Saturday, March 8, 2014

DEADLY IS THE FEMALE - "Gun Crazy" - King Brothers Productions (1950)

Welcome to a real Saturday Night Special down in The Dungeon, a .38 Special, that is!

My old pal, Arizona's amazing Al Perry told me this was his favourite film noir flick, and since it was already on my list, it seemed like the time was right!  The story was written by the brilliant blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo who also wrote such classics as "Rocketship X-M," and "Johnny Got His Gun!" Co-creator of Mr. Magoo Millard Kaufman allowed his name to be used in the credits as writer as a front for Dalton Trumbo! Figuring enough time had passed by 1992, Millard revealed the truth about the credits to the world!

 Just because a young man has an over-fascination with guns doesn't make him a criminal, that is, until he steals one!!  Meet young Barton Tare!

So it's off to reform school for the kind young man with a love for guns but a hatred for the killing of anything! He just likes to shoot the damn things! And despite all the pleas for leniency by his  sister, Bart is sent off for quite a few years! The young Bart Tare was played by none other than Russ Tamblyn (credited as Rusty Tamblyn) in his sixth film appearance!

One of the first things Bart does when he gets out of reform school is go to the carnival with his two best buddies from childhood that he's kept in touch with, and the most interesting thing is an act by sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr as played by the super cute Peggy (Curse Of The Demon) Cummins!

Well, you might say it was love at first sight...................

...................But not until they were both in the sight of each other's guns! I'd like to see this act today where you invite a complete stranger up on stage from out of the audience to shoot out candles on your head! The grown up Bart Tare was actor John Dall, a man with a short but fruitful career! In his first film role ever, the movie "The Corn Is Green," John was nominated for 'Best Actor In A Supporting Role'! He was also in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Rope!"

So there you go, Bart joins the act, but not for long after he has a dispute with the Boss about whose girl Annie is, and they off and get married!

These two crazy kids are so in love and life is beautiful! The song "Laughing On The Outside (Crying On The Inside) says it all, and was written by Bernie Wayne and Ben Raleigh, and was sung by Frances Irvin!

Unfortunately, the money that they have saved doesn't go very far after a couple of bad nights at the casino! It doesn't take them long to figure out that their one common talent might also be a way to generate economic success! At first they were only going to rob one place, but you know how that goes!

When they need a getaway car,  Annie pretend hitchhikes, and you know the first dirty old man who comes along is going to pick her up!

They do this a couple of times, where there's an interesting scene shot from the backseat of the car into the back of Bart and Annie's heads as they chit chat!

After a few heists, they start having to change up their identities to be able to get through the road blocks!

Then after a few close calls, they finally have a run-in with the police, and after a hot pursuit Bart shoots the tires of the police car, and even though he didn't shoot the officers, he still feels bad that they got hurt in the crash! Annie, on the other hand, feels no remorse at all!

On the run, broke, and now having to ride in a boxcar for transportation, Bart and Annie decide to try and pull off one last big robbery, and then call it quits forever, and try and lead a safe and sane life!

I love this movie, but right here they lost me! They devise a plan to rob the payroll of the Armour Meat packing plant, and somehow, Bart manages to land a job as a delivery guy to the plant, and Annie gets a job as a secretary in the office! If it was that easy to get a job, I'm thinking they should have stopped right there, and settled down, but I guess that would have made for a happy but dull ending!

It's now revealed that Annie can be a cold and ruthless killer! Bart on the other hand is still as kind hearted as ever, but because he loves her so much, he's willing to follow her to the bowels of Hell!

Thinking they've got it made now, the kids go out and have a good time! Here they are on the roller coaster! Unfortunately life is a like a roller coaster too, and they're about to hit the big dip! The serial numbers on the money they stole have been traced down, and it doesn't take long before their money is no good, and they're tracked down!

The final escape attempt includes this beautiful shot that all you car afficinados should be able to appreciate!

Whether you want to quote Jim Morrison or Bugs Bunny, it makes no difference because "This is the End," and "That's all, Folks!!"

Al was 100% right, "Gun Crazy" is a really fine film right up there with "Kiss Me Deadly!" Makes sense since the original title of this film was "Deadly Is The Female!" The original poster is so not this movie, and it doesn't take much thought to understand why they changed the look and the title to the much more dynamic "Gun Crazy!"                             

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