"Bart, I've been kicked around all my life, and from now on, I'm gonna start kicking back."
Before there was Bonnie and Clyde, there was GUN CRAZY, which tells the story of a well meaning, sharp-shooting pacifist husband, reluctantly pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an nationwide robbery spree. There, he finds out just how sadistic and deadly she really is. I didn't realize going in this was written by Dalton Trumbo himself, and also produced by the infamous King Brothers. This is another one of those movies I knew right away I wanted to see remade. I’m not certain about who I’d cast as the male lead, but I like Hailey Stanfield as the female lead. There are certain aspects and filmmaking techniques that were ahead of its time, pretty cool, and worth a swipe in my own work. As an example, there’s a bank robbery scene where we don’t actually see the robbery (we’ve seen that to death), but we are treated to the fallout and getaway, that’s documented in a single take and showcases both leads from behind and the camera is nestled in the backseat giving us a sort of fly on the wall POV. There’s no shortage of interesting storytelling techniques to poach which makes the $7 purchase worthwhile. It’s another well executed film that needs to be seen by film students and movie lovers, but most likely won’t be due to its lack of color, star power and general age. Going back to the remake idea, my vision would be that of a sorta super-villain origin story like you’d see in a comic book movie. Despite a shorter runtime of only 87 mins, there’s even shades of Breaking Bad, as evidenced by the premise of “Not because I want to, but because I have to” that drives the motivations of our leads at the beginning of the movie. That innocent notion dissolves as our film goes on. As with most films in the crime drama, there’s the defining “one last job” plot point that shows up to seal the fate of our protagonist for better or worse. Gun Crazy is a poetic, cautionary tale of love, circumstance and fate. It's essential veiwing for fans of Film-noir, and it is not a Ricky Nixx film.
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Writers: MacKinlay Kantor, Dalton Trumbo
Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger