Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gun Crazy (1950)

Original title: Deadly Is the Female

Director: Joseph H. Lewis

Writers: MacKinlay Kantor, Dalton Trumbo, Millard Kaufman

Composer: Victor Young

Starring: Peggy Cummins, John Dall, Berry Kroeger, Morris Carnovsky, Anabel Shaw, Harry Lewis, Nedrick Young, Trevor Bardette, Mickey Little, Russ Tamblyn

More info: IMDb

Tagline: SHE BELIEVES IN TWO THINGS...love and violence!

Plot: 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.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

This one's been sitting on my shelf wrapped in plastic for years and I finally slapped it in.  What a great fucking flick!  The first few minutes might seem like it drags but it's important to the story so stick with it.  You find out what Bart's (Dall) motivations are.  Cut to adulthood and Bart has turned himself around and he's on track to do what he loves to do.  Once he gets himself a job as a sharpshooter at a carnival he meets Annie (Cummins) who you know is going to be bad news...and she is.  But the funny thing is she's really devoted to Bart which is really endearing.  Let's forget these two are a modern day Bonnie & Clyde, you know...with killin' folks and shit.  It's an odd romance that you can get behind, that is until, you know...with killin' folks and shit. The cinematography is outstanding.  DP Russell Harlan put his camera in some unusual places, getting some great shots and he keeps stuff in focus you wouldn't believe except you're seeing it.  The two leads work wonderfully together.  I've been a fan of Dall's ever since seeing ROPE (1948) thirty years ago. It's amazing he only has 8 movies and a handful of TV to his credit. Cummins is in the same boat. The Warner Bros. DVD looks great and it comes with a commentary by author and film noir specialist, Glenn Erickson. I look forward to hearing it someday.

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