Gun Crazy is a 1950 Film Noir directed by Joseph H. Lewis, starring John Dall and Peggy Cummins.
It tells the story of an Outlaw Couple of sharpshooters — former soldier Bart (Dall) and circus performer Laurie (Cummins). They are both obsessed with guns, but in a different way: Bart likes owning and shooting them, but would never hurt anyone living, while Laurie dreams of actually killing somebody. When they find themselves unemployed, Bart wants to look for a decent job, but Laurie seduces him into a robbery spree. Soon it ends up with murder, and they find themselves hunted by much more force than they could ever outrun.
Not to be confused with the Japanese film series of the same name.
Gun Crazy provides examples of the following tropes:
- Ambition Is Evil: Laurie wants to be rich and decides the best course is committing robberies.
- Action Girl: Laurie.
- Anti-Hero: Bart might be a criminal, but he is also a somewhat dimwitted fellow, who couldn't dream of actually harming anyone, and has serious moral qualms over the path Laurie has put him on.
- Bank Robbery: Bart and Laurie start with gas stations and move up to banks and trade companies.
- The Corrupter: Laurie plays this to Bart's Corruptible. Most notably, when Bart is considering leaving the outlaw life because he fears for his own slipping sense of morality, Laurie responds by essentially telling him that he should be happy to have a pretty wife like her, so therefore he should ignore his troubled conscience and only listen to her.
- Dark Secret: They trade their dark secrets before getting their Fourth Date Marriage. Bart confesses that when he was a kid he stole a gun from a store and was sent to reform school. Than Laurie confesses she had already killed a man.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bart and Laurie's shared gun fixation is pretty clearly symbolic as well as literal.
- Downer Ending: What would you expect from a Film Noir?
- Evil Former Friend: Bart, to his childhood friends.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Laurie is a beautiful, young blond woman who revels in the mayhem her and Bart's crimes causes.
- Fake American: Actress Peggy Cummins was British. The circus barker announces Laurie as being from London, England, which was likely meant to cover in case Cummins couldn't hide her accent. To her credit, she managed to sound American all through the film.
- Fourth Date Marriage: After being fired from the carnival, Bart and Laurie have to marry at a roadside chapel before The Hays Code will let them stop driving and spend the night together.
- Gray Rain of Depression: In the opening scene.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: With a literal door which Bart closes in faces of his childhood friends who came to offer him a Last-Second Chance.
- Heel Realization: Bart, after finding out the robbery ended in blood.
- Last-Second Chance: Bart's childhood friends come to him unarmed, asking him to surrender. He doesn't.
- Love at First Sight: Main characters fall in love right when they meet and, despite morality quarrels, never stop loving each other.
- Martial Pacifist: Bart, before he met Laurie. A sharpshooter who only shoots objects.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Bart after noticing he has to fight himself not to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: At the climax, Dave and Clyde makes another attempt at talking Bart into give himself up peacefully. Laurie, however, readies herself to gun them both down, and so to protect his old friends, Bart shoots her, but by doing so he spooks the surrounding police who shoots him down in turn.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Bart and Laurie are an Outlaw Couple derived from Bonnie and Clyde.
- One Last Job: And it goes well! Except they later get tracked by bill numbers.
- The Oner: One particularly famous scene from the film has the camera placed on the back seat of Laurie and Bart's car, were it follows them as they are driving to their next heist, then executing the robbery, and then getting away from the scene of the crime. The whole scene ticks in at three-and-a-half minutes.
- Outlaw Couple: Main plot.
- Properly Paranoid: Laurie, at the end.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni - Laurie, Blue Oni - Bart.
- Run or Die: Near the end, when the police is instructed to shoot to kill.
- Same Clothes, Different Year: Clyde and Dave remain recognizable as grown-ups, as they are still wearing Nerd Glasses and a leather jacket in the style of the ones they wore as kids respectively.
- Spinning Paper: Or rather Zooming Papers with reports on their robberies.
- Stern Chase
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Bart has an aversion to use his sharpshooting skill for lethal means, but Laurie has no such qualms.
- Those Two Guys: Bart's childhood friends, Clyde and Dave.
- Trigger Happy: Laurie likes guns too much. It seems, for her shooting during the robbery is pleasure rather than necessity.
- Villain Protagonist
- William Telling: At the show where they meet, Laurie does this, and than Bart challenges her. During the contest, they do this to each other.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Averted. They actually use Bart's home, owned by his sister, as a last resort. They are surely not welcome there.