Peggy Cummins, Seductive Star of a Cult Film, Dies at 92


“This spurious concoction is basically on a par with the most humdrum pulp fiction,” Howard Thompson, reviewing the film for The New York Times, wrote in 1950. He said the fresh-faced leads worked hard but were miscast.

“Just why two such clean-cut youngsters as Miss Cummins and Mr. Dall should be so cast is something for the Sphinx, but they certainly give it the works,” he continued. “Looking as fragile as a Dresden doll, Miss Cummins bites into her assignment like a shark.”

“Gun Crazy” was directed by Joseph H. Lewis, who made dozens of gritty B-movies that were little noticed when they were first released but that developed a cult following over time, especially among filmmakers like Peter Bogdanovich, François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.

“Gun Crazy,” with its sometimes documentary-style camerawork, came to be regarded as Mr. Lewis’s masterpiece. Cinephiles lauded a three-and-a-half-minute uninterrupted shot from the back seat of a car during a bank robbery, during which Ms. Cummins and Mr. Dall improvised much of their dialogue.