Gun Crazy

Bart Tare is an ex-Army man who has a lifelong fixation with guns, he meets a kindred spirit in sharpshooter Annie Starr and goes to work at a carnival. After upsetting the carnival owner who lusts after Starr, they both get fired. Soon, on Starr’s behest, they embark on a crime spree for cash.
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Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Annie Laurie Starr: Peggy Cummins
  • Bart Tare: John Dall
  • Packett: Berry Kroeger
  • Judge Willoughby: Morris Carnovsky
  • Ruby Tare: Anabel Shaw
  • Sheriff Clyde Boston: Harry Lewis
  • Dave Allister: Nedrick Young
  • Sheriff Boston: Trevor Bardette
  • Bart Tare (age 14): Russ Tamblyn
  • Miss Augustine Sifert: Anne O’Neal
  • Miss Wynn: Virginia Farmer
  • Bluey-Bluey: Stanley Prager
  • Mr. Mallenberg: Harry Hayden
  • Bart Tare (age 7): Mickey Little
  • Clyde Boston (age 14): Paul Frison
  • Dave Allister (age 7): David Bair
  • Danceland Singer: Frances Irvin
  • Hampton Policeman: Robert Osterloh
  • Can Driver: Shimen Ruskin
  • Dance Hall Patron (uncredited): Alex Ball
  • Proprietor / Diner Cook (uncredited): Tony Barr
  • Chicago Man (uncredited): Don Beddoe
  • Plant Foreman (uncredited): Joseph Crehan
  • State Policeman on Phone (uncredited): Eddie Dunn
  • Man Fleeing Robbed Market (uncredited): Dick Elliott
  • Detective (uncredited): Ross Elliott
  • Cashier (uncredited): Franklyn Farnum
  • Carnival Barker (uncredited): Pat Gleason
  • Dance Hall Patron (uncredited): James Gonzalez
  • Ira Flagler (uncredited): Arthur Hecht
  • Holdup Victim (uncredited): George Lynn
  • Dance Hall Patron (uncredited): Ernesto Molinari
  • Customer at Sharpshooting Act (uncredited): William J. O’Brien
  • Dance Hall Patron (uncredited): Monty O’Grady
  • Court Clerk (uncredited): Jeffrey Sayre
  • California Border Inspector (uncredited): Ray Teal
  • Meat Plant Guard (uncredited): Dale Van Sickel

Film Crew:

  • Production Manager: Allen K. Wood
  • Editor: Harry Gerstad
  • Director of Photography: Russell Harlan
  • Screenplay: Dalton Trumbo
  • Story: MacKinlay Kantor
  • Producer: Frank King
  • Producer: Maurice King
  • Original Music Composer: Victor Young
  • Orchestrator: Sidney Cutner
  • Orchestrator: Leo Shuken
  • Screenplay: Millard Kaufman
  • Producer’s Assistant: Arthur Gardner
  • Director: Joseph H. Lewis
  • Production Design: Gordon Wiles
  • Stunts: Dale Van Sickel
  • Assistant Director: Frank Heath
  • Sound Designer: Tom Lambert
  • Music Editor: Stuart Frye
  • Set Decoration: Raymond Boltz Jr.
  • Continuity: Jack Herzberg
  • Stunts: Lew Morphy
  • Costume Design: Norma Koch
  • Grip: Harry Lewis
  • Gaffer: Lloyd Garnell
  • Hairstylist: Carla Hadley
  • Still Photographer: Eddie Jones
  • Dialogue Coach: Madeleine Robinson

Movie Reviews:

  • John Chard: The Real Sex Pistols.

    Bart Tare (John Dall) had a fascination with guns from an early age, even getting sent to a reform school at the age of 14 for yet another gun related incident. Back home now as an adult, after a stint in the army, he falls for a sharp-shooting carnival girl called Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) and promptly joins the act. But after a fall out with the boss, the pair hit the road and turn to a life of crime – with Annie particularly showing a thirst for gun-play.

    No doubt inspired by real life outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, “Deadly Is the Female” (AKA: Gun Crazy) is as good a “doomed lovers on the lam” picture that has ever been made. It may be a “B” movie in terms of production, but no doubt about it, this film is stylish, crafty and also very sexy. Directed by the unsung Joseph H. Lewis (“My Name Is Julia Ross/The Big Combo”), it’s based on a story written by MacKinlay Kantor that was reworked by Millard Kaufman (AKA: the then blacklisted “Dalton Trumbo”), into one that links sex and violence whilst simultaneously casting an eye over gun worship and its place in the American way of life. Dall & Cummings looked on the surface an odd pairing, but under Lewis’ direction they go together like gun and holster (ahem). He is well spoken, almost elegantly fragile with his musings, yet underneath there is still this twitchy gun fanatic. She is savvy, almost virginal in sexuality, but ultimately she’s a wild cat who’s practically un-tamable.

    The work of Lewis here should not be understated, check out the quite sublime continuous one take bank robbery. While marvel throughout at his long takes, use of angles, deep focus and jerking camera movements – all of which dovetail with our protagonists as they go on their nihilistic journey. But perhaps his master-stoke was with his preparation tactics for his two leads?. Sending them out with permission to improvise, he fired them up with sexual pep talks, and the result, in spite of the inevitable “code” restrictions, is a near masterpiece, a true genre highlight, and a film that continues to influence as much as it still entertains. 9/10

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