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BLAKE EDWARDS REDIRECTS 'GUNN' STARRING CRAIG STEVENS

Title: GUNN Year: 1967 Rating: ***1/2

A womanizing 1950's playboy (who does little work for ladies to throw themselves his way) in the late-1960's Sexual Revolution is like an established multimillionaire winning the lottery... And in the case of fifty-year-old Craig Stevens returning into his PETER GUNN role for creator/director Blake Edwards' GUNN, it's what's expected and... even with original singer Lola Albright's Edie replaced by a less natural (or attractive) Laura Devon... GUNN makes for a decent Bond Clone despite the TV-series proceeding 007 cinema... 

Yet most likely the popular spy franchise was Edwards' reason to revisit this kind of fun-flowing investigation, now more twisty espionage and in color as opposed to the televised B&W; and that show's jazzy nightclub's a slow-groove random backstop instead of an uptempo mainstay while the action sequences are effective and suspenseful, creatively-shot yet far too sporadic with our resilient, often vulnerable anti-hero, now a stone-faced Jack Webb monotone who, backed by a grouchy Ed Asner, is dealing with the mob who killed his friend, now after him... But the token hot young girl adds the real heart in quirky and neurotic brunette Sherry Jackson: her zesty presence noticeably ages our hero, yet she could have been the sole GUNN girl and, despite only a few scenes, she's far more into the movie than anyone else on board, including old Pete.

Sherry Jackson in Blake Edwards' GUNN

Craig Stevens in GUNN
Craig Stevens in GUNN with Laura Devon
Sherry Jackson as Samantha in GUNN
Craig Stevens in GUNN
Craig Stevens in Otto Preminger's Where the Sidewalk Ends
Lola Albright and Craig Stevens on the PETER GUNN series
Sherry Jackson in GUNN
Laura Devon jazz-singing through GUNN
Craig Stevens and Sherry Jackson in GUNN

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