Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gun Crazy (1949).

Gun Crazy(1949). Noir. Cast: Peggy Cummins and John Dall. Director: Joseph H. Lewis, and produced by Frank King and Maurice King. Screenplay: Dalton Trumbo (credited to Millard Kaufman because of the Hollywood Blacklist), and MacKinlay Kantor was based upon a short story by Kantor published in 1940 in The Saturday Evening Post Gun Crazy was selected for the National Film Registry, and is also known as... Deadly Is the Female.(1950)

One stormy night, 14 year old Bart Tare breaks into a hardware store and steals a gun, but is caught by the Sheriff.

At Bart's trial, his sister Ruby, promises the Judge even though Bart has obsession with guns, he would never kill anything. She tells him about the time he was upset when he shot a chick with a BB gun as a small boy. Bart's friends, then share with the court how Bart refused to kill a mountain lion for the bounty, even though he was an expert shot. Ruby, asks the judge if Bart could live with her, but the judge thinks it is best to send Bart off to reform school.

Years later, Bart returns to town to find his old friends Dave, who has become a newspaper reporter, and Clyde, who is now the sheriff. Bart tells them that he just got out of the Army and is ready to settle down.

The three friends go to the town carnival, where they see sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr. The carnival owner, challenges the audience members to a shooting match with Laurie, and when Bart wins, Packett offers him a job.

Bart and Laurie's attraction for each other angers Packett, and he reminds her about the man she killed in St. Louis. Bart walks in during their struggle and fires a shot, Packett fires them both. Bart and Laurie run away together and begin their life going, GUN CRAZY..


The bank robbery scene was done in one take, with no one except the actors and people inside the bank knowing that a movie was being filmed. When John Dall as Bart Tare says, "I hope we find a parking space," he really meant it. At the end of the scene when someone in the background screams that there's been a bank robbery... this was a bystander who saw the filming and really thought there was a bank robbery going down.


This film reminded me of the film Bonnie and Clyde. I loved the scenes of Annie and Bart driving, shot from the back seat of the car, as if we were part of the action. I also, loved the really funny banter back and forth between them. Not to forget to mention... the great twist at the end. Great film!!


  1. Dawn, it is very like Bonnie and Clyde, but not as good. Peggy Cummins gives a pretty raw performance in this.

  2. Kim, I really think thatthis film is better than Bonnie and Clyde .It had nowhere near the budget of that film or the name "Talent" but it works. The camera work (in the rear of the station wagon ) was new at the time. BTW did you see a very young Russ Tamblyn as the young Bart?

  3. Kim, I thought it was a awesome film. I do agree that Peggy gave a raw performance. But, some how it worked for me.

    Paul, I also enjoyed this movie.


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