|Written by||Jay Benson|
|Directed by||John Badham|
Lee de Broux
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||78 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Fairmont/Foxcroft Productions|
|Original release||November 13, 1974|
The Gun is a made-for-television film, of the suspense-thriller type, which ABC-TV aired as a Movie of the Week on November 13, 1974. It starred David Huffman, Ron Thompson, Richard Bright, Pepe Serna, Lee de Broux, and Stephen Elliott, and was written directly for television by Jay Benson, Richard Levinson, and William Link and directed by John Badham, then a working director of television productions. Levinson and Link were also the producers of the film.
There have been episodes of TV series inspired by this TV-movie, such as a 1975 episode of Hawaii Five-O titled "Diary of a Gun." A 1982 episode of Quincy, M.E. titled "Guns Don't Die" has a very similar plot to The Gun, including the ending.
A series of interweaving stories tell the journey of a handgun — specifically, a .38 special revolver — as it passes from one owner to another. In all the time it passes between its various owners, it is never actually fired (aside from the one test-firing it underwent at the factory) and is never shown actually to discharge any ammunition.
The opening credits run over scenes of the manufacture of the weapon. It is shipped to a gun store, where it is purchased by an older business owner whose home was recently burglarized. His wife is uncomfortable with the weapon in the house and convinces him to get rid of it. He gives it away to a security guard at his company, who pawns the gun.
A young professional asks for a gun at the pawn shop. He is displeased when told there is a five-day waiting period required by law. When the pawnbroker turns to get the blank paperwork, he loads the gun with his own bullets and departs at gunpoint after paying for the pistol. At his place of employment, he is given the news that because he has the least seniority, he is being laid off. He considers shooting his supervisor before walking outside to the building's plaza during lunchtime, making mock shooting motions at random bystanders with the gun. They are alarmed and call the police. When the police arrive, he throws the gun through the open window of a parked car before he is arrested.
Two women get in the car, driving it to a car wash where an employee, Ignacio, discovers the gun under the front seat while vacuuming the interior. He takes it to his home in the barrio, where his brother and his pregnant wife both object to its presence. One day, the gun and his elderly father both go missing. They search and finally realize that after the recent death of his best friend, the father is depressed and considering suicide at the grave of his late wife. After stopping him, Ignacio throws the gun and bullets into a dumpster. A nearby worker sees the action, retrieves the gun and sells it to an illicit gun dealer.
The gun dealer sells the gun to a man who supplies criminals. The duo the pistol is intended for is planning to rob a porn theater's box office receipts, but their third member had second thoughts and backed out. After much wheedling, he agrees to be their lookout and getaway driver, keeping the pistol in his lap. At the theater, the owner recognizes the younger man in the duo as a former employee despite a ski mask. He pulls his own gun and threatens the robbers, as well as activating the silent alarm. They finally attempt to flee, but are immediately arrested outside.
Much later, the pistol is taken with a cache of other weapons for disposal at a scrapyard. It somehow survives intact after passing through the metal shredder and is picked up by the driver of a dump truck hired to haul the scrap to a steel mill. He takes it home, where his wife is concerned that their young son will find it. He promises to lock it up. One day, he is delayed by a breakdown of his truck. The bored boy looks through his parents' bedroom, finds the loaded gun on a closet shelf and starts to play with it, finally pointing the barrel towards his face. The camera pans away — and as the scene shows a shock-cut to black, the sound of the gun firing can be heard. It is implied (but never actually shown) that the boy has accidentally shot himself to his own death.
The Gun has never been released on home video in any format or medium.