Johnny Guitar

Johnny Guitar

Nicholas Ray (1954)

105min
A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Although this simmering - and occasionally self-consciously camp - western from director Nicholas Ray subverts its notoriously conservative genre, the real purpose of his study in mob hysteria was to condemn the Communist witch-hunt then tearing Hollywood apart. Heavy with symbolism, Philip Yordan's script also crackles with repressed sexuality, as saloon owner Joan Crawford and vicious cattle queen Mercedes McCambridge cross swords over land and men (while eponymous hero Sterling Hayden laconically strums his guitar). Providing Crawford with one of her best roles and gloriously shot in Trucolor by Harry Stradling, this baroque bonanza fascinates on so many levels that it demands to be repeatedly viewed and reviewed.

Summary

Saloon manager Vienna opens a casino in readiness for the boomtown days expected when the railroad arrives in town. A hard-nosed female rancher plans to stop her from attracting unwanted settlers onto her land, so Vienna hires a gunslinger for protection. Western, starring Joan Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, Sterling Hayden and Ernest Borgnine.

Cast & Crew

Vienna Joan Crawford
Johnny Guitar Sterling Hayden
Emma Small Mercedes McCambridge
Dancin' Kid Scott Brady
John McIvers Ward Bond
Turkey Ralston Ben Cooper
Old Tom John Carradine
Bart Lonergan Ernest Borgnine
Corey Royal Dano
Marshal Williams Frank Ferguson
Eddie Paul Fix
Director Nicholas Ray
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusAvailable on: video and DVDReleased on: 6 May 2016
Drama