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Watching Jurassic Park, something odd stuck out to me that I've never heard talked about: why does a movie with at least three gun scenes in it never actually fire a gun on screen?

I can think of at least three scenes where there's almost gunfire but it cuts away at the last minute or something happens to keep the gun from firing:

  1. Opening scene with the dinosaur cage, where Muldoon is shouting "Shoot her!" while surrounded by men with guns, nobody actually uses the guns. Handlers with shock sticks end up doing all the work.

  2. Later scene where Muldoon is preparing to shoot the raptor, he gets ambushed by another raptor and doesn't get the chance to fire.

  3. Grant fires a shotgun a few times near the climax of the movie, you can hear the gunshots, you see the bulletholes, and the movie was even careful enough to show that Grant dropped the gun because it jammed, but the camera switches to Hammond hearing the gunshots over the walkie talkie instead of seeing it for ourselves.

I would have assumed a movie this expensive could have afforded good looking blanks, so is there a specific reason why the movie couldn't or didn't want to show gunfire?

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For me, only hearing shots and screams, and not seeing the action, increased the horror, because my imagination filled out the bits that were not shown and this made me engage a lot more and intensified the mentioned scenes.

I'm not sure if age rating had any effect, but since they also show people getting eaten alive, I'd say this is not the reason why they haven't shown the gun shots.

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  • Note that while American censorship ratings may equate gunplay to other forms of onscreen death, that is not the case for other countries. Jurassic Park was very much tailored to be an international release. – Flater Dec 25 '20 at 1:26

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