Rent Gun Crazy (1949)

3.8 of 5 from 68 ratings
1h 27min
Rent Gun Crazy (aka Deadly Is the Female) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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When gun fancier Bart Tare sees Annie Laurie Starr's sideshow sharpshooting act, he's a dead-bang goner. He and she go together, as Bart ultimately says, 'like guns and ammunition'. The two become bank robbers on the run, eluding roadblocks and roaring into movie history as one of the benchmark film-noir works. Joseph H. Lewis directs this ferocious thriller, selected for the National Film Registry and often cited as a forerunner to 'Bonnie and Clyde'. Peggy Cummins and John Dall star, meeting in a sexually charged carny shooting contest and soon driven by impulses of violence and arousal they don't fully understand.
They're young, foolish, doomed - and point blank in Gun Crazy's unforgiving sights.
, , , , , , , , , , Paul Frison, , , , , Frances Irvin, , , ,
Frank King, Maurice King
MacKinlay Kantor, Dalton Trumbo, Millard Kaufman
Deadly Is the Female
Classics, Drama, Romance, Thrillers
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
87 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Release Date:
Run Time:
87 minutes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Commentary by Author/Film-Noir Specialist Glenn Erickson
  • Documentary 'Film-Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light'

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Reviews (1) of Gun Crazy

Cult B Noir. - Gun Crazy review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert

 Legendary poverty row cult film based on the Bonnie and Clyde story and made by brilliant B director Lewis who shot many low budget films in the noir style. John Dall and Peggy Cummins are dynamite together as two outlaws compelled in different ways by their fatal obsession with guns.

Anne Laurie Starr is a poor girl without compassion or values who is driven by adrenaline which is either released through violent crime or sex. Bart Tate is a working class kid who finds status through shooting. Obliged by his desire for her, he is drawn into crime, holding up stores, and then banks leading eventually to murder.  

Dall and Cummings are superb. Sexy and cheap. Apart from the difference that he can't kill, and she has to kill, they are made for each other. Cummings is a revelation. It feels a lucky miracle she got this role. Starr is so happy when she is stealing, so fulfilled when she is killing, it's a bit infectious.

The film is contemporary, but set in a timeless rural west it has the feel of a depression era gangster film, all getaway cars and shoot outs. There's a sassy script from blacklisted Dalton Trumbo (under another writer's name).The direction is ostentatiously stylish, most famously the bank heist which was shot in one cut from the back of their car, placing the audience literally in the back seat. The depiction of these small, poor country towns is palpable, and the wild, desolate location shooting conveys a powerful ambience of encroaching despair.

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