Gun Crazy Redux

Anthony Lane of The New Yorker isn’t the only one to have rewatched Gun Crazy recently. As Lane commented appropos 3-D movies in the March 8 issue, Joseph H. Lewis’ “bad-couple thriller” “felt considerably more dangerous and less dated than most of the new releases.” He was lucky enough to see a new print on the big screen, but the existing DVD is of sufficiently high quality to cement the film’s reputation as a high point of film noir.

In addition to some sizzling dialogue (distraught over his love interest/partner in crime’s fatal way with a gun, John Dall laments: “Two people dead, just so we can live without working. Annie, why do you have to kill people?”)—the film features underrated Peggy Cummins looking better in a cowgirl outfit than anyone before or since. (Whatever happened to Cummins? She was indelible in this and Tourneur’s Curse of the Demon and that’s about it.)

The long unbroken take from the backseat of a getaway car remains kinetically daring and anticipates a later wild ride in a convertible in Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. Easily available on DVD and essential viewing.

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