Now we have another couple-on-the-run film noir, the 1950 classic Gun Crazy, starring Peggy Cummins and John Dall.
As a kid, Bart Tare develops an obsession with guns (although he can’t bring himself to kill after he kills a baby chick). This obsession leads him to break into a store and steal some guns. He is caught, however, and sent off to reform school. After several years in reform school and a stint in the army, Bart (John Dall) returns home. His childhood buddies take him to a carnival, where he meets sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins). Bart briefly joins the carnival with Laurie, but they are both soon fired. They get married, but, after a while, they start running out of money, and Laurie convinces Bart to help her rob a few places. Bart reluctantly goes along, with the condition that they don’t kill. They are successful on their crime spree, but their luck starts to run out when Laurie kills two people during a robbery. They find themselves on the run from the FBI and the police, as the law slowly closes in on them.
I admit, I was going into this movie for my first viewing after having just seen the recent Netflix movie The Highwaymen. After watching that movie, I was definitely feeling interested in seeing another Bonnie-and-Clyde type of movie, and this one was in a stack of Blu-rays given to me for my birthday, so it jumped to the front of the pack. Watching it, I found myself very impressed with what the filmmakers were able to do with this movie. I know one famous scene from this movie is the long take from the back seat of a car as they drove up to a bank, robbed it, and then drove away. The fact that it was apparently filmed at a real bank (plus the fact that the two leads did most of their own driving) really astounded me, and it helped their performances, considering they had to deal with the real problem of parking and improvise some of their dialogue. I definitely have to applaud the director and how he was able to do so much with so little, especially for the final scene (I’m not saying anymore, so that I don’t spoil anything). So, yes, I do like and recommend this noir to anybody that would be interested (and certainly to those familiar with the classic Bonnie And Clyde, which was apparently influenced by this movie)!
This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection and is one hour, twenty-seven minutes in length.
My Rating: 9/10