peteg's blog

Gun Crazy

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A blacklisted Dalton Trumbo wrote the script for this black-and-white 1950 paint-by-the-numbers crime-is-bad-ok pulp fiction B-movie. Manohla Dargis claimed it was a classic in his review of Trumbo. This is not credible. Briefly reptilian-eyed Englishwoman Peggy Cummins plays a Bonnie who meets her American Clyde (John Dall, a sap) at a circus where he outdoes her at trick shooting. The opening courtroom scene sees him as a child packed off to reform school for stealing a gun, the possession of which is somehow essential to him though he refuses to use one lethally. Guns are OK, OK? They just are! Chicago! Albuquerque! California! Crime was so much easier back then, but is so much more convenient and lucrative now. Crime has been democratised! There's a fairground scene that makes them out to be all-American children, even this deep into grasping adulthood.

H. H. T. (?) at the New York Times, at the time.