Gun Crazy

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Dir. Joseph H. Lewis

USA 1949 | Black & white | 87 mins | Cert PG | Drama

Cast: Starring Peggy Cummins, John Dall, Berry Kroeger

This electrifying love-on-the-run classic, directed by a veritable master of the postwar Hollywood B-movie, concerns a misfit couple (Peggy Cummins and John Dall, both terrific) drawn to each other by a mutual — and arguably Freudian — passion for guns. When Annie, temptation personified, threatens to abandon Bart to his humdrum ambitions, he reluctantly embarks on a life of robbing banks… 

A fast, amoral, consistently gripping study in the appeal of sex, money, power and violence, it sees Lewis firing on all cylinders, prompting his leads to an almost animalistic evocation of amour fou, and turning budgetary limitations to advantage; most memorably of all, a small-town heist is shot, from inside a car, in a single long virtuoso take. Victor Young provided the yearning score, the great Russell Harlan the moody yet dynamic camerawork; the sheer intensity of the film borders on the subversive and surreal.

— Geoff Andrew

Available on: 35mm


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