Gun Crazy (1950)
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 2 run off and marry, but Annie isn't happy with their financial situation, so at her behest the couple begins a cross-country string of daring robberies. Never one to use guns for killing, Bart's dragged down into oblivion by the greedy and violent nature of the woman he loves.
From the time he was old enough to hold a gun, Bart Tare was fascinated with firearms, and was put into a reform school for stealing one. He becomes an expert marksman, but after killing a chicken because it was a running target he becomes remorseful and vows to never again kill a living thing. Returning to his mountain home town of Cashville after World War II, he goes to a carnival and wins a shooting match against the sharp-shooting queen, Annie Laurie Starr. They marry, but Annie prefers luxurious living and persuades Bart to set out with her on a series of holdups. They move through the West committing robberies and holdups, and their life becomes a constant flight from lawmen. In fleeing the scene of a payroll robbery, which is to be their last crime, Laurie commits robbery and the manhunt is intensified. They try to hide out in the home of Bart's sister but their presence becomes known. Two of Bart's childhood friends, Dave Allister and Clyde Boston, are deputized and lead the posse which pursues them deeper into the mountains.
As a child, Bart Tare had a fascination with guns. He was never a violent person and didn't even like shooting at animals. Caught after breaking a shop window to steal a gun, he is sent to reform school. He later joins the army but eventually returns home to see his older sister Ruby and two of his childhood friends. They go to a traveling carnival where Bart gets to show off some of his shooting skills with the sideshow's main attraction Annie Laurie Starr. They prove to be equals in their shooting skills and are eventually married. They choose a life of crime starting with robbing gas stations and liquor stores but eventually moving up to much larger heists. Their life of crime leads to its inevitable conclusion.
In Cashville, the boy Bart Tare steals a gun from a hardware store and during his trial, his sister Ruby and his best friends Dave and Clyde testimonies to Judge Willoughby disclose that Bart has always loved guns. Further, he is a skilled shooter but incapable to shoot a living being. However he is sentenced to spend four years in a reform school and after that, he joins the army. Years later, he returns to his hometown and is welcomed by Ruby and her family, and his friends Deputy Clyde Boston and Dave Allister. They go to a carnival to celebrate, where Bart meets the performer Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) that is also a crack shot. Bart is hired by the owner of the carnival and soon the ambitious Annie convinces him to leave the carnival and try a better life. They get married and do not have lucky in gambling, losing all their money. Soon Annie convinces Bart to rob different towns in the beginning of their crime spree. Although Bart is unable to use his gun for killing, he does not know the violent past of his wife that murdered a man in St. Louis years ago. Until the day she kills again and they become wanted by the FBI.
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.
- Gun Crazy starts with young Bart Tare (Russ Tamlin) sneaking through a dark rainy night to smash a pawn shop window and steal a hand gun, whereupon he is caught by the sheriff and taken to court. The judge asks for character witnesses to speak out during which time Barts young friends speak out about the inability of Bart to shoot a Mountain Lion even though he is a crack shot. Barts sister Ruby (Anabel Shaw) speaks up to tell the judge that she is planning to get married and wants to keep Bart close to raise with a family. But the judge sends Bart to reform school. When we move forward in time we view Barts return. He has served his time in reform school and a stint in the army when he comes back to see sister Ruby who is run off her feet taking care of her house full of children. Bart and his buddies Clyde (Harry Lewis) and Dave (Ned Young) attend a Carnival to see the shooting performance by Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) and Bart is immediately attracted to her because of her beauty and the fact that she is a crack shot. When Bart competes against Laurie in a shooting match and wins he decides to take a job with the Carnival mainly to be with Laurie, but Carnival Manager and Lauries former lover Packett (Berry Kroeger) fires them both when Bart steals Lauries love. Bart and Laurie get married and quickly discover that without jobs or legal tender they cant survive. Laurie talks Bart into robbing gas stations and the two quickly move up to banks with Bart suffering angst for every job, and Laurie cold-bloodedly urging him on. The two decide to separate after one more big job but when the time comes, they stay together and decide to flee to Mexico to start a new life. When the Police discover their location and close in, Bart and Laurie hop a train and go back to Rubys house to hide out but are discovered by Barts childhood friends Clyde and Dave. Bart and Laurie run again to a marsh with the Police closing in and must decide their fate with guns primed to cut them down.