Gun Crazy (1950)

Gun Crazy (1950), directed by Joseph H. Lewis.

First review

Aka Deadly Is the Female

Bart had a troubled childhood because of a fascination with guns. And yet he also has an aversion to killing. After stealing a gun from a hardware store he was sent to reform school, then went into the army (and taught marksmanship!)

Now he's out and looking for a job. At a carnival he meets trick shooter Laurie, his soul mate, who is also gun crazy but lacks his inhibitions about violence. She is, in fact, a psycho.

When their money runs out she reveals that she has always wanted to be a stick-up artist. He has to join in or lose her, and they begin a crime spree. Their "one more" last big heist is carefully planned but does not go well and they are on the run. They should split up but can't because they are also love crazy.

When you are on foot in the fog and hear the blood hounds in pursuit: the end is near.

Nicely intense film noir of the tragic sort. John Dall is sympathetic as a man with two obsessions who doesn't want to hurt anyone, and bad as she is we can't despise Peggy Cummins either. Everyone understands love crazy and we can't help guiltily rooting for a couple on the run.

Mixes studio sets with on location heists, some of which are done while the camera remains in the car, an exciting treatment during the chase scenes.

Victor Young score with Russell Harlan on the camera. The DVD has a detailed and interesting commentary track.

Second review

Additional thoughts and new thumbnails from the Blu-ray.

Available on Blu-ray. Glenn Erickson's commentary track is brought forward from the DVD.