Thursday, October 20, 2011

#418: Gun Crazy

Directed by: JOSEPH H. LEWIS
1950, TSPDT Rank #443

Some noir films are great, but don't deter from the stereotypical film noir outline (such as Double Indemnity). Their predictability and familiarity is ironically what often makes them so enjoyable and satisfying; because they meet our expectations right where we expect them to. Then there are noir films like Gun Crazy, which are also great in their own right - but break all the plot "rules" of a film noir, and leave the viewer continually not expecting where they are going. It's a story reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde, wherein it concerns a criminal couple, in love and on the lam. Only here it's a little more complicated than that. Both the man and the woman have been gun-obsessed from childhood - only the man is pacifist who gets sick at the thought of killing even a small animal, and the woman seems all too ready to kill anyone who is remotely a threat at will, and has in the past. They only become serious criminals because the woman threatens to leave the man if he gets a regular job instead of performing hold-ups. Yet, the woman still does not fit the role of femme fatale; for we have every reason to believe she really loves this man. This is an exciting and interesting movie, and although it's not a masterpiece, it does contain great scenes and twists at every turn. Definitely influential in some ways, although I've never seen anything quite like it.

(Rating: 8/10)

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