By Melvin Cartagena
Gun Crazy – 1949 – dir. Joseph H. Lewis
The street could be Main Street from anywhere U.S.A., but in this case it’s Hampton, California. We see only a slice of the street, at an angle, from a connecting street. The effect is expressionistic lighting broken by a heavy rainfall. Then, a shadow slides across the storefronts for a moment before young Bart Tare (Russ Tamblyn) peeks around a building’s edge, right at us. He advances, and the camera pulls back to show us the window front of a hardware store. Bart presses his face against the glass and looks at the display of six-shooters with a fascination that borders on worship. He picks up a rock, hurls it at the window, then turns to look back, momentarily striking a Jesus Christ pose with his arms stretched out at his sides. He reaches in and pulls out one Colt revolver and a box of bullets, runs away, and trips, causing the gun to slide across the rain-slick street, right at the feet of Sheriff Boston. The lawman advances on Bart and, his POV is a tracking shot that crowds young Bart’s wet face on the frame before we fade to black.