Friday, May 18, 2012

Firearm Madness

Just a reminder that it's not all Stooge shorts.  I forget myself sometimes.  Take 1950's Gun Crazy, formerly known as Deadly is the Female... boy!  That Robert Osborne left out a lot of the best trivia about this one!  screenwriter Dalton Trumbo using a front man, leading man John Dall later appearing in Spartacus... It's considered a classic now, but it seems kinda clunky to me somehow.  Or I probably just don't have the proper appreciation for it.
I'll touch on the plot a little bit.  We start off with a young boy breaking a shop window and grabbing the guns from the store display.  We find out the one dimensionality of the kid in court.  He's not a bad kid, he's just got a thing about guns, his older sister tries to explain.  Two other kids act as witnesses to back up the sister's claims.  The judge is moved, but there's still the matter of the theft and property damage.  Off to reform school with you!
Next scene: the kid's all growed up, still loves guns, and is thinking about getting a job at Remington.  His friends are grown up, too: one's a cop, and one's a reporter for the Cashville Rag.  My dad always complains about movies like this.  Usually there's a family of brothers who end up in diametrically opposed professions: one's a mobster, one's a priest, one's a cop, that kind of deal.  The three of the Gun Crazy boys go to the circus, where they watch a cute girl who's handy with a pistol.  Love at first lead for Barton Tare.  There's an on-stage courtship, there's fighting for the girl's hand in marriage, and on and on... they say this was loosely based on the story of Bonnie and Clyde, but it still seems too much like one of those bad documentaries about what can happen to a person with that one fatal character flaw.  To its credit, it has some nice stylistics, such as the Spielbergian dolly shots that zoom up to a person's face.  Also, there's a GoodFellas-like one-take sequence with a bank robbery.  Sure, the camera's stuck in the back of the car the whole time, but they do have that short dolly track, and they make the most of it.  Maybe if I see this again sometime, it will gain in tenure for me.  Hard to say.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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