he IS found guilty, I believe it will be your testimony against his. So Hannah please, don't blame yourself. If we have to defend you a million times we will. And to all the haters out there, go climb a tree. And one more thing. Hannah, if you're reading, this, I think you'll pull through. I don't really think this will ruin you because in my mind, I feel that you have nothing to be sorry for. I rest my case. Adios, compadres.