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

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

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.