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UCLA Festival of Preservation

Gun Crazy

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Thursday 4/3
7:00 pm
$9 General Public
$7 Students & Seniors
FREE IHP Members

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  
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dir. Joseph H. Lewis, US, 1950, 35mm, b/w, 86 min.

Bart Tare loves guns and is caught stealing one at age fourteen. After stints in reform school and the Army, Bart returns home where he meets Annie Laurie Starr, who works as a sharpshooter at a local carnival. It is love at first gunsight. They consummate their relationship with a shooting match. It is all about guns and sex, sex and guns. The fact that she says she’s a bad girl who may have been involved in prostitution and murder hardly seems to matter. They rob to make a living, eventually planning a major heist that they pull off successfully, but not before Laurie has killed two people, putting the FBI on their tail.

Long before Michael Moore analyzed America’s pathological love affair with guns, Joseph H. Lewis and Dalton Trumbo nailed it with this dirty little film noir, which loosely adapts the story of Bonnie and Clyde. Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted and had to use the nom-de-plume Millard Kaufman as a front, rewrote MacKinlay Kantor’s 1940 Saturday Evening Post story, putting the focus on the film’s amour fou. Originally produced on virtually no budget for Monogram by the King Brothers, the crime drama was eventually released by United Artists and therefore gained more exposure than many B films.

35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Preservation funding provided by the Packard Humanities Institute

Preserved in cooperation with Warner Bros. from the original 35mm picture and track negatives. Laboratory services by The Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, YCM Laboratories, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio, Simon Daniel Sound. Special thanks to Ned Price.