Gun Crazy (1950)

85 or 87 mins | Film noir | 20 January 1950

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HISTORY

The title of this film was changed in Oct 1949 to Deadly Is the Female , under which title it was reviewed by most trade publications. By the time the film played in New York, in Aug 1950, the title had been changed back to Gun Crazy . Pre-production news items in HR announced that Hy Jason and Dick Foote were to be cast in the picture, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Mar 1949 HR news item, Veronica Lake was sought for the female lead. A 27 May 1949 HR news item reports that six-year-old Jimmy Ingram and his six sisters were cast in the film, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Montrose and Reseda, CA, and at the Angeles Crest Highway. According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the first draft of the screenplay was rejected by the Breen Office.
       In 1992, Millard Kaufman revealed that he had acted as a "front" for blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, and asked the Writers Guild of America to remove his own name from the credits. In a DV interview, Kaufman explained that although he and Trumbo did not know each other, he agreed to the arrangement at the request of their mutual agent, George Willner. "I've been telling people for years that I didn't write that movie," Kaufman told DV , "but I guess it never becomes official until it ... More Less

The title of this film was changed in Oct 1949 to Deadly Is the Female , under which title it was reviewed by most trade publications. By the time the film played in New York, in Aug 1950, the title had been changed back to Gun Crazy . Pre-production news items in HR announced that Hy Jason and Dick Foote were to be cast in the picture, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Mar 1949 HR news item, Veronica Lake was sought for the female lead. A 27 May 1949 HR news item reports that six-year-old Jimmy Ingram and his six sisters were cast in the film, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Portions of the film were shot on location in Montrose and Reseda, CA, and at the Angeles Crest Highway. According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the first draft of the screenplay was rejected by the Breen Office.
       In 1992, Millard Kaufman revealed that he had acted as a "front" for blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, and asked the Writers Guild of America to remove his own name from the credits. In a DV interview, Kaufman explained that although he and Trumbo did not know each other, he agreed to the arrangement at the request of their mutual agent, George Willner. "I've been telling people for years that I didn't write that movie," Kaufman told DV , "but I guess it never becomes official until it appears in the newspaper." In a modern interview in HR , Kaufman added that he had never even seen the film. In Oct 1992, at Kaufman's request, the Writers Guild gave Trumbo (who died in 1976) official writing credit, along with MacKinlay Kantor, for Gun Crazy . Also in 1992, Academy Entertainment released Guncrazy , starring Drew Barrymore, a film loosely inspired by Gun Crazy . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Nov 1949.
---
Daily Variety
31 Oct 49
p. 3, 11
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1992.
---
Film Daily
2 Nov 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 48
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 49
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 49
p. 4, 7
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 49
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 49
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 92
p. 3, 21.
Los Angeles Daily News
27 Jan 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Nov 49
p. 74.
New York Times
25 Aug 50
p. 17.
Newsweek
9 Jan 1950.
---
The Exhibitor
23 Nov 49
p. 2751.
Variety
2 Nov 49
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
Gaffer
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Props
COSTUMES
Miss Cummins' ward
MUSIC
Orch
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd eng
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Prod mgr
Dial coach
Scr cont
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Gun Crazy" by MacKinlay Kantor in The Saturday Evening Post (3 Feb 1940).
SONGS
"Mad About You," music by Victor Young, lyrics by Ned Washington
"Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)," music by Bernie Wayne, lyrics by Ben Raleigh.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Deadly Is the Female
Release Date:
20 January 1950
Production Date:
2 May--mid June 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Pioneer Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 December 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2712
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85 or 87
Length(in feet):
7,828
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14023
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a rainy night, fourteen-year-old Bart Tare smashes the window of a hardware store and steals a gun, but is soon caught by Sheriff Boston. At Bart's hearing, his older sister Ruby, who reared the boy by herself, assures Judge Willoughby that despite Bart's strange obsession with guns, he would never kill anything. To prove her point, she describes the trauma he experienced when he shot a chick with a BB gun as a small boy. Bart's friends, Dave Allister and Clyde Boston, the sheriff's son, then recall how Bart refused to kill a mountain lion for the bounty, despite being an expert shot. Ruby, who is about to marry, asks that Bart be allowed to live with her, but the judge sends Bart away to reform school. Years later, Bart returns to town and calls on Dave, who has become a newspaper reporter, and Clyde, who is now the sheriff. He tells them that he joined the Army after reform school and has returned to settle down. That evening, the three friends go to the carnival, where they attend a demonstration by beautiful sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr. The carnival owner, Packett, challenges the audience members to a shooting match with Laurie, and when Bart wins, Packett gives him a job. Bart and Laurie's mutual attraction angers Packett, and he tries to intimidate Laurie by reminding her about the man she killed in St. Louis. Bart comes in during the ensuing struggle and fires a warning shot, and when Packett fires them both, Bart and Laurie run away together. At Bart's insistence they get married and enjoy an idyllic honeymoon ... +


On a rainy night, fourteen-year-old Bart Tare smashes the window of a hardware store and steals a gun, but is soon caught by Sheriff Boston. At Bart's hearing, his older sister Ruby, who reared the boy by herself, assures Judge Willoughby that despite Bart's strange obsession with guns, he would never kill anything. To prove her point, she describes the trauma he experienced when he shot a chick with a BB gun as a small boy. Bart's friends, Dave Allister and Clyde Boston, the sheriff's son, then recall how Bart refused to kill a mountain lion for the bounty, despite being an expert shot. Ruby, who is about to marry, asks that Bart be allowed to live with her, but the judge sends Bart away to reform school. Years later, Bart returns to town and calls on Dave, who has become a newspaper reporter, and Clyde, who is now the sheriff. He tells them that he joined the Army after reform school and has returned to settle down. That evening, the three friends go to the carnival, where they attend a demonstration by beautiful sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr. The carnival owner, Packett, challenges the audience members to a shooting match with Laurie, and when Bart wins, Packett gives him a job. Bart and Laurie's mutual attraction angers Packett, and he tries to intimidate Laurie by reminding her about the man she killed in St. Louis. Bart comes in during the ensuing struggle and fires a warning shot, and when Packett fires them both, Bart and Laurie run away together. At Bart's insistence they get married and enjoy an idyllic honeymoon until they run out of money. Bart wants to sell his guns and take a job, but Laurie desires the fast life and lots of money. After she persuades Bart to take up armed robbery, they embark on a daring crime spree, although they never actually shoot anybody. Bart grows increasingly unhappy with their life of crime, but Laurie insists on one last heist at the Armour Meat Company. They take jobs with the firm and carefully plan to rob the payroll office. Everything goes smoothly until Laurie's supervisor, Miss Sifert, pulls the burglar alarm, and Laurie shoots her, along with a security guard. Bart and Laurie narrowly escape and manage to flee to Southern California. Bart is horrified when he reads in the paper about the death of Miss Sifert and the guard at the plant, and Laurie confesses that she killed a man in St. Louis while committing a robbery with Packett. When the FBI catches up with them by tracing money from the robbery, Bart and Laurie hop a freight train and take refuge in Ruby's house, which is near the tracks. Responding to worried calls from Ruby's neighbors, Clyde and Dave go to her house, where Bart greets his old friends at gunpoint. They urge Bart to give himself up, but Bart and Laurie take Ruby's car and drive into Madera National Park. When the car breaks down, they run into the woods, finally stopping by a swamp for the night. The next morning, through the heavy fog, they hear Clyde and Dave calling out to Bart. Laurie prepares to shoot them as they approach, but Bart shoots her and is then cut down by a hail of gunfire. Clyde and Dave look down at the bodies and slowly walk away. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.