Deadly Is the Female

  • Directors: Joseph H Lewis
  • Producers: Frank King, Maurice King
  • Writers: Story, MacKinlay Kantor, Screenplay, Dalton Trumbo, MacKinlay Kantor
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
  • Actors: Peggy Cummins, John Dall

Bart Tare (John Dall) is an ex-Army man who has a lifelong fixation with guns–they make him feel good inside. The drama opens with Tare, age 14, being grilled by a judge because he had been arrested for breaking and entering and stealing a gun. In flashbacks his friends say that while its true that Tare loves guns, he would never kill anything. They tell the judge the number of times he’s refused to kill animals. Nevertheless the judge sends him to reform school.

The next time we see Tare he’s grown up back in town. He’s also left military service behind. He reunites with his childhood friends and they decide to go to a carnival.

There he meets a kindred spirit in sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) and goes to work at the carnival. They are attracted to one another and after upsetting the carnival owner who lusts after Starr, they both get fired. Soon, on Starr’s behest, they embark on a crime spree for cash. Subjects of a manhunt, they are tracked by police in the hills Tare enjoyed as a boy….

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