Gun Crazy

"Excellent"

Gun Crazy Review


Combining the palpable, seedy desperation of its best big budget cousins with creative filmmaking born of frugality, Gun Crazy is sure to scratch the femme fatale, love on the run itch of any fan of film. Working from a screenplay by blacklisted scribe Dalton Trumbo, director Joseph H. Lewis transforms this ostensible B-movie distraction into a notable entry in the film noir pantheon.

Bart Tare is an awkward kid with an obsession with guns: playing target practice in the woods, stealing a revolver out of a hardware store window, even bringing a handgun for show and tell at school. But when he shoots a baby chick with his BB gun, he swears he'll never kill again.

That is, until the adult Bart meets Annie Star, an expert markswoman performing in a traveling carnival. When Bart bests Annie in a trigger-a-trigger shooting competition, there's no question that these two are going to get hitched and hit the road.

But the days of wine and roses are short-lived for the sharp shooting sweethearts. When the money runs out and nights on the town fade, Annie reveals that her only desire is for bigger and better kicks--and if Bart can't keep the action coming, she'll hook up with better man who can. Bart finds himself pressured into a cross-country crime spree; the couple spends their time robbing gas stations, liquor stores, grocery stores, jacking the occasional car, and generally causing mayhem wherever they go. With every job, Annie's admiration and commitment in Bart grows, as does Bart's confidence and nut sac circumference. The crazy co-dependent crime spree culminates in the quintessential last big score, with predictably tragic results.

Gun Crazy delivers a full magazine of over-the-top hardboiled lines, notably, "Two people had to die just so we don't have to work," and "Take the baby, they'll be less likely to shoot at us." John Dall's stiff portrayal of Bart comes off well, underscoring the character's general distaste for the whole armed robbery enterprise.

But it's Peggy Cummins' Annie that ensures Gun Crazy hits the target. Cummins steams up the screen with the low-boil defensiveness of a woman who's been kicked around the block a few times. Not content to let her past drive her into her shell, Annie lashes out at the world and demands that she be paid back, with interest, for the injuries she's endured. What we're left with is a petulant, erratic, sneaky, id-driven thrill seeker who's a whole lot of fun to watch.

Lewis's direction is also worth noting. Excellent camera work ratchets up the tension -- many scenes are shot from the backseat of the car, making the audience a passenger on Bart and Annie's road trip to hell. Lewis knows when a location shot will heighten the film's realism; car chases are appropriately wind blown and the striking foot pursuit through a warehouse of hanging cow carcasses is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's mannequin factory showdown in Killer's Kiss. Lewis is equally comfortable on the soundstage, constructing a knockout finale in a mist-soaked marsh that feels a universe away from the mean streets.

The DVD includes a commentary by writer Glenn Erickson.

Aka Deadly is the Female, Guncrazy.



Gun Crazy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th January 1950

Production compaines: King Brothers Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Joseph H. Lewis

Starring: as Annie Laurie Starr, as Bart Tare, as Packett, as Judge Willoughby, Anabel Shaw as Ruby Tare, Harry Lewis as Sheriff Clyde Boston, as Dave Allister, as Dave Allister, as Bart Tare (age 14)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.