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Written by / 8/09/2020 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

PEGGY CUMMINS & JOHN DALL IN THE NOIR ROAD FLICK 'GUN CRAZY'

Poster with John Dall and Peggy Cummins dead in love for GUN CRAZY Year: 1950
The Femme Fatale, you know, the bad girl with the great face... the soulless dame with the fantastic body... Well she's just about everything in GUN CRAZY despite the lengthy prologue about the doomed young man as a precocious kid, initially played by Russ Tamblyn, with a penchant for guns who winds up in reform school...

And it's not long after getting out... now a twenty-something John Dall... when he and his childhood buddies go to a sideshow where Peggy Cummins' Annie Laurie Starr steals his heart — but only after he beats her at a shooting contest i.e. her very own game. The next scene, Dall's Bart Tare has a job there too, and not long after he's fired by jealous barker Berry Kroeger, smitten with the girl who gets away...
The other title for GUN CRAZY is DEADLY IS THE FEMALE Rating: ***1/2
The second act has a lot of bombastic action up front but the usual Noirish guilt, here involving Dall's brooding Bart, not only happens much too quick but is intrusive and annoying, not allowing him (or the audience) to enjoy the rural Bonnie & Clyde town-hopping robberies: But there's no such cloying guilt from Annie...

And with sparse, finely-tuned direction by Joseph H. Lewis... visually and rhythmically foreshadowing French New Wave cinema with a kind of naked/barren aesthetic... this is Peggy Cummins picture; and she had no backstory at all. Then again, do deadly dames (aka DEADLY IS THE FEMALE) even have a past? Usually theirs' is a quick shoot-em-up future. If only she had a less reluctant/whiny partner-in-crime. Mr. Dall needed a little of that ROPE gusto here!
A famous image that foreshadows French films like Breathless in GUN CRAZY
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