Gun Crazy (1950)

Listen to our film review

Film and Plot Synopsis

Thrill crazy… Kill crazy… She was more than any man could handle! Bart and Laurie share a passion for firearms and money. Together, the two go on a murderous crime spree. Thieves, lovers and Gun Crazy. Bart Tare has been crazy about firearms since he was a kid. Annie Laurie Star is the sharp-shooting queen of a traveling carnival, and when Bart beats Laurie in a shooting competition, it’s love at first sight. First comes love; then comes robbery; then comes cold-blooded murder in a bank heist. Now fugitives, these two lovers and gangsters live life and face death on their own terms together. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Buy the Film

Gun Crazy [Blu-ray]

 in stock
13 new from $17.98
5 used from $10.95
Free shipping
as of January 14, 2024 4:22 pm
*As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

‘Gun Crazy’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Gun Crazy (1950)Gun Crazy begins with the teenaged Barton “Bart” Tare (Rusty Tamblyn) breaking a hardware store window to steal a gun. As he trips and falls in the rain, he’s arrested for the act. His older sister, Ruby (Anabel Shaw)—who raised Bart after his parent’s death—and best friends Dave (David Bair) and Clyde (Paul Frison) testify that even though Bart’s a dead shot with a gun, he never kill a living creature after being traumatized from some childhood events. The judge sends Bart to reform school until he’s of legal age or until the court deems his obsession with guns has subsided—whichever comes first.

However, Bart’s obsession with guns never ends and he spends the following years in the reform school and then enlists (or is drafted) into the Army when he turns 18. There his skills with a gun are fully appreciated and it earns him a job teaching marksmanship to new recruits.

After his four years of service are up, Bart (John Dall) returns home for the first time in a long while. He calls up his sister who is now married with three children before getting back in touch with Dave (Nedrick Young)—who is now the local reporter—and Clyde (Harry Lewis)—who’s followed in his father’s footsteps to become a deputy in the police department.

After the three men catch up, they head to a traveling carnival in town. There, they see an act with a sharpshooter named Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins). As part of the act, anyone can challenge her to a little shooting competition. Bart—who’s already fallen for the girl and her gun—challenges her to the shooting contest and wins.

Laurie is equally smitten with Bart and she gets him a job with the carnival. However, their mutual attraction pisses off her (their) boss, Packett (Berry Kroeger) who is blackmailing Laurie to be his woman because he knows she killed a man in Missouri. Packett’s jealousy gets the better of him and he forces himself on Laurie one night. When Bart enters her trailer, he sees the two and fires a warning shot next to Packett’s nose and into a mirror. Packett then fires the two lovebirds and boots them out of the carnival.

The two drive away and decide to get married. Laurie tells him she’s a bad egg but will try to be good for him, but Bart isn’t thinking with the correct head at this point. They then head out on their honeymoon where they recklessly spend Bart’s savings before losing it all in Las Vegas. With the money gone, Laurie lets it be known that she won’t settle for being broke. She gives Bart an ultimatum—join her in a life of crime or lose her forever. Bart does what any rational man would do when thinking with the incorrect head, he decides to help her rob stores, gas stations, and banks, but they spend the money quicker than they can steal it.

After one such heist, the two find themselves in a hot pursuit with the law. Laurie pushes Bart to shoot at the driver so they can escape, but Bart can’t bring himself to kill anyone and shoots the cop car’s tire instead. By now, the couple’s names are splashed across all national newspapers as the robbers, thanks in part to their old boss, Packett, and the two need to lay low.

Bart tells Laurie he’s done with the hold ups, but Laurie persuades him to do one last heist so they can flee the country and retire rich. They take jobs at the Armour Meat Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico in order to prepare their robbery of the payroll office. Everything goes off without a hitch until Laurie’s meat supervisor, Miss Augustine Sifert (Anne O’Neal), pulls the burglar alarm and Laurie shoots her dead…and then a security guard.

Bart and Laurie narrowly escape and drive off to Southern California. In Pasadena, Bart reads about the death of Miss Sifert in the paper and is horrified that people died so that he and Laurie didn’t have to work. He tells her this makes him a killer even though he didn’t pull the trigger, but Laurie tells him she’s the only killer before confessing to the Missouri murder.

After Bart arranges to sneak into Mexico the next day, the two head to a dance hall. However, with these deaths, the FBI has taken over the manhunt, and they are able to track the two by tracing the serial numbers on the money they are using around town.

When they show up to the dance hall, Bart and Laurie flee on a freight train back to Bart’s childhood town and hide in Ruby’s house. However, Ruby’s concerned neighbors tip off Deputy Clyde that all Ruby’s shade are closed at her place and her children aren’t allowed to go out and play. Clyde grabs Dave and the two head over to get Bart to surrender peacefully.

It doesn’t work and Bart and Laurie steal Ruby’s car and drive to Madera National Park where the car breaks down. They run into the forrest with bloodhounds and the FBI on their tale before stopping in the swamp for the night.

As day breaks through a heavy fog, Clyde and Dave arrive to ask Bart to give up one last time. Laurie pulls a gun on the men as they approach which forces Bart to shoot her dead to save his only friends. At the sound of gunfire, the surrounding FBI agents shoot Bart dead. Clyde and Dave look the two dead bodies before slowly walking off.

Rate the Film!

Our Rating

United Artists released Gun Crazy on January 20, 1950. Joseph H. Lewis directed the film starring John Dall, Peggy Cummins, and Berry Kroeger.

User Rating: Be the first one !
Show More
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x