Gun Crazy

Gun Crazy

DVD - 2004
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Classic film noir based on a short story by MacKinlay Kantor. A greedy sideshow sharp-shooter marries an ex-army man, then leads him down the road to crime for easy money.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 13, 2020

With an attention-grabbing title like "Gun Crazy" - How can this vintage film not attract the interest of those curios viewers out there who are seeking some genuine cinematic thrills and excitement?

Though 1949's "Gun Crazy" (in all of its "low-budget" glory) did have its entertaining moments - (When it came down to its overall potential for being a real killer-diller of a thriller) - It just wasn't gun crazy enough to satisfy my expectations.

Feb 27, 2020

1949's "Gun Crazy" is definitely one of those surprisingly violent, low-budget crime films from yesteryear that really requires that the viewer (in this day and age) be completely willing to cut it some serious slack.

'Cause (IMO) with "Gun Crazy" now being 70 years old, its story-line (if taken at face value) is certain to come across to the viewer as being an outright slapstick comedy in many ways.

Apr 26, 2019

Solid performances, great camera work and directing and a fast pace add up to one of the most accessible film noir entries. Watch for the bank heist: filmed in one long, uninterrupted take. It starts with John Dall's character saying he hopes they find a parking space. Highly recommended.

Dec 05, 2018

Yep. He's crazy. She's crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. And, when it comes to the likes of firearms, they're both a couple of thrill-crazy, kill-crazy, gun crazies.

This low-budget, stylistic film stars 2 unknown leads (Peggy Cummins and John Dall) as a pair of crazy, itchy-fingered criminals on a frantic cross-country run from the law.

As sociopathic as a duo could possibly get back in a 1940's film, characters Annie Starr and Bart Tare accidentally meet up one day and 'before-you-know-it' go on the ultimate date of a life-time. Their un-Cinderella like romance includes a crazy, high-energy robbery/shooting spree that, once the law catches up with them, inevitably leads to their sensationalized deaths.

Aug 20, 2018

This movie is quite enjoyable - it still entertaining after over half a century. The story really keeps rolling along, and the plot is mainly driven as the film progresses by the main characters and their relationship. Its ending is rather moralizing and tragic. The music is rather laughable at times, which, if it were meant in a satirical way would be good (as in the film 'A Colt Is My Passport'), but its meant seriously and comes off as like canned laughter often does.

plotline Mar 26, 2016

Low-Rent Production; High Quality Noir

From a budgetary standpoint, director Joseph H. Lewis was leaning more toward Edgar G. Ulmer and his poverty row B-movies (DETOUR, 1946), and away from the A-list stylings of Billy Wilder (DOUBLE INDEMNITY,1944), Edward Dmytryk (MURDER,MY SWEET, 1944), or Howard Hawks (THE BIG SLEEP, 1946).

There was also the matter of timing. While all of the aforementioned classic noirs appeared at the genre's peak, the mid-forties, Lewis came in on the wane with GUN CRAZY ('49) and a while later with THE BIG COMBO ('55).

Still, the short money and late arrival didn't hamper the creation of excellent work. GUN CRAZY isn't flawless. It suffers from a split stylization wherein the standard but very fine in-studio work never truly blends with the refreshing on-location shots. The film also drags out some very unconvincing dime-store psychoanalysis in the opening scenes, attempting to explain away Bart Tare's firearm obsession in open court: "He always loved guns, your honor. But he don't like killin' things."

With the highly adaptable help of cinematographer Russell Harlan, Lewis keeps the film on an even keel. Creatively, Lewis appears to have been more inventive outdoors- the point of view shot from inside the crime car as it prowls a small town's streets is still quite radical.
John Dall (THE CORN IS GREEN; SPARTACUS), who never really seemed at ease before the camera, gives a fairly relaxed performance here. But Dall and the entire film gets an enormous boost the second Peggy Cummins enters the frame (see her in NIGHT OF THE DEMON). As Laurie Starr she is spunky and unapologetic. With her high, glowing forehead, and wide, pouty mouth, Cummins dominates the film, thrusting her brazen portrayal of a status-seeking sociopath run amok right in your face.

The director turns on the artistry in the final scene: trapped in a fogbound swamp, the mud-splattered fugitives lay in wait, whispering hopefully to each other, as the law closes in.
Noirs to see: DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944); MURDER, MY SWEET (1944); THE BIG SLEEP (1946); THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950); RIFIFI (1952); TOUCH OF EVIL (1958).

Dec 05, 2015

I don't know why they changed the original title, "Deadly Is The Female", because that was a helluva lot more appropriate, and summed things up in a nutshell for this one. Pint-sized Peggy Cummins was nihilistic, narcissistic, and lusting for the blood of anyone with the sad misfortune of gettin' in her way. The authentic camera work while driving caught my attention even before I looked up the details involved in filming it on IMDb. An excellent noir.

Nov 29, 2015

Bang-Bang. Shoot-Shoot.

Released in 1949 - Gun Crazy (a.k.a. Deadly Is The Female) is the "Bonnie and Clyde" story retooled for the disillusioned postwar generation. This flick is considered by many movie-connoisseurs to be the ultimate B-Movie Extraordinaire - Where shades of Film Noir abound like fireflies.

Gun Crazy's fast-paced story is jet-propelled along by numerous stick-ups, a dominant femme fatale, an erotic love/obsession for guns, and a deadly sexual attraction between two trigger-happy sharp-shooters who quite willingly substitute violent gun-play for sex.

Jul 18, 2015

Film noir masterpiece. Creative, outrageous and a lot of fun.
Femme fatale Peggy Cummins is brilliant.

Jul 06, 2015

Nothing captures America’s preoccupation with sex, power, and violence quite like this stylish noir about two zealous firearms enthusiasts shootin’ and smoochin’ their way across the land in what amounts to NRA pistol porn. Penned anonymously by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, this quintessential film noir revels in elaborately staged B&W cinematography and tense, wholly believable dialogue delivered by stars Peggy Cummins and John Dall as if they were actually living their parts. Hyper realistic at times (most of the road scenes were filmed in a real car with either Cummins or Dall at the wheel and one bank heist was so true to life it had an unwitting bystander screaming for the police) yet ending on a surreal note that borders on gothic horror, "Gun Crazy" is a sobering fairy tale in which nary a word or camera shot is wasted. Riddled with bullets and steeped in suspense (not to mention a bit of muted eroticism), this is one B-movie that scores an A+.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top