A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money ... See full summary »
The ambitious Stanton "Stan" Carlisle works in a sideshow as carny and assistant of the mentalist Zeena Krumbein, who is married with the alcoholic Pete. The couple had developed a secret ... See full summary »
Since he was a child, Bart Tare has always loved guns. After leaving the army, his friends take him to a carnival, where he meets the perfect girl, Annie, a sharp-shooting sideshow performer who loves guns as much as he. The two run off and marry, but Annie isn't happy with their financial situation, so at her behest the couple begins a crosscountry string of daring robberies. Never one to use guns for killing, Bart is dragged down into oblivion by the greedy and violent nature of the woman he loves. Written by
Martin Lewison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The screen credits indicate that the script was written by Kantor and Millard Kaufman. However, it was revealed in 1992 that Kaufman had acted as a front for black listed writer Dalton Trumbo. See more »
Annie's fingers change position when she shows Bart the pinkie diamond ring. See more »
It's a tawdry, full-hearted, tortured romance with the best photography money couldn't buy
Gun Crazy (1950)
The clumsy original title, Deadly is the Female, is surely accurate. Boy was Peggy Cummins perfect in this role, and it's odd she did little else with her career. She's no searing dame as in other noirs, but she's a kind of regular, cute girl who attracts not men, but one particular man, played by John Dall. Dall is a perfect victim. He plays the innocent ordinary American guy perfectly, better than even a James Stewart because he has no charisma, no ability to inspire those around him.
So Annie and Bart form a pair of misfits who fit together. And they both love guns, and are really really good with them.
The plot is pretty straight forward from here, but it's fast, and photographed with more vigor than most better films. The dialog pushes the artifice of noir-speak a bit hard, but I swallow it whole and love it as style. And besides, these are two unsophisticated people who might just talk a little corny and dramatic at times. And Annie is truly unpredictable, and her ups and downs are a thrill for us as much as a worry for poor Bart.
Yes, a femme fatale and a noir hero, isolated and doomed. And some riveting long take photography including the now legendary camera view from the back seat of a car, on and on, and on, showing them driving, getting out, waiting while they rob a bank, swerving out a little to look out the window, pulling back, and following them on their escape. It's about as good as B-movie camera-work innovation gets. Cinematographer Russell Harlan was an A-movie quality guy from the studios, later to do "Witness for the Prosecution" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." The angles, the close-ups on their sweaty faces, the moving camera. Check it out.
This is a great movie, in all. Legendary for many reasons. It has flaws if you want to see them that way. Or it has all the raw energy of a scrappy fighter who is determined to win, and does.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?