Annie Laurie Starr,
How could you ever become mixed up with a no good loser like Barton Tare?
Then it started something that nobody could stop!
A road trip…..
A woman he would do anything for…and I mean anything!
That first touch, that moment of love’s first blush….
The steamroller of passion. …
If you love noir and want to indulge the hidden pulp-novel voyeur lurking around in your cinematic soul, check out Peggy Cummins and John Dall in Gun Crazy on Saturday during The Essentials on TCM. It’s amazing what they did on the reported $400,000 budget, and if you’ve never seen it, it’s a must!
Miss Cummins flew in from London for the TCM Film Festival 2012, and I hope she knows how much we appreciated it!
An earlier screening of Gun Crazy on May 16, 2012, on TCM was a delight, and Robert Osborne’s introduction then included comments that I heartily agreed with. When Peggy Cummins attended the Turner Classic Movies Festival 2012, Mr. Osborne stated that she was “beautiful, trim, and a great guest,” and I completely concur. During my chats with Ms. Cummins, she revealed how she was still so personally surprised at the continued popularity of Gun Crazy, but was totally delighted about the fun she has had talking about it at festivals and screenings through the ensuing years since it’s first release.
At the 2012 festival, Ms. Cummins was bubbly, personable, and visited amicably with passholders, and always seemed to be cheerful and smiling every instance I saw her (3 or 4 times). Film Noir Foundation CEO Eddie Muller interviewed Ms. Cummins prior to the screening of Gun Crazy at the 2012 festival.
Senior TCM Researcher Alexa Foreman, Miss Peggy Cummins, and TCM Talent Coordinator Darcy Hettrick at the closing party in Club TCM, 2012…
Pay special attention to the continuous long shot right before and during the robbery because it is amazing. According to one source, “the bank heist sequence was done entirely in one take, with no one outside the principal actors and people inside the bank aware that a movie was being filmed.” When John Dall (as Bart Tare) states, “I hope we find a parking space,” he really meant it, as there was no guarantee that there would be one available! Ultimately, during the final sequence of the bank robbery scene, someone in the background screams that there’s been “a bank robbery,” and it was actually a bystander who saw the filming and assumed the worst.*
And I also read somewhere that Joseph Lewis, the director, wanted an actor who was openly homosexual as John Dall was in order to emphasize the ambiguity and emasculation of the character of Bart Tare. During the first few moments of Gun Crazy when Bart is out in the yard and shoots the BB gun, and the little chick falls over, it sets up the entire scenario that reveals that when he has a gun, he achieves the ultimate in masculine power. And if he reaches the pinnacle of macho, he needs a dangerous equal like Peggy Cummins as Annie Laurie Starr.
But I enjoy watching John Dall. He always seems as if he’s concealing something that other characters present in his scenes never seem to realize, and he continually appears as if he knows the score, and everyone else is clueless. Ever notice all his screen moments in Spartacus? I can’t help but watch his e-ver-y move. Even the role he played in Rope seems tailor made for his abilities.
A better “Bonnie and Clyde” noir just doesn’t exist in classic filmdom.
Don’t miss it this Saturday night, September 28, on Turner Classic Movies’ ongoing series, The Essentials, with Host Robert Osborne and Actress/Producer/Director Drew Barrymore.