Gun Crazy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.371 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an inconsistent image but it accurately reflected its source.
And to be fair, the movie usually looked good, as sharpness appeared nicely tight and distinctive most of the time. Any softness stemmed from the original photography, as some components – largely process shots – caused some ill-defined material.
Despite those, most of the movie appeared pretty concise, and no issues with shimmering or jagged edges occurred. Even the film’s advanced age, source flaws were minor, so this was a clean presentation. A good layer of grain manifested, so I didn’t suspect significant noise reduction.
Contrast was strong, as the movie consistently maintained a nice silver tone. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows were smooth and well-defined. Again, the original production created some lackluster elements, but most of the image seemed appealing.
In addition, the DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Crazy also worked fine. Speech seemed reasonably accurate and distinct, with no issues related to intelligibility or edginess.
Music came across as fairly bright and lively, though dynamic range seemed limited given the restrictions of the source. Effects showed good clarity and accuracy within the confines of nearly 70-year-old stems. This was a more than adequate auditory presentation for an older movie.
In terms of extras, the set includes an audio commentary from film historian Glenn Erickson. He presents a running, screen-specific look at the source text and its adaptation, story and characters, cast and crew, themes and interpretation, and various filmmaking elements.
Erickson manages a pretty good commentary, as he touches on an appropriate array of subjects. He adds to our knowledge of the film in this consistently informative and engaging track.
A documentary called Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light fills one hour, seven minutes and 37 seconds. It includes notes from Erickson, novelist James Ellroy, author Kim Newman, writer/performer Henry Rollins, composers Andre Previn and Graeme Revell, cinematographers Newton Thomas Sigel, Roger Deakins, John Alton, Gordon Willis and Janusz Kaminski, filmmakers Sydney Pollack, Edward Dymtryk, Paul Schrader, Christopher McQuarrie, Nicholas Pileggi, William Goldman, Brian Helgeland, Christopher Nolan, Lili Fini Zanuck and Frank Miller, film archivist Haden Guest, historians Patricia King Hanson, Alain Silver, James Ursini, Eric Lax, Drew Casper, Rick Jewell and Eddie Muller, editors Peter Honess and Carol Littleton, composer John Debney, and actors Talia Shire, Jane Greer, Theresa Russell, Michael Madsen and Audrey Totter.
“Light” examines the defining characteristics of film noir along with the genre’s origins and development, frequent themes, cinematography, music, editing and stylistic areas, and connected domains. “Light” delivers a nice overview that provides lots of information about noir.
As a precursor to Bonnie & Clyde, 1950’s Gun Crazy provides historical interest. As a film on its own, though, Crazy seems thin and forgettable. The Blu-ray brings us generally positive picture and audio along with some informative supplements. Crazy ends up as a mediocre noir effort.