Six Shooter
Six Shooter FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byMartin McDonagh
Written byMartin McDonagh
Produced byKenton Allen
Mia Bays
StarringBrendan Gleeson
Rúaidhrí Conroy
Domhnall Gleeson
CinematographyBaz Irvine
Edited byNicolas Gaster
Screen Ireland
Missing in Action Films
Funny Farm Films
Fantastic Films
Distributed byThe Works
Release date
  • 14 October 2004 (2004-10-14) (Cork International Film Festival)
Running time
27 minutes
United Kingdom

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


After a doctor informs Donnelly (Gleeson) that his wife died at 3 o'clock in the morning, he brings Donnelly to his wife's bedside to say goodbye, then excusing himself as the doctor is unusually busy: there'd been two cot deaths, and a woman shot so brutally by her son 'she had no head left on her'. Donnelly spends a few final moments awkwardly talking to his wife and gives her a photo of 'David', their pet rabbit.

While on a train ride home, Donnelly sits opposite a chain-smoking kid (Conroy), who reveals himself to be a manic foul-mouth. In his forlorn state, Donnelly tolerates the kid, allowing himself to be engaged in some inane conversations. Less accepting of the kid's abrasive manners are a couple sitting across the aisle. After some animated exchanges, the kid leaves to get something from the buffet cart. At this time, Donnelly inquires, and learns that the couple just lost their son from a cot death.

The kid returns after the couple leaves their seats, where Donnelly tells the kid about the baby's death. The kid seems surprised and immediately asks, 'Did they kill "it"?'. When Donnelly explains that it was 'cot death', the kid asserts that they must have 'banged it on something'. Upon the couple's return, things heat up. The two almost come to blows, but Donnelly steps in.

Donnelly goes to the buffet cart to get a drink. The man comes out to get tea and engages Donnelly in a brief conversation. With her husband gone, the woman is now left alone with the kid, who quickly moves to harass her as she clutches a picture of her deceased baby. He accuses her of 'bang[ing] it on something', because the baby was 'ugly'. Aghast, the woman steps on a table to get away from him, only to trip, fall, and tear the photo. Moments later, the kid, now back in his own seat, is startled by a thump at the window; the woman had thrown herself out of the train. He goes to investigate, to discover an open gate with the torn picture of the baby on the floor.

Donnelly and the husband return. The kid nonchalantly informs the husband that his wife has jumped off the train, and is 'dripping down the half of it'. The husband takes this as a joke, and sets out to look for his wife. When Donnelly turns to see the blood on the window, he pulls the emergency stop. The police arrive and the man learns of his wife's suicide. Donnelly and the kid are questioned by a policeman, who questions the kid: 'Do I know you from somewhere?'. As the train departs, the policeman sees the kid wildly waving goodbye, and realizes he is 'wanted'. He orders the train stopped, 'and tell the boys to get the guns out'.

On their way again, the kid tries to get Donnelly to take his side. When he gets no sympathy, the kid reveals that his mother was murdered last night, but he is not mourning. Donnelly tells the kid that his wife just died as well, and begins to weep. The kid again presses Donnelly with his 'deadly' story of a cow with trapped wind. Donnelly capitulates, and the kid tells his 'true' story, which is so bizarre that Donnelly can't help but laugh. 'Best day of me fucking life – that cow exploding', the kid concludes.

As the train pulls into the station, Donnelly notices armed cops everywhere. He realises that the kid is responsible for the matricide mentioned by the doctor in the opening scene. A shootout between the kid and the cops ensues, which leaves the kid mortally wounded. His last words are regrets that he didn't even hit one policeman. The kid dies as Donnelly cradles him. He then takes one of the kid's six shooters and hides it in his coat.

At home, Donnelly prepares to kill himself. He looks in the gun which contains two bullets. As he is about to shoot himself, he hears scratching sounds from David, his wife's pet rabbit. He takes David in his lap, and tells the rabbit: 'I'll be following you shortly', before shooting it in the head. Moving the gun to his own head, Donnelly fumbles and drops it, accidentally discharging its last bullet. He looks at the smoking six shooter, then at the dead rabbit in his arms. He sighs, looks skyward and moans, '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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Winners 2005 | IFTA | Irish Film & Television Academy | Irish Film & Television Awards".
  6. ^ "Leuven Short Film Festival 2006".