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

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

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.