Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Gun Crazy (1949/50)


Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Gun Crazy (1949/50) (aka Deadly is the Female)

In director Joseph H. Lewis' supercharged, low-budget film-noir - a Bonnie-and-Clyde story about two sharpshooters who turned to a life of crime:

  • the opening scene (in the pouring rain) of 14 year-old Bart Tare (Rusty Tamblyn) stealing a pearl-handled gun from inside a broken hardware store display window and then falling down in a mud puddle at the feet of the local sheriff
14 Year-Old Bart's Theft of Gun
  • the entrance of Bart's dream girl - blonde sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) at Packet's sideshow Carnival
  • the William Tell-like challenge contest/duel between gun-fixated Bart Tare (John Dall as adult) and the markswoman - after they first sized each other up like dogs in heat, and then each one shot at matches stuck in a crown worn on the other's head
  • during an impoverished state after getting married, the blackmailing scene of Annie Laurie (naked under her terry-cloth bathrobe) seductively tempting Bart to pursue more crime with her - and commit armed robbery; she told him: "I want to do a little living...Bart, I want things, a lot of things, big things. I don't want to be afraid of life or anything else. I want a guy with spirit and guts. A guy who can laugh at anything, who will do anything, a guy who can kick over the traces and win the world for me...You better kiss me goodbye, Bart (she dropped onto the bed and reclined back), because I won't be here when you get back. Come on, Bart, let's finish it the way we started it, on the level"; she threatened to walk out on Bart unless they both engaged in a life of crime; the blackmail scene ended with his sexual acquiescence and gratification, his decision to remain, and a close-up of his mouth inching towards hers for a passionate kiss; the kiss dissolved into the gunshot blast of a gumball bowl - an orgasmic, erotic/violent beginning of their crime rampage as gun-toting 'wild animals'; she was able to get him to agree to more holdups - portrayed as a series of small stick-ups and robberies - of their hotel, a liquor store, another store clerk, and a gas station
Blackmailing, Seductive Femme Fatale
Blasted Gumball Globe
  • the unedited, virtuoso, single-shot uninterrupted (long take) robbery scene of a Hampton Bank by the two bank robbers, dressed in their Western showbiz cowboy-cowgirl outfits with guns; it was cleverly filmed from the back-seat of their robbery car (a stolen Cadillac); the scene extended from the time of their drive into town and up to the bank, including getaway driver Laurie's distraction of a cop (Robert Osterloh) on the sidewalk during the robbery; when Bart emerged with an alarm bell ringing, Laurie karate-chopped the policeman in the neck to knock him down and render him unconscious, and the two escaped with Bart driving - while the camera was still filming the long-take from behind their shoulders inside the car!
Uninterrupted Take During Hampton Bank Robbery
  • the scene of their next robbery's getaway of the Rangers and Growers Exchange, as they were pursued by a siren-screaming police car giving chase, Laurie insisted that Bart (in the back seat) shoot back: "Shoot. Why don't you shoot? Shoot! Shoot, do you hear me?" - unable to kill, he lied to her about eliminating their pursuer (he only shot out one of the car's tires), although a grin slowly widened across her mouth
  • the final pursuit in the swamps before their demise, when ominous footsteps and the voices of Bart's boyhood pals Deputy Clyde (Harry Lewis) and Dave (Nedrick Young) announced their approach; in their last few moments of life and knowing that they were surrounded, Bart faithfully declared his love for Laurie and gave her one final kiss; then, Bart was compelled to shoot his insane, aggressive lover as a mercy killing; mistakenly believing that Bart had fired on them, a barrage of police gunfire abruptly cut Bart down; with poetic justice, he fell next to her; their bodies lay united together - with Bart on his back and Laurie on her side; the film's sad theme song mournfully played one last time, as the two representatives of the law looked down at their fallen bodies in the heavenly shroud, and the camera pulled back and then up above their soggy, yet romantic grave; the final words of film dialogue were: Unidentified policeman: "You all right, Sheriff?" Clyde: "Yeah, yeah, we're all right"

Sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins)

Sizing Each Other Up Before a Gun-Shooting Duel Between Bart and Annie

Robbery Spree

Another Bank Robbery Getaway - Bart's Reluctance to Shoot

Dying Together in the Swamp


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