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Short Answer: Michael Mann likes the .45 ACP (the script SPECIFICALLY called for Vincent's gun to be a .45) and the USP fit the bill for a weapon that could realistically be concealed under a jacket yet still have the capacity that someone like Vincent would want.

Again, Michael Mann knows firearms and the characters in his films actually have limited ammo and they have to actually reload when their weapon is empty.
 

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USP 45 is an iconic pistol that looks very menacing and sexy on film!
 

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They probably shot some test scenes with different handguns, and determined that one had the best look.
LOL... nobody in Hollywood cares THAT much about guns to burn that kind of time. And anyone who cares that much wouldn't need to.
 

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Short Answer: Michael Mann likes the .45 ACP (the script SPECIFICALLY called for Vincent's gun to be a .45) and the USP fit the bill for a weapon that could realistically be concealed under a jacket yet still have the capacity that someone like Vincent would want.

Again, Michael Mann knows firearms and the characters in his films actually have limited ammo and they have to actually reload when their weapon is empty.
Someone else here gets it.
 

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LOL... nobody in Hollywood cares THAT much about guns to burn that kind of time. And anyone who cares that much wouldn't need to.
I said probably. None of us really know for sure, but apparently you'd like us to believe you do...

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I said probably. None of us really know for sure, but apparently you'd like us to believe you do...

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Well, thanks guy who hasn't been here a day. But hey, unlike most here, at least you bothered to read other people's posts rather than adding a sycophantic "Because HK" to the pile. So good on ya for that.

The what, why and how of film making is indeed a passion of mine, and Michael Mann is one of my favorite subjects...going all the way back to Miami Vice series or even the little-known version of Heat known as LA Takedown. Did you know that Mann was one of the first filmmakers to put the Benelli M4 in a major US production? Neat little fact for ya there.
Fun Fact: I almost had the opportunity to buy the Richard Heinie custom 1911 used in the Liam Neeson episode Irish Eyes are Crying at an estate sale...that still kills me. I'm one of the nerds that actually listens to commentary, interviews and all the behind the scenes stuff and how the armorer stuff does and does not work.

The most I can do is make an educated guess. That at least IS more than some are able to offer.

Cheers
 

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Well, thanks guy who hasn't been here a day. But hey, unlike most here, at least you bothered to read other people's posts rather than adding a sycophantic "Because HK" to the pile. So good on ya for that.

The what, why and how of film making is indeed a passion of mine, and Michael Mann is one of my favorite subjects...going all the way back to Miami Vice series or even the little-known version of Heat known as LA Takedown. Did you know that Mann was one of the first filmmakers to put the Benelli M4 in a major US production? Neat little fact for ya there.
Fun Fact: I almost had the opportunity to buy the Richard Heinie custom 1911 used in the Liam Neeson episode Irish Eyes are Crying at an estate sale...that still kills me. I'm one of the nerds that actually listens to commentary, interviews and all the behind the scenes stuff and how the armorer stuff does and does not work.

The most I can do is make an educated guess. That at least IS more than some are able to offer.

Cheers
That is an interesting fact about the Benelli!

I thought it would have been cool for Michael to expand on the film with a small additional scene. Maybe the gun came in the briefcase that was switched in the opening scene and that's just what he was stuck with. He IS a professional so he should be proficient with a multi-variety of common handguns. I'm not up-to-date on the movie, I wonder if he was only using 10 round mags there in California. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Having provided quite a bit of gear to the armorers of two successful and extremely popular movie franchises, and a few other successful one-off movies where my equipment was featured, I can tell you that the armorers generally present a variety of weapons for review by the art staff, directors, and even the talent, all of whom generally have some say in the final selection. Obviously the look of the specific weapon and its place in the script has a substantial impact on whether a particular item is used and how it is presented.

So, generally these decisions are by committee.

That’s in general. In some cases everything is driven by one or two individuals tied to the production.

In one specific case, the lead actress had a lot of say in what was used (by the time of the second successful film in the series) and I delivered according to her specific preferences, right down to a custom grip.

In another case a standard version of a product I provided (10 units, actually) was adapted by the armory for the specific needs of the production. Some were real working versions, some stunt versions, and some designed to work with CGI.

As for how these deals are made- in no case I’ve been involved in did any money change hands- the products were provided in exchange for the possibility of screen time and/or end credits. In one specific case the sales of the product shown on-screen jumped about 10X over normal forecasts. In other cases we knew the exposure of the specific sport would “raise the tide” for the industry, even though no branding was visible. And it certainly did!

That was the real payoff for the cost of the items provided.
 

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Well, thanks guy who hasn't been here a day. But hey, unlike most here, at least you bothered to read other people's posts rather than adding a sycophantic "Because HK" to the pile. So good on ya for that.

The what, why and how of film making is indeed a passion of mine, and Michael Mann is one of my favorite subjects...going all the way back to Miami Vice series or even the little-known version of Heat known as LA Takedown. Did you know that Mann was one of the first filmmakers to put the Benelli M4 in a major US production? Neat little fact for ya there.
Fun Fact: I almost had the opportunity to buy the Richard Heinie custom 1911 used in the Liam Neeson episode Irish Eyes are Crying at an estate sale...that still kills me. I'm one of the nerds that actually listens to commentary, interviews and all the behind the scenes stuff and how the armorer stuff does and does not work.

The most I can do is make an educated guess. That at least IS more than some are able to offer.

Cheers
Again, you'd like us all to believe you're really something. That you have the ultimate opinion. The fact I'm new on this forum is irrelevant. Again, I said probably and I'm still saying probably.

Michael Mann is known as one of the most meticulous directors in film history. As pointed out recently by someone with actual experience in the industry (beyond sitting on the couch and watching a movie for the 30th time), the look of a weapon is a big factor. Don't put it past Mann that he may have picked another pistol for Cruise, and after filming began, he decided it didn't look right in the lens, and changed to the USP after seeing it in the lens. But again, we won't know unless someone chimes in who was there, or there has been something credible written by someone who was there.

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Other than Michael Mann knowing sidearms, I think the USP45 was very suitable for the character of Vincent. Although Vincent's background is mysterious, it's heavily implied that he's a former CIA/SAD paramilitary officer or Army special ops which explains why his mannerisms and demeanor are very efficient and economical. As a result, Vincent is able to control his environment with extreme violence of action. I see the USP45 as an extension of Vincent because outwardly and functionally, it's a no-nonsense and brutal firearm.

A former SAS operative and an LA SWAT weapons instructor both trained cruise in the arts of using and shooting the USP45 in combat if I recall.

And here's another factoid. In the "Yo-homey alley gunfight" between Vincent and two muggers, Vincent kills these guys with his USP45 in 1.25 seconds. Cruise trained 2 months for that very scene until it was second nature. Larry Vickers tried besting Cruise's time, and the best Vicker's could do was 1.4 seconds. There's a youtube video of all this. Check it out.
 

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HK represents modern- Innovative- The movie was that- it was now-ahead of its time- Anything else would have been weird- 1911's? someone mentioned, Nah- HK fit this movie- Raw, techno, powerful, final. HK is no joke. Good Choice.
 

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And here's another factoid. In the "Yo-homey alley gunfight" between Vincent and two muggers, Vincent kills these guys with his USP45 in 1.25 seconds. Cruise trained 2 months for that very scene until it was second nature. Larry Vickers tried besting Cruise's time, and the best Vicker's could do was 1.4 seconds. There's a youtube video of all this. Check it out.
Love that scene. I watched Vicker's recreation of it and it's amazing how much training and effort must have gone in to it. Two months!
 

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It's a great film, and the USP 45 is consistent with Vincent's character. He is a ruthless assassin probably prepared for hits, not sustained fire fights. The .45acp is capable of delivering devastating wounds to unsuspecting unarmed unarmored civilians. We might debate the marginal differences in size or capacity of calibers or different pistols but in the end, it's an excellent firearm and a logical choice.

From Vincent's mysterious background, we glean he's high paid and professional. Professionals would gravitate to one of only a few different platforms, especially if their training was in some military service - Beretta, Glock, HK, and Sig mostly.

The Beretta is just as large/bulky, and not offered in .45acp, and it's frankly not as novel having been used abundantly in Lethal Weapon and Die Hard and other films. It's "worn out" in action films, and it's more "working class." I'd say the Glock is also "worn out" and more "working class." That leaves Sig and HK.

And some people are simply loyal to a caliber. If you're a .45acp guy, in 2004 when the film was shot there were really not many other options for a reliable .45acp with large capacity. Thinking about the gun lineup options in 2004, the options were limited. The other options are the Glock 21 (just as bulky), or the Sig P220 (lower capacity, just as heavy).

This is probably far too much analysis for the choice, but I like the choice. The HK tends to be chosen by experts. The .45acp is generally considered a caliber chosen by very experienced shooters (as akin to a novice who might lean toward 9x19).

The HK USP .45 is a smaller character in the film and reflects on Vincent's personality more than a bland 9mm Glock or Beretta might have. To me it says this guy is a professional. I've owned and carried Glocks and Berettas. They were made huge by Hollywood films. I'm not casting aspersion on any gun or caliber above, I like them all. It's just my decoding the choices made in the film.

And, the casting of the USP worked. We're talking about it 17 years later...
 

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I'm sure most members on this forum are familiar with the movie Collateral directed by Michael Mann and staring Tom Cruise playing the hitman Vincent. If you haven't seen the movie you really owe it to yourself to check it out, but please let's not get into a discussion about Tom Cruise the actor.

What I'm curious about is if anyone knows specifically why the full size USP 45 was chosen as his sidearm in this movie, IWB no less! The director Michael Mann is known to be very knowledgable and specific about the firearms he uses in his movies. The full size USP45 was also used in his other movie Heat so I think the USP is well known to him. It's such a large bulky weapon, I would have expected Mann to have used a 1911 or a USP Compact at the very least for the character of Vincent if he was going to carry concealed IWB. Evidently Cruise also trained with the weapon extensively for the movie so it wasn't a minor decision by any means. It also wasn't like his character used it then disposed of it, his USP was almost a costar in the film.

Anyway, I'd appreciate the insight if anyone read an interview with Mann or Cruise and knows what the reasons were for using the USP.
Because Tom Cruise is 5’ 7”
 
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