The Subject

Joseph H. Lewis' Gun Crazy: made in 1949 and released in January of 1950 by United Artists. (Sometimes known as "Deadly Is the Female.") It has been selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. Warner Home Video's 2004 DVD is out of print, but it is available in the Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 1 box set.

Behind the Scenes

Gun Crazy was one of the great "B" movies of its day. Over the years, its status has risen from cult classic to legitimate classic. It was made around the same time, but slightly after, Nicholas Ray's equally great They Live by Night (1949), and inspired later movies like Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Badlands (1973) and Kalifornia (1993), in addition to a "remake," Guncrazy (1992).

Director Joseph H. Lewis (1907-2000) was a New Yorker who worked in "B" movies and television his whole career, though he did create a couple of other noir classics, My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) and The Big Combo (1955). He was known as "Wagon Wheel Joe" from his days as a maker of "B" Westerns, mainly because he often shot scenes through the spokes of a wagon wheels. He's also known for the horror film Invisible Ghost (1941), starring Bela Lugosi. According to an article by Peter Bogdanovich, he was both personable and incorruptible.
categories Cinematical