MacKinlay Kantor’s Sat Eve Post story, Gun Crazy, is a shoot-’em-up story of desperate love and crime.

After a slow beginning, it generates considerable excitement in telling a story of a young man, fascinated by guns, who turns criminal to keep the love of a girl with no scruples. It’s not a pleasant story, nor is the telling, but John Dall builds some sympathy as the male. Opposite him is Peggy Cummins, a sideshow Annie Oakley without morals. She is not too convincing.

Because of so much establishing footage, the picture seems long. Latter half, however, races along under Joseph H. Lewis’ direction, being a continual chase broken only by new holdup jobs pulled by Dall and Cummins.

Script points up the physical attraction between Dall and Cummins but, despite the emphasis, it is curiously cold and lacking in genuine emotions. Fault is in the writing and direction, both staying on the surface and never getting underneath the characters.

Gun Crazy

  • Production: Pioneer/United Artists. Director Joseph H. Lewis; Producer Maurice King, Frank King; Screenplay MacKinlay Kantor, Millard Kaufman; Camera Russell Harlan; Editor Harry Gerstad; Music Victor Young; Art Director Gordon Wiles
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1950. Running time: 87 MIN.
  • With: Peggy Cummins John Dall Berry Kroeger Morris Carnovsky Anabel Shaw Russ Tamblyn
  • Music By: