Six Shooter
Six Shooter FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byMartin McDonagh
Written byMartin McDonagh
Produced byKenton Allen
Mia Bays
StarringBrendan Gleeson
Rúaidhrí Conroy
David Wilmot
CinematographyBaz Irvine
Edited byNicolas Gaster
Screen Ireland
Missing in Action Films
Funny Farm Films
Fantastic Films
Distributed byThe Works
Release date
Running time
27 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom

Six Shooter is a 2004 short film written and directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson and Rúaidhrí Conroy. It earned several awards, including the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film at the 78th Academy Awards.[1]


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A doctor informs Donnelly that his wife died at 3 o'clock that morning. He brings Donnelly to her bedside and then excuses himself, as the hospital is unusually busy: there have recently been two cot deaths, as well as a woman whose son "shot the poor head off her." Donnelly spends a few moments unsure of what to say to his wife and gives her a photo of David, their pet rabbit, before leaving.

On the train ride home, Donnelly sits opposite a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking young man. Donnelly tolerates the kid and allows himself to be engaged in some inane conversation, but a couple across the aisle are less accepting of the kid's abrasive manner. After some animated exchanges, the kid leaves to get something from the buffet car. Although he asks if anyone else wants anything, when Donnelly asks for some tea, the kid just mocks him. Donnelly asks the couple what is wrong and learns their son is one of the infants who died.

The kid returns with tea for Donnelly, but refuses his money. The couple has left their booth, and Donnelly tells the kid about their son's death. The kid says they probably "banged it on something", and that he is surprised more parents do not kill their children because most kids are rotten, himself included. The couple returns, and the kid and the husband almost come to blows over the kid's language, but Donnelly intervenes.

Donnelly goes to the buffet cart to get a drink, and the man comes to get tea and engages him in a brief conversation. The kid sits next to the wife, who is looking at a picture of her baby. He says the boy looks like one of the members of Bronski Beat, which is probably why she "banged it on something." Aghast, the woman steps on a table to get out of the booth and trips, tearing the picture. She leaves the train car and the kid goes back to his seat, where he wonders if he has gone too far. Moments later, something thumps against the window, so the kid follows the wife and discovers the torn picture of the baby on the floor next to an open exterior door.

When Donnelly and the husband return to the passenger car, the kid nonchalantly informs the husband that his wife has jumped off the train. The husband takes this as a sick joke, but Donnelly notices blood on the window and pulls the emergency stop. The husband gets off the train, and a policeman questions Donnelly and the kid and thinks he recognizes the kid from somewhere. As the train departs, the policeman sees the kid waving goodbye and abruptly orders another officer to send word to stop the train and "tell the boys to get the guns out."

The kid chides Donnelly for his gloomy mood and says his mother was murdered last night, but he is not mourning. Donnelly tells the kid his wife just died as well, and begins to weep. He says he no longer believes in God after the day's events, which surprises the kid. When the kid asks Donnelly if he wants to hear a story of a cow with trapped wind, Donnelly capitulates, and the kid tells a "true" story that is so bizarre Donnelly cannot help but laugh. "Best day of me fucking life, that cow exploding", the kid concludes.

As the train approaches Donnelly's stop, he and the kid part cordially. Noticing armed policemen everywhere, he realises the kid is responsible for the matricide the doctor mentioned. The kid draws two revolvers and opens fire on the police. He is mortally wounded by the return fire, and Donnelly crawls over to him in time to hear his last words, which are regrets that he did not even hit one policeman. Donnelly takes one of the kid's six shooters and hides it in his coat.

At home, Donnelly looks in the gun and sees it contains two bullets. He is about to shoot himself in the head, but hears scratching sounds and gets David. Telling the rabbit that he will be following shortly, he blows its head off. As he points the gun back at himself, he drops it, and it discharges the last bullet. Donnelly looks at the smoking gun, the dead rabbit, and a picture of his wife. He sighs, looks skyward and says, "Oh Jesus. What a fuckin' day!"




  1. ^ a b "2006 Oscars".
  2. ^ "49th CORK FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS – COMPLETE LIST". Cork Film Festival. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011.
  3. ^ "2005 Film Short Film | BAFTA Awards".
  4. ^ "Winners 2005 : BIFA". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Winners 2005 | IFTA | Irish Film & Television Academy | Irish Film & Television Awards".
  6. ^ "Leuven Short Film Festival 2006".