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Gun Crazy (1950)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 20 January 1950 (USA)
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.

Director:

Joseph H. Lewis

Writers:

MacKinlay Kantor (screenplay), Dalton Trumbo (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peggy Cummins ... Annie Laurie Starr
John Dall ... Bart Tare
Berry Kroeger ... Packett
Morris Carnovsky ... Judge Willoughby
Anabel Shaw ... Ruby Tare Flagler
Harry Lewis ... Deputy Clyde Boston
Nedrick Young ... Dave Allister
Trevor Bardette ... Sheriff Boston
Mickey Little Mickey Little ... Bart Tare (age 7)
Russ Tamblyn ... Bart Tare (age 14) (as Rusty Tamblyn)
Paul Frison Paul Frison ... Clyde Boston (age 14)
David Bair David Bair ... Dave Allister (age 7) (as Dave Bair)
Stanley Prager ... Bluey-Bluey
Virginia Farmer ... Miss Wynn
Anne O'Neal Anne O'Neal ... Miss Augustine Sifert
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Storyline

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. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Flaming Life of LAURIE STARR (The Lethal Blonde) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gun Crazy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the opening shot, Bart's collar changes positions between cuts. See more »

Quotes

Bart: We go together, Annie. I don't know why. Maybe like guns and ammunition go together.
See more »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Fine Precursor to "Bonnie and Clyde"
8 November 2005 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

The original title of "Gun Crazy" was "Deadly Is the Female," and they ain't kidding. If you thought Faye Dunaway's Bonnie Parker was the more ruthless member of the crime duo that gave Arthur Penn's 1967 film its name, wait till you get a load of Peggy Cummins's Annie in this little known cheapie from 1949. I wouldn't want to get on this woman's bad side; she can shoot cigarettes out of people's mouths, for God's sake.

"Gun Crazy" is such an obvious influence on Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" that I can't believe the later film doesn't credit it directly. Though the 1949 film is based on a short story that appeared in the "Saturday Evening Post" and the 1967 film worked with an original screenplay, both films could have been adapted from the same source. They portray the Annie/Bonnie character as bored and restless, turned on by the thought of crime and by a manly man who can really use his "gun." The Bart/Clyde character is tickled by the idea of being a virile stud in the eyes of his lover, but is ultimately too sensitive for the life they choose. And both films do a good job of portraying the desperation that plagues both couples, the isolation and loneliness they create for themselves and can never break out of, and the ultimate futility of their actions, since the "law" is going to catch up with them sooner or later.

Peggy Cummins is really good in this. I don't know what else she's been in, but her baby-doll voice creates an effective contrast to her colder-than-ice attitude. She's crooning into her lover's ear one minute and itching to kill someone the next. And you have to dig those French-inspired fashions that would cause a sensation nearly 20 years later when Dunaway donned them again for Penn's film.

I thought John Dall was at first odd casting for the role of Bart. Annie is supposed to think of him as a man's man, and Dall, with his willowy physique and gentle mannerisms is far from that. But then when we realize that he's at heart really too gentle for the life he and Annie have chosen for themselves, his casting makes sense.

There are some small touches to this film that really add to its immediacy and realism. I loved the scenes of Annie and Bart driving to and from their heist jobs, shot from the back seat of the car as if we are a member of their gang. They have really funny and natural banter back and forth about where to park, etc. which I have to believe was improvised to some extent. The ending of the film, a face off in a creepy swamp, is eerie, and there's a small twist in the last seconds of the film that might be easy to miss but may give you some things to think about if you catch it.

It's interesting, and rather depressing, that one of the main themes of this film is the obsession with guns and violence that pervaded the country nearly 60 years ago, and here we are a handful of wars later, still dragging around the same old obsessions. Michael Moore's recent documentary "Bowling for Columbine" could have just as easily been called "Gun Crazy," if that title weren't already taken by this forgotten little blast of a movie.

Grade: A-


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