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Gun Crazy (1950)
"Deadly Is the Female" (original title)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  20 January 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,613 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 53 critic

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Gun Crazy (1950)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barton Tare
Berry Kroeger ...
Morris Carnovsky ...
Anabel Shaw ...
Ruby Tare Flagler
Harry Lewis ...
Nedrick Young ...
Sheriff Boston
Mickey Little ...
Bart Tare (age 14) (as Rusty Tamblyn)
Paul Frison ...
David Bair ...
Dave Allister (age 7) (as Dave Bair)
Stanley Prager ...
Virginia Farmer ...
Miss Wynn
Anne O'Neal ...
Miss Augustine Sifert


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


SHE BELIEVES IN TWO THINGS...-love and violence! (original poster) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gun Crazy  »

Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Dall and Peggy Cummins did all their own driving in the film, and according to Joseph H. Lewis, only one process shot (i.e., rear projection behind the actors pretending to drive) was used in the entire film. See more »


A shot from inside a sedan that Annie is driving shows a nameplate logo on the dashboard that says "Kaiser", but the only cars they are seen driving are the stolen Cadillac, a Packard convertible, a Chevy convertible, what appears to be an old Ford or Mercury convertible, a Ford sedan, and a 1930's Plymouth sedan. See more »


Packett: Honey, I'll make money like you want me to. Big money. But it takes time, you gotta give me time.
Annie Laurie Starr: You'll never make big money. You're a two-bit guy.
Packett: Honey, listen...
Annie Laurie Starr: No guts, nothing! I want action!
See more »


Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)
Music by Bernie Wayne
Lyrics by Ben Raleigh
Sung by Frances Irvin at the dance club
See more »

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User Reviews

The Real Sex Pistols.
28 November 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Bart Tare (John Dall) had a fascination with guns from an early age, even getting sent to a reform school at the age of 14 for yet another gun related incident. Back home now as an adult, after a stint in the army, he falls for a sharp-shooting carnival girl called Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) and promptly joins the act. But after a fall out with the boss, the pair hit the road and turn to a life of crime; with Annie particularly showing a thirst for gun-play.

No doubt inspired by real life outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, Deadly Is the Female (AKA: Gun Crazy) is as good a "doomed lovers on the lam" picture that has ever been made. It may be a "B" movie in terms of production, but no doubt about it, this film is stylish, crafty and also very sexy. Directed by the unsung Joseph H. Lewis, it's based on a story written by MacKinlay Kantor that was reworked by Millard Kaufman (AKA: the then blacklisted Dalton Trumbo), into one that links sex and violence whilst simultaneously casting an eye over gun worship and its place in the American way of life. Dall & Cummings looked on the surface an odd pairing, but under Lewis' direction they go together like gun and holster (ahem). He is well spoken, almost elegantly fragile with his musings, yet underneath there is still this twitchy gun fanatic. She is savvy, almost virginal in sexuality, but ultimately she's a wild cat who's practically un-tamable.

The work of Lewis here should not be understated, check out the quite sublime continuous one take bank robbery. While marvel throughout at his long takes, use of angles, deep focus and jerking camera movements; all of which dovetail with our protagonists as they go on their nihilistic journey. But perhaps his master-stoke was with his preparation tactics for his two leads? Sending them out with permission to improvise, he fired them up with sexual pep talks, and the result, in spite of the inevitable "code" restrictions, is a near masterpiece, a true genre highlight, and a film that continues to influence as much as it still entertains. 9/10

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